Large haylage bales how long to keep them?

beaconhorse

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People on my yard will open one, keep it well covered and still be using it over 2 weeks later. I always thought they should be used within a few days ????

If you can use them that long it would be much cheaper for me even with only 1 horse
 

vic07

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we used ours over a week. But we open them up completely. I thought that once you'd opened them they would start to go off. Therefore ours are completely exposed and they are fine after a week!
 

AmyMay

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In the winter when all the horses are in we go through one every two days.

At the beginning of the spring though with horses out longer, and some turned out altogether one was lasting over a week. When they were lasting this long we would never cover it - but actually open it up as much as possible to let the air get to it. This would stop it fermenting and going bad.

If you've only got one horse I would try and get smaller bales as it would take you absolutely ages to get through a big bale.
 

the watcher

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I think it depends on how they are wrapped, I have had some big bales done in slices that I could open one end and use for up to 10 days, the round bales only seem to be good for a week or so in my experience.
 

Bananaman

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I'm just about to start using them to after a lifetime of using small bale hay.

I thought as you, but friends tell me they will last 3 weeks or more, depending on the air temp., but you MUST unwrap the whole bale to let the air get at it or water from the haylage collects under the plastic and speeds up the moulding process.
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I'd also like to hear what other people do as I'm paranoid about poisoning my horses!
 

kick_On

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you should use them as quickly as possible, the best way to keep a little longer is to open up bale competely and then put a plastic sheet cover to keep of weather, but let air in and not let bale heat up. I would suggest that two week is a long time for hayledge as it does go off (but does depend on how damp). I always used hayledge and my bale last me a week with two horse been feed for it
Can't you go in with them and divi up bale between number of horses been fed from bale
 

TGM

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We use the rectangular bales too, and were advised by the person who makes them just to open one end and take them out by slices leaving the rest firmly covered. I've found this works really well and there is no spoilage.

Used to use round bales and found they were a nightmare!
 

K9Wendy

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I think it also depends on the quality of the bales. Some of ours have been very dry and look like hay, they last without any problem. However the damper ones seem to ferment even more once opended, as mentioned we also unwrap the whole bale.
 

Heidi1

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I use large bales in winter, normally last me 7 days, after that they start to go off. It all depends on the quality and if the wrapping has been damaged.....
 

TrecPeter

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Between 4 horses we use one 250kg bale in about 4 days if the weather is really cold in winter. (15kg per horse per day)

We find they last OK on the feeder/dispenser easily for at least 7 days when it's warmer providing the hay doesn't get wet. Our's are twine bound, so there's no chance of humidity collecting.
 

KatB

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We have big bales and they last about a week. We completely uncover them, and almost encourage it to dry out by fluffing it up slightly later in the week. We have the occasional prob with mould, but very rarely, and generally it keeps very well! The drier hayledge does last longer.
 

Maesfen

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I've nearly always used small bale hay but used some haylage last year, big oblong bales. I was told to cut one end only and cover up firmly in between - I was almost paranoid about covering it back up within seconds! So it's good to know other ways of coping with it. This year we only made small bale haylage so it will be interesting to see how it goes but I don't expect a bale to last us any more than five days if that.
 

flyingfeet

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We use square bales of haylage which are made on our farm. They are made quite dry, so no assoicated silage problems.

We cut open one end in a flap, so keep it as covered as possible (I get moaned at for cutting the flap the wrong way up!)

A bale will last for two weeks at a push, but better eaten in around 3-4 days (or quicker).

The only problem is you need a tractor to handle the bales, plus with one horse you would have to accept that you are going to have quite a lot of wastage.
 
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