Feeding Hay - round bale question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by computerchick, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    OK, don't hate me but this is my first real effort feeding hay. I'm leaving for TN this weekend and my hubby has goat patrol. Normally, I do intensive browsing on a lot of land...but hubby won't have time or patience to walk goats to pasture - So I went and bought a roundbale from a local Charlois breeder - nice nice stuff...rolled it off my trailer and left it on its side in the backyard.

    Other than trimming the netting off from where they can reach it (these are fainters so they won't jump up on it, etc) anything wrong with just leaving it as such? This thing is HUGE...1200 lbs...I have 14 goats back there right now, 2 are two weekers, mom to twins, 2 wethers, 3 bucks and rest bred does, the other goats are in another area. These goats do not receive grain, but are on free choice minerals, kelp and baking soda. Hay is second cutting orchard grass.

    They will be in there for about 1 1/2 weeks.

    [​IMG]

    Sorry if I'm sounding paranoid :p Other than taking off the netting for the most part, can I leave that thing like that for those specific goats????

    Thx!
    Andrea
    www.faintinggoats.com
    www.arare-breed.net
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, you will need to put panels around it or the goats will eat up as far as they can reach and down to the ground, leaving a very good chance that the top half will topple over onto them and squash them. Believe me, it happens. Also...was it stored inside or outside?? If it was stored outside, you ought the pull the outer layers off as they will usually be a bit spoiled for about 1" in. Thats all I can think of at the moment.
    Oh, and to protect your investment, its a very good idea to stretch a tarp over it after you put the panels around it. The goats will eat much more of it that way. :)
     

  3. Va. goatman

    Va. goatman Well-Known Member

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    Nice goats I been doing the same thing for years sometimes I put out 2 at a time 2 will last about a month
     
  4. toomb68

    toomb68 Well-Known Member

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    how the heck do you keep em off your deck? :confused:
     
  5. Tam319

    Tam319 Well-Known Member

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    Hello!

    Your set up will work in a pinch for the short term. The only downside is that they will trample and waste more than they will eat, leaving you with a big pile of soiled hay you'll have to clean up at a later date. My goats like to "peel" the layers of the bale off, just eating the tender, leafy bits and wasting the courser stalks.

    I don't think it will topple over as it is set on its side, not end. If you are able to set up panels (something they won't get their heads stuck in) they will probably waste a lot less. Or set up some panels so they can't access the hay and have hubby fork it to them a couple times a day (probably not the most popular option with hubby! LOL)

    Cute kids!

    Take care,
    Tam
     
  6. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    Panels - awesome,excellent idea - if I secure them to the bale itself - will that work? I have a couple cattle panels leftover from a fencing job...I could probably even use a bungie cord to hold them on each side.

    And as to the porch, they can't jump/climb. They faint if they try.

    Wasn't too worried about the yard this year. Going to garden back there I think, then will reseed iwth actual grass...

    Andrea
     
  7. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I'm sure I am just repeating others, but just for re-inforcement the round bale idea will work easily for a week and a half. On the flip side the clean up when you return home may not have been worth buying that 1200 pound round bale. Don't get me wrong my goat perfer the round bales over square, go figure. Mine are out in the weather supporting cattle. If you had to do to this over again you might want to consider 70lb square bales in a wheeled trash cans with holes as a option. Your hubby would need to reload the trash can every other day...The mess would be minimal. Not to late to think about it. Just roll the round one further away from the house and feed at a different location once you return from the great state of Tennessee...my thoughts!!
    One of my Coast Guard mottos "Work smarter, Not Harder" Enjoy your trip.
     
  8. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Your goat have horns, so panels may not work...it depends on the size of the panel holes. If the holes are to small, just cut out a row/section with bolt cutters. If the holes don't interfer with the horns then you have not problem
     
  9. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I think I have a picture of the trash can idea if you need it!!
     
  10. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    I feed my round bales turned on their end. Keeps it from falling on them, as it "unrolls" as they eat. I don't do anything else except to make sure they have eaten it all before putting out a new one. Works great.

    They'll do fine on hay rations with minerals for your time away.

    BTW, I used to feed out of racks in the barn. I found a few years back that after going to just the rounds out in the barnyard, my goats spend a lot less time in the barn and are a lot healthier for it. If it is not raining or snowing, they are outside. Initially, I was amazed at how much healthier they were by having less shelter. But I then figured out that it's because they also are not in tight confines and are not as exposed to dust, ammonia and germs.
     
  11. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    We use round bales.One lasts about a week with 30 boers.Never have had trouble with it falling over.They do make a mess and the bottom is left in a big pile you have to clean up later.Makes good compost though.I wouldn't mind a picture of the trash can idea.I keep the bucks and babies separate from the main herd and feed them square bales which they also make a mess with.
     
  12. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    i have seen a round bale set like that fall on and kill a goat. try for panels around it. spread the hay that's left out and it'll reseed w/whatever type grass it is and seed the lawn for you :)
     
  13. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the PM topside.Your description should work.I am going to make one this weekend :)
     
  14. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i would stand it on end and make shure all the netting or twine is removed
     
  15. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    I set mine on a pallet and surround it with panels, and cover it with a piece of plywood. Its a "make-do" set up until I can build a better design later on. It cuts way down on waste, but they will still eat out the bottom so tip-over is still a risk. And my sheep dont have horns so thats not a problem. The pallet keeps it drier on the bottom.

    Ive also done the same thing with small bales by just using smaller pieces of panel, and standing the bales on end.
     
  16. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    We've had our horned goats get stuck in cattle panels around round bales. We cut every other section to make the holes 4x bigger, if that makes sense. But you have to do it everywhere. We did the rows we thought they would be eating out of, but as the bale got smaller, they were getting down on their knees and sticking their heads through the second row from the bottom and one got stuck there. So we did all the holes. Haven't had a problem since then.
     
  17. Tam319

    Tam319 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    We are researching different round bale feeder designs as all we feed is round bales and the goats waste so much. I went to two farms yesterday and took pictures of their feeders. If anyone is interested in seeing the design for two different metal round bale feeders for goats (the type where they eat from the underside) I can share!

    Tam
     
  18. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    Tam 319, please do share! Here or by PM! I just bought a brand-new welder.

    :dance:
     
  19. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The best way I have found for me to feed round bales and get the most use for my money, is this.
    Lay(or roll), the round bale onto a pallet, the bale being on its SIDE, not its END. Don't know why they eat it better this way, but they do.
    Wrap a panel(or a panel and a half with LARGE round bales), around it and secure it firmly.
    Cut the strings and remove.
    Cover with canvas tarp if its not under a roof.
    You may need to pull the middle stuff out to the edges a bit as they get into the bale a ways.

    The pallet keeps even the bottom layer dry and edible. The panel keeps the bale from rolling or toppling onto the goats, also keeps them from wasting a LOT. If your bale is wrapped rather than strings, you'll need to unwrap it before setting it on the pallet. I don't have a working tractor and I still feed 1000-1200 lb round bales with much success. I do have siblings to help manhandle them from the truck to the pallets. ;)
    Just the best way I've found and its not expensive.
     
  20. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see pictures too. We have a pretty good system, I think, but we're always looking for new ideas. I'll try to get pics or our two round-bale rigs too. BTW, I'm so glad we switched to round bales. Soooo much easier then having to carry hay out to them every day.