How to feed a hay bale in the field?

Jingley

Active Member
Joined
28 October 2014
Messages
35
Hello
Very silly minor question but im having a baby in December and am thinking of feeding large bales from the field.

I currently have my haylage stored in a barn and feed my two horses on two separate paddocks a load in the morning and a load in the evening in corner hay feeders in their shelters; horses on separate paddocks as they fight. For ease of whoever i ask to look after my horses when i go into labour, i was thinking about rolling a bale each into their shelters around my due date so they can ad lib for a week or so when i have baby. One horse is unrugged so thats not an issue, the other is a TB who is heavily rugged due to hating the cold.

I was just wondering with regards to how to feed the bales, do you completely remove all packaging or just the plastic haylage wrap and leave the netting on? Or just cut a hole in the top. Trying to think of the safest way to do this so they dont get tangled up, also so the TBs rug straps dont get caught in the netting too? Im not going to buy one of those large haynets that goes over the bale as ill only be doing it this once then will be back to feeding morning and eve when the bale is gone?

Any advice would be great.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Joined
20 February 2009
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39,352
Location
W. Yorks
Don't leave the netting on in case they eat it and get colic. The problem with leaving it unwrapped is that the horses will probably spread it all over and waste a lot of it. I would invest in the haynets, although I have never heard of them before.
 

turnbuckle

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Joined
14 April 2014
Messages
1,512
Just totally unwrap the bale and leave it in the field. Only safe way. It will, however, make a fair mess, especially if you have much rain - so much so that I've changed to chucking daily portions in. More work but worth it.
 

Mince Pie

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Joined
13 June 2011
Messages
9,761
I would get the nets, you'll find it a lot easier with a new born baby to do bales this winter and then go back to your usual routine next year :)
 

FfionWinnie

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Joined
20 July 2012
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17,022
Location
Scotland
If they aren't shod then the absolute best thing is a net like a giant haynet. But if it's Haylage they won't eat a big bale each fast enough I wouldn't think. Don't leave any packaging on bales.
 

supagran

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 October 2008
Messages
574
Location
Warwickshire
Hello
Very silly minor question but im having a baby in December and am thinking of feeding large bales from the field.

I currently have my haylage stored in a barn and feed my two horses on two separate paddocks a load in the morning and a load in the evening in corner hay feeders in their shelters; horses on separate paddocks as they fight. For ease of whoever i ask to look after my horses when i go into labour, i was thinking about rolling a bale each into their shelters around my due date so they can ad lib for a week or so when i have baby. One horse is unrugged so thats not an issue, the other is a TB who is heavily rugged due to hating the cold.

I was just wondering with regards to how to feed the bales, do you completely remove all packaging or just the plastic haylage wrap and leave the netting on? Or just cut a hole in the top. Trying to think of the safest way to do this so they dont get tangled up, also so the TBs rug straps dont get caught in the netting too? Im not going to buy one of those large haynets that goes over the bale as ill only be doing it this once then will be back to feeding morning and eve when the bale is gone?

Any advice would be great.
PLEASE don't leave the netting on the bales, I lost a lovely mare after she ate some of the netting, horrible! We now have two builders bins in the field shelters and barrow slices of the haylage out each day. Carrying a baby in one of those front carriers would enable you to barrow the haylage out to the field and get both you some fresh air at the same time.
 

lucky7

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 May 2011
Messages
598
I have a giant haynet that fits over the whole bale, keeps it all together and prevents wastage. I use the large round hay and it works a treat. The only thing is i wouldn't advise using it if your horse wears shoes
 
Joined
22 January 2015
Messages
10
Best solution I found is big tractor tyres, I have one in each field and the farmer just drops an unwrapped round bale of haylage into each ring. Some mess, but much less than feeding it loose, my mare and gelding eat about one bale between them in a week in the winter and the two year old in the other field gets through a bale a fortnight
 
Joined
22 January 2015
Messages
10
They're huge. Probably came off one of those giant tractors that look like something out of Star Wars. I never measured them but one big bale just fits nicely in the hole :)
 
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