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Old 12-10-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Goats and round bales?

Hi all,
So I was thinking about getting the goaties a round bale rather than feed the the hay we feed the horses (square bales). They could eat all day and one round bale would last like 3 months. We would put it outside in their pen but our snow is not super wet and we almost never get rain in the winter or really in the summer. So what are your thoughts on this?
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

I free choice the hay year round in giant 6 tie square bales. It's way easier than feeding by hand and that way I know they all get what they need...however they stay a little over conditioned. They also waste a lot.

How many goats do you have?...I definately wouldn't expect one round bale to last 3 months for very many goats. They'll just eat on it constantly.



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Old 12-10-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

We have 9 does and 3 bucks. But I would just give the bucks the horses hay like we are doing now so we would just be giving it to the does. I would think that it would last a long time only feeding 9 goats. No?

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

What kind of hay? The problem with putting the big bales out is that they jump on it, pee/poop on it, walk on the loose stuff, eat off just the leafy stuff first so the rest starts going to waste. If you could make some sort of feeder so they can't jump on it and pull it apart to much that would be ideal.

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Old 12-11-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

yep thats it. if you use a round bale but.fedd off.it, so they are limited then it would last that long. but if given free access to them, they waste a lot by sleeping in it. mine will also stuff themselvrs silly on it. which is why i just pull a bit off my round bale every few days and put it in their feeders. its a pain to handle.but.so much kinder on my bank account. you can wrap a cattle panel around it and cover the top with tin, that helps reduce waste and soiling also keeps the rain away. tighten the cattle panel as they eat it away.

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Old 12-11-2011, 03:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

I feed the goats and horses off a round bale. We built a feeder that lasts the 3 goats a week. We protect our bale by arching 2 cattle panels with a tarp covering them.

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Old 12-11-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

We made a round bale feeder for our goats out of an old cattle feeder, cut in half to make a moon shape, lifted it off the ground and welded a horse panel to the inside to help hold the hay in. On the ends we used cattle panels and made one end into a gate so we can just set the bale in. We recently made a top out of tin to keep the rain off. I have 13 full sized goats on a large bale (5 x 6) and it lasts them about a month.

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Old 12-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

I just started using round bales for my main doe pen since the farmer who cut our hay this year couldn't make sqaure bales. It lasts about 2 weeks for 1 nubian, 3 mini nubians, and about 8 nigerians. It is just mixed grass hay and on the small side for round bales. I do supplement them with alfalfa pellets. My junior does, bucks and mommas with kids all get fed off of square bales. I haven't thought of any clever way to keep the round bale covered so at this point, I keep an eye on the weather and only get a new one if it looks like a dry stretch for a while. Otherwise they just get square bales.

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Old 12-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

We have used round bales for years. There is waste with them, but it is less work for us. The only thing you do need to watch is goats can eat out the center or lower end and it can collapse. So when it is getting top heavy you need to jump on it so the center gives in and stay flat or push it over. Again their is waste and that is the worst part, but we get much winds and snow and the goats here tend to use that for nesting and warmth. They also at night and some days use the bale to block winds. I see nothing wrong with it and we have about 60 head so it works here.

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Goats and round bales?

I put my round bales up on pallets to keep them dry, then I put four, 8ft lengths of hog panel around them. Hog panels are a sturdy, welded wire panel that is about 3 ft tall. They can stick their heads through to get to the hay but can't climb onto the bales. WAAAAAY less waste.

I came up with this set-up after the frustration of watching my goats climb all over a fresh round bale, scattering hay all over, then peeing and pooing on it! One doe walked all the way from the small, front pen out to the pasture just to pee on the hay and then walk back!

Now they can eat but can't waste much. I also have a tarp over the top to keep it dry.



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