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  #1  
Old 07/25/12, 08:25 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Central Missouri
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For those that feed round bales

Okay, I have decided to feed round bales this winter with a cattle panel wrapped around it. Changing over from square bales. So my question is that for those of you that do, how many goats are you feeding, what size (full, mini) and how long does it last? I am trying to get close in figuring out if I need a few more. I already have some, but this is a whole new way to feed.
Thanks

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Old 07/25/12, 09:25 AM
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The best way to determine hay needs is to know the weight of the bales and the weight of the goats. They should consume 4.5% of their body weight in feed/hay per day.

Wrapping a cattle panel around a round bale doesn't work too well. What happens as the bale gets smaller and smaller? They can't reach the hay. If you keep trying to wrap the panel smaller and smaller, it gets to the point, that they are stiff enough that you can't handle the panel.

One thing you might consider is using poles and making a "V" of the cattle panel or a "U" between the poles. Have the bottom of the panel just up off the ground. Put the round bale in it. This helps keep waste to a minimum and they can still reach it. As they eat the bale, it keeps dropping down to them.

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  #3  
Old 07/25/12, 09:50 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe Ga
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if you place the bales on the flat end down the hay falls downward from the top giving them more hay. There is a point where the hay that is left at about a foot tall I just take the panel off and let them finish it off. I keep a tarp over it as well it needs to be taught enough rain doesn't pool or put the bale at an angle.
I ha e been doing this for a couple years now. For my herd of 25 now they will go through a grass bale in about a month. Its taken them almost three weeks to eat a bale of alfalfa or 825 lbs. The alfalfa I get is really soft stalked so they eat some of it but mostly leaves so I'm not sure weight wise how much they are consuming by weight yet.
I throw scratch in the hay waste so the chickens turn it.
btw this only works for dehorned goats

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Old 07/25/12, 12:12 PM
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I feed 8 goats and a 1200 lb bale with stock panels lasts around a month.

You sort of have to shepherd the process. The goats will stand on the panel to eat at the top. I actually tie the top of the panel to something higher. Also as they eat them down you are better off getting in there and pulling more to the front.

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  #5  
Old 07/25/12, 05:00 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe Ga
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I am feeling lucky because I dont have some of the difficulty doing a round bale as it sound some of you do.
here are some photos, pardon the blue tarp and tire, whats living under it likes it more than I am interested in moving it.


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Old 07/25/12, 05:42 PM
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we feed round bales.. .BUT.. I have a big ol' adult son who is in charge of goat feed/hay.. so we keep the round bales in the hay barn.. he takes off hay and fills up a large wheel barrow.. he then goes around and hand fills all the feeders... I don't like sitting the bales out for the goats.. they eat thru the center, stand and poop on all the hay that lands around the bale and eventually the cored out bale topples over... hopefully not onto a goat.. we talked about fencing off the bale ect.. but this works much better for our situation.. much less waste (only the daily supply of hay is out, so it gets totally eaten)

susie, mo ozarks
oh.. not sure how long a big tight bale really would last, but we avg.. one every 10 days or so in the winter (that's feeding 25-30 goats)

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  #7  
Old 07/25/12, 06:00 PM
 
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Yarrow, if you flip them on the flat end they have to work a bit harder to get the center out

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Old 07/25/12, 06:26 PM
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How fast they go through hay will also depend on the quality - they'll throw stemmy stuff around as much as possible, and good hay will be more thoroughly consumed and thus take longer to consume. Stemmy stuff will also 'clog' the panel, and make it so they can't reach any fresh edible hay, so that's something to consider. The feeder may look full but they might not have access to anything edible because of the stems being in the way.

I take a pallet and put it in our garden during the winter. We roll the bale to the pallet and flip it so that it's sitting on it's flat side on the pallet. We then unwrap it so there's only ONE layer of plastic wrap on the bale, setting the end on TOP of the bale. We wrap a cattle panel around it and secure it pretty tight with aluminium spring snaps. I then climb on top and finish unwrapping the plastic wrap off of the bale. When that bale is about gone, we remove the cattle panel and they'll clean it up over the course of the day. The next day we get a new bale - and move the pallet to a new place in our garden so that they fertilize the next spot.

The goats stick their heads into the bale but I've never seen them eat it in a way which it would dangerously collapse. Usually the layers collapse down slowly, no harm done.

I can't remember how may goats I had last year, not to mention how long a bale lasts...

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  #9  
Old 07/25/12, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon_Farms View Post
Yarrow, if you flip them on the flat end they have to work a bit harder to get the center out
but it's even EASIER to just stay in the house and let the kid pull it off and hand feed it!!!!! (I'm rather spoiled having both adult kids living here on the farm helping with the herd... my only *real* goat duties are figuring out who to breed to who.. and kidding out all the babies !!!!!!) okay,.,. I also bottle feed (and will milk if I have to )

susie, mo ozarks
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  #10  
Old 07/25/12, 10:14 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: West Virginia
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During the winter months, we feed our goats and (ex) bottle calves hay together using a hay net. The calves get separated for an hour or two to get their grain, but we don't plan to grain the goats unless they are nursing.

My 13 year old son is in charge of the hay net. It holds the equivalent of a square bale, but round bales are half the cost per pound of a square bale in our neighborhood. My son is finally learning to pack the hay net as full as possible, or else he will have to refill it that evening The goats will pick through it, some, but the calves quickly devour the dropped hay. Actually, I've seen my goats sort through perfectly good grass to get to the one piece of blackberry in the haynet. My hay supplier loves me . . . I deliberately request the bales that his "horse customers" wouldn't dare feed their babies

Had a lot of discussion in a previous thread about horned goats and hay nets, but mine seem to be quick learners. Once they get caught really good, they learn to avoid that mistake in the future -- besides, their paddock is right outside the kitchen window. Goats are really good entertainment!

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Old 07/26/12, 01:08 AM
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Hmmm...would need to double check with dad. We feed big round bales of hay...mostly in the winter, though the boys are in lockdown and have a round bale in for them.
This is how we initally "wrapped them"

Talk about a mess! That was when we were overwintering around 7-10 goats. Some horned, some not. It kept the bale together longer than just setting them out, but it was still a mess.

Now we set them on their flat side and wrap a cattle panel around them.


This was taken....5 years ago now? That is the very feeder our horned meat wether ready for shipping hung himself in and died because of his blasted horns. Don't mind the cow. She was in the goat pen to calve. The cows can eat from this method so long as the hay is kept close enough for their tongues to gets ahold of it (or they can reach overtop).
With nice, loosely wrapped bales, with softer hay, the hay falls as it is eaten out from underneath. In these pictures you can see how tightly these bales were wrapped. We would work the hay every few days and push it down so the goats could eat it more easily. Having said that, we have had some close calls...usually with the couple of horned does we have left. Red did get her head trapped a couple of winters ago when the outer core thawed enough to collapse around her. We see them daily though, so I managed to get her loose. It is something we are diligent with watching when the hay is at that stage of eating down. At a certain point, the core can be pulled loose and set on its side. At that point the outer rings come up easily.
The above hay feeders were against the fence. We found if we actually put the bale out in the open and wrap a single panel (or with the bigger bales a single and then a straight short piece) the goats will push on the panels to get every little bit of hay. We have even had figure eights. Two bales back to back with two panels. The one draw back to this is the wear and tear on the panels. We have large numbers pushing on the panels and climbing on them, so we go through the less quality panels offered these days than we used to.
Our groups of 30-50 head of goats usually eat through a 1,000 pound round bale every five days to a week. Depends on the numbers, the hay quality etc. We figure 5 pounds of hay per day per goat.

Depending on how your bales were wrapped and stored, some work may need to be done to ready a bale for wrapping.

For us, in the winter we generally have the outer layers to remove...be they frozen, or more often, some rain/wet damage from sitting out. We prefer the netting wrapped bales for less loss.

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Last edited by dosthouhavemilk; 07/26/12 at 01:23 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07/26/12, 01:52 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NewBlaine,AR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colemangirly View Post
Okay, I have decided to feed round bales this winter with a cattle panel wrapped around it. Changing over from square bales. So my question is that for those of you that do, how many goats are you feeding, what size (full, mini) and how long does it last? I am trying to get close in figuring out if I need a few more. I already have some, but this is a whole new way to feed.
Thanks
Please! Please! Please! DONT FEED GOATS ROUND BALES WITH CATTLE RINGS!!!

If you must feed them round bales, pull the hay off of the bale and put into square bale feeders. Or hanging hay feeders. Please dont let them access the whole bale, its not safe!!!
I learned this the hard way.
Goats eat from the bottom up, the bale can collapse on their heads killing them.
the only time this happened to me, i lost 3. Does and 1the baby wether.
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