Round Bales v Square Bales

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7 July 2022
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Hello everyone! I am in the process of purchasing a small hobby farm and will be moving two horses to the property. With the cost of hay rapidly rising, I'm looking to see if anyone has any experience using round bales over the traditional square bales. Can you just pull apart a round bale, and fill hay nets for stalls? Has anyone done this before?
 

KittenInTheTree

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Just peel off a bit at a time, as per any other sort of roll. Remember to tie a bit of rope or similar around the bale to hold it together once you remove the mesh. And be sure to store it on top of a pallet to avoid the base getting wet.
 

HashRouge

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I prefer round bales over the big square bales. I think both are generally more economical than the small square bales. Round bales tend to last me quite a long time with two retired horses who both live out.
 

Fern007

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A round bale lasts me around 10 days for 2. I absolutely hate them but my OH won't do me small squares as they are so labour intensive to bring off the field. I never need to rope round my bales, I just take off what I need but there are under cover in a shelter so out of the wind ad well.
 

KittenInTheTree

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A round bale lasts me around 10 days for 2. I absolutely hate them but my OH won't do me small squares as they are so labour intensive to bring off the field. I never need to rope round my bales, I just take off what I need but there are under cover in a shelter so out of the wind ad well.
Our's are in a barn and take any opportunity to collapse.
 

Pinkvboots

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Round bales are more economic but the downside for me is they have to be stored outside so they are on pallets and covered in tarp with bungees to hold it down, absolutely hate filling nets from a round bale small bales with sections is just complete bliss in comparison 😀 it's been a long time having the luxury of small bales can you tell.
 

honetpot

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They work out cheaper, and I feed them netted and in a sheep ring. I hate filling nets from them, I put the hay in a large barrow and then roll the hay in to a ball to compact it before putting it in a net.
The cheapest is heston, the local farmer used to shove one in a stable, and then I could use it in leaves, but once its down you can not move it manually. I have rounds double stacked it the shed, which two of us can roll.
 

meleeka

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Hants, England
I use round bales. It would cost me a
fortune in small ones so it just wouldn’t work. I don’t need to tie them up as they are in the barn. The only downside is I can’t fit as many in as small bales because I roll them in by hand and obviously can’t stack them .
 

Maryann

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27 September 2013
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I have the smallest size heston bales of hay and straw and use them in slices off the stack. I find round bales awkward to use and store.
 

ownedbyaconnie

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I find round bales a real arse to fill hay nets! But yes it can be done. Ours are undercover so don’t fall apart.
 

rabatsa

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18 September 2007
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Yorkshire
I get my round bales of hay wrapped then they can be stored outside without spoiling. If I have had to open a bale outside to use, as said, put on a pallet, I cut the wrap from centre top, down one side of the bale and peel off. When I have taken the hay needed I put the wrap back onto the bale and bungee in place. A ratchet strap works just as well, if not better. As the bale is used the wrap jacket folds round it better.
 

holeymoley

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Anything is better than those awful huge square bales of hay. Worst thing I've ever used.

We used to use small squares but they're getting harder to source for us so we use large rounds. Bungee cords are your friend if you're worried about them collapsing.
 

Goldie's mum

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1 May 2022
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How much storage space have you? We make our own small round bales & wrap them. Even wrapped, we need to keep them in the barn otherwise the crows peck holes in the wrap. They're easier to move about (by rolling them along) so easier on your back than lifting a lot of square bales but you need a lot more storage space because they don't stack closely together & if you stack too high they fall. You don't want to be in a position where you have to buy a few bales at a time, its much dearer. We went for round because of machinery preferences but if I was buying hay in I'd go for square.
 
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