Big round hay bales ...

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Julie, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Julie

    Julie New Member

    464
    Oct 5, 2007
    Southern PA
    Ok, I got a question - until now we've fed the regular sized square bales of hay to our goats. But recently my husband asked a farmer (my husband works on the farmer's property) about his round hay bales sitting in the field. They've been there for a year or two in the open weather. The outside layer/s aren't much good - but DH said that if we'd take the outer layers off - the rest seems fine. My DH also asked the farmer who said that the hay would be fine if the outer layers were removed. So my husband brought a few home - he got them for FREE. So what do you all think ? Are they ok to feed my animals if we remove the outer layer/s ?
     
  2. trob1

    trob1 New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Middle TN
    Well at a year or two in the open weather there won't be much nutrition left in them. I personally wouldnt feed them to my goats. Not worth the chance of them getting sick and with no nutrition left in them they arent good for anything but roughage for cows.
     

  3. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    Make sure they aren't moldy. I have seen round bales that sat out in the weather that got nasty and moldy in the center...it does happen. If its not moldy go ahead and feed it to them and watch them closely for them dropping weight. If they do start dropping weight then you'll either need to switch hay or add something to their diet besides the hay.
     
  4. getchagoat

    getchagoat New Member

    6
    Oct 5, 2007
    waco ky
    As long as they aren't moldy they should be safe to feed. However, there will be little nutrition in the hay. If you are giong to feed them I would sugest also giving them a better hay as part of the ration along with whatever grain, if any that you usually feed.
     
  5. Julie

    Julie New Member

    464
    Oct 5, 2007
    Southern PA
    Well I do feed them grain as well. They all get DUMOR goat show feed along with 1/4 cup of BOSS in each of their bowls, and also free choice sweetlix loose mineral.

    The main reason my hubby even asked the farmer about the round bales is because we purchased alot of square bales not long ago from my hubby's grandpap (where we normally get our hay), but once hubby brought it home I realized that it's VERY VERY dusty. Not moldy - but DUSTY. It's HORRIBLY dusty ! I can't hardly stand to pick it up because of the dust that flies ! I complained to hubby about it telling him that we wasted our money on that hay and I need to find someone else to buy from now. So as much as I haven't wanted to - I've had no other choice but to feed the animals the dusty hay. So then hubby asked about the round bales thinking perhaps they'd be better than these dusty ones. DH checked the inside of the round bales (although I personally haven't had a chance to look for myself yet) and he said that they look good inside. Even still a bit green. And he got them for FREE - so of course he brought them home to see what I thought. When I check them (probably today), if I think they don't look good enough to use - we can always use them for something else, like bedding for our dogs outside, etc. But it would be nice to be able to use them since our square bales aren't that great. So hopefully they really are fine.
     
  6. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    Goodluck with them. I would soooooooo LOVE to get another round bale like what we had gotten earlier. I know all my animals LOVED that hay and it was green and smelled REALLY good. and the bale was HUGE! Lol. But that guy raised his prices really high.
     
  7. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    As long as it has a good smell and isn't showing mold in the center it should be fine....just watch and see if any of them lose condition. The only problem I ever had with the 1 round bale I got was that I found a snake and a rabbit baled up with it...it was winter time so a I noticed no smell and the bale was just about gone before I discovered the "bodies"....ick!
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    if your other hay is that dusty this other hay might be worth checking into using.

    Try and see how the goats like it. You know what not to feed them so it wouldn't be like you were risking their health - go with your gut on it.
     
  9. Julie

    Julie New Member

    464
    Oct 5, 2007
    Southern PA
    Ok ... thanks :) I peeled off the top couple of layers and actually the hay looks good ! in my opinion anyway. It's not quite green still - but it's nice and yellow - doesn't look dried out or moldy at all ! It looks much better than they hay they've been eating. And they seem to be eating it (I just gave it to them tonight). So guess I'll keep an eye on them and how they're doing with it, etc.
     
  10. GSFarm

    GSFarm New Member

    312
    Oct 6, 2007
    Fairview, TN
    Yeah just watch them. I would use only the newer of the bales and use the oldests for bedding.
     
  11. lacy_94

    lacy_94 New Member

    192
    Oct 6, 2007
    North Fla
    if you find some parts in it not suitable for eating then use it as bedding in badocks and stuff, or chickens coops
     
  12. kuiltin_kelly

    kuiltin_kelly New Member

    10
    Oct 5, 2007
    North central WI
    I would feed it. 2 yrs ago when my folks got out of diary farming they gave me about 20 bales just like you have. We peeled the outside off, used that for bedding and fed the rest. the goats loved it and they didn't lose any weight or their condition. Ithink as long as it wasn't sitting in a hole where water soaked into it it should be fine. If its not as nitritious as what you normally feed grain extra and give them more of the hay, they will eat what they need to stay healthy even if its not up to par. As long as it free hay they should be allowed to eat as much as they need, At least thats what I did.