Goats and round bales?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by RMADairyGoats, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. RMADairyGoats

    RMADairyGoats New Member

    Jun 19, 2011
    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?
    Thanks! :shades:
  2. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    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.

  3. RMADairyGoats

    RMADairyGoats New Member

    Jun 19, 2011
    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?
  4. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    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.
  5. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    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.
  6. Devin

    Devin New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    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.
  7. ptgoats45

    ptgoats45 Goat Girl

    Nov 28, 2011
    NE Oklahoma
    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.
  8. Sunny Daze

    Sunny Daze New Member

    May 18, 2010
    Fairplay, MD
    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.
  9. 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.
  10. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    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! :GAAH:

    Now they can eat but can't waste much. I also have a tarp over the top to keep it dry. :laugh:
  11. Breezy-Trail

    Breezy-Trail Senior Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    Sprakers, New York
    I am also considering round bales.
    I will have to get 300 square or 30 round. I am not sure what would be better except I don't have space to store to many round bales unless under a tarp.
  12. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    zero waster here!!! love using round bales!
    Put the bale on a huge pallet, wrap it with a hog panel and cover with a dry cloth or canvas to keep snow off
    as the bale is eaten, you can tighten the panel!
  13. logansmommy7

    logansmommy7 New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I just got my first round bale for my animals-which are two llamas, and 11 Nigerians. I can't wait to see how long it lasts. I still give the girls (ND's) their flakes of alfalfa mix each night-but the swarm they hay feeder (round bale with a cattle panel and covered from the rain) each night and cry like they are starving-those drama queens!!!
  14. Stacie1205

    Stacie1205 New Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    I, like others have tried a whole round bale only to see them waste ALOT of it. I tried using some left over fencing around the bale with t-posts to secure it. BIG MISTAKE!!! They eventually wore the fencing down on one side and were lying on part of the bale and eatting the rest. So I thought, well, that's ok. What I didn't expect was one of my nubians somehow got her foot wrapped up in the fencing and was lying there crying when I went out to feed! Took alot of work but I got her free and she was eventually fine. Now I have one of the cattle feeders that holds a round bale off the ground in a V. Has worked well but the same nubian some how got her head stuck between the bars this month :GAAH: So I may have to look for another option.
  15. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    We keep some round bales around. Last year we kept one in the pen at all times and they wasted a lot. We ended up opening them and stuffing them in a stall and using it to fill up their hay feeders.
    The only thing I found that worked was putting it on a pallet, and putting pallets around it but you have to make sure the pallets are safe so they don't get stuck in them. Also you don't want them eating from the bottom if you can help it, so it doesn't tip over. We covered ours with a tarp and had no issues.

    We have 2 round bales, a third one my husband opened up and put in the barn, and a 4th one we had put in the pen but didn't put anything around it and they wasted most of it, and they kept knocking the cover off.

    When I get more pallets we'll put another round bale out there, maybe put a piece of wood w/tarp over it or just a heavy duty tarp.