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Old 10-05-2006, 11:19 AM  
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Home-made round bale feeder

Has anyone here made their own round bale feeder? If so how did you do it, what materials did you use ect? I have been feeding some round bales but I don't have a feeder and they sure do waste alot. I priced round bale feeders today, $199. Just wondering if there is a cheaper way to do it.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:58 PM  
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We just put it out in the field and let them eat it - some gets wasted, but it does in a raound feeder also - saves worn manes and fighting!!!
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:03 PM  
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We're going to be getting some round bales this week (just baled yesterday), and won't be using a feeder.

The goats wouldn't be able to get to it, plus we are not right there to make sure the horses don't act stupid and climb in it.

I am sure that we'll waste some, but since it's overall cheaper than squares, I am not in a panic over it...
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:07 PM  
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We made some for our studs cause they take about a month to eat a blae and if it gets rained on....here's what we came up with!



It works pretty well, one side is open to put the bale in and we will eventually put a gate there...
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:44 PM  
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The problem with the metal ones is that eventually they rust, get sharp corners and edges and become unsafe (at least the ones we tried, did). My hubby made one that's sort of "built in" to the fence.

It's square instead of round, made out of 2x6's with uprights tall enough and spaced right, so that the horses can't get in it, and have plenty of head room between them so as not to rub manes. Horizontally, the sides are 4 planks high, with 4-5" in between each, which run both inside and outside of the uprights to provide support. Makes for very little waste beyond the rough stuff they leave in the bottom.

Wish I had a photo to show you so my explanation would make more sense. He did a nice job with it, if I say so myself.
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:02 PM  
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Okay, here's a couple of really quick sketches to try and describe better how ours is built:

This is what it looks like from above:


This is a side view (like my green blob of a bale??):


The side of the feeder is the same on BOTH sides of the feeder since we have horses on both sides of the fence. I'm sure variations of this could be made to suit the layout and needs you have.

Also, the corners where the fence meets the feeder is not wasted space; we've got built-in salt/mineral block holders there so that horses on either side can reach around the upright and have access to the blocks.
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:16 PM  
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Those are ingenious feeders! Now for those of you that don't use feeders do you put the bales on end or not? I have been putting them on end. I have 4 adult horses, one yearling and a weanling. It takes them about 4-5 days to eat most of a large round bale.
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:36 PM  
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I forget how many horses you have, but you will recoup $199 in a hurry by saving wasted hay. I figured mine paid for itself in about 3 months. I've had it 3 years now. I even toss square bales in it when I use square bales. Almost no waste at all...

A horse hay ring won't bother their mane, although cattle rings obviously will.
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Old 10-05-2006, 04:41 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reba4
Those are ingenious feeders! Now for those of you that don't use feeders do you put the bales on end or not? I have been putting them on end. I have 4 adult horses, one yearling and a weanling. It takes them about 4-5 days to eat most of a large round bale.
To go with the beautiful above diagrams...
This is how I put round bales out without a feeder...

Don't laugh at the cheesy graphics.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:54 PM  
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After a bad experience, I ALWAYS (Orchid ) tip mine over onto the flat end. We had a pony climb inside one once and got crushed to death when the outside/top collapsed on him.

Now if you don't have small horses/foals or other animals it's not an issue but I have foals and they're always looking for a good place to take a nap. I also leave the net wrap on so it kind of holds the bale together longer. I wouldn't do that if they were twine wrapped though.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:12 PM  
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Once again you guys have come to the rescue!!! I need at least 3 holders and priced them today at $200.00 each!! My nephew started using one last year and said his paid for itself in 3-4 months also!! We have one of the round metal horse types and it works great!!
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:59 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth55051
After a bad experience, I ALWAYS (Orchid ) tip mine over onto the flat end. We had a pony climb inside one once and got crushed to death when the outside/top collapsed on him.

Now if you don't have small horses/foals or other animals it's not an issue but I have foals and they're always looking for a good place to take a nap. I also leave the net wrap on so it kind of holds the bale together longer. I wouldn't do that if they were twine wrapped though.




Good to know!
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:49 AM  
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Originally Posted by Orchid View Post




Good to know!
Amen to that!
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:36 PM  
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I bought a tombstone feeder last fall and it hasn't saved me any money. My horses put their heads in it and flip the hay out on the ground
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:51 PM  
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Well, I'm going to be the 'fly in the ointment"! I never feed round bales free choice, as there is a great increase in risk of horses developing respiratory problems
I posted some info concerning the feeding of round bales under the 'coughing' thread,,with info taken from a equine seminar and a vet whose research is focused on Obstructive airway disease, and out right coughing is not even present in the early stages
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:29 PM  
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well seeing that this thread is 4 years old, new ideas are always welcome, and also some old ones.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:07 PM  
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
Well, I'm going to be the 'fly in the ointment"! I never feed round bales free choice, as there is a great increase in risk of horses developing respiratory problems
I posted some info concerning the feeding of round bales under the 'coughing' thread,,with info taken from a equine seminar and a vet whose research is focused on Obstructive airway disease, and out right coughing is not even present in the early stages

Add to that list botulism if the bales are always fed out in the exact same location all the time.

My objection to round bales (other than being a royal SOB to handle) is that the people who make round bales are usually people who bale for cattle (who will eat anything no matter how disgustingly moldy and not have a problem with it) which means they tend to bale a little on the damp side (which results in mold).

Round bales don't cure right as they don't dry out properly if they are baled wrong. The way most people produce round bales is they cut the hey on Monday, the run it into windrows on Tuesday morning and bale it Tuesday afternoon. Two weeks later horse owners are calling the vets for respiratory problems or worse.

I watched on local idiot BO feed out round bales that were literally black in the center and then said, "oh, if the hey is bad the horses won't eat it" - of course there wasn't a blade of grass in the guy's pastures and the horse's only other choice was to starve.

I might be just a stickler and a bit over-sensitive about the quality of hay I like to see fed to horses, but I think square bales are the best choice because unless the guy making hay is a complete idiot, you don't run into problems like fungus as a rule.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:03 PM  
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Google Texas Hay Nets. They fit over the round bales, causing the horses to nibble rather than pull the bale apart looking for blossoms. No, horses don't get their hooves caught in it because the holes are too small. They greatly reduce waste. BTW, lately I've been stuffing hay into small, small mesh hay bags plus some in the slotted feeder. The horses go to the bag first. They just flop it around in the snow cleaning up what falls out plus what they pull out. Yet they can grab more out of the feed crib.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:52 PM  
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I agree you have to be soooo careful as to the quality of hay when feeding round bales. That said, I feed them in the winter and I use a small mesh round bale hay nets, similar to the texas hay nets Slim mentioned. I love em' They give the horses a slow constant supply of hay, they can't bury their noses and heads b/c the nets prevent it. Because of the size of the holes in the net they kinda "graze" the bale, pulling out a little at a time instead of huge mouthfuls, The horses really seem to enjoy that, There are so many benefits to feeding them during the colder months. But soon as spring hits and the ground thaws it's back to squares for us otherwise it just gets way to messy.
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