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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Xandras_Zoo, Dec 3, 2004.
What are the average dimensions of a 50 pound hay bale? I think they're about 5' long?
I'd say about 3 1/2' by 2 1/2' wide. That's about what mine are, but I don't know the weight.
You need one more dimension to form a cube.
Small square bales have end dimensions of 14" high and 18" wide. When you bale, you can control the length of the bales. A five-foot long bale is fairly long, couldn't make them that long out of a NH or IH throw baler, the bale length would cause the thrower belt/rolls to "burn" off the twines.
Some of the older small square balers used to make a bale with 16" by 18" end dimensions. Closer to square and easier to stack, especially on edge.
Weight of the bale is a function of length of bale, type of hay and moisture of hay, and baler tension. It's typically better to buy hay by weight (most hay auctions are selling by the ton) and quality (tested for relative feed value, protein, fiber, % dry matter) rather than by the bale.
The large square bales typically have end dimensions of 3' by 3' and 8' length. I'd guess they run an average weight of 850-1000 lbs.
I bought some coastal hay and then the people used a bale loader/hauler machine to carry it to the barn. Their bales weighed around 70 lbs and were longer than average. I asked about it and the man said that to use the hauler/stacker thing (most amazing machine I have ever seen!!) the bales had to be longer than regular bales. I believe mine are close to five feet long (over 48 inches). I don't understand why the baler has to be set for a bigger bale but the man running the automatic stacker said small bales would not work in that machine. So now I have to cut the twine on those bales and then move them in halves as I can't pick up the 70 lb bales. I must say all of them are of uniform size and I loved the price - $2.50 a bale, rain and weed free, 14% protein tested!!! Course I did have to get them out of the field at that price. And man did I screw up my hurt shoulder trying to lift them. Got 150 bales though which was a good price for that quality of hay.
A 60 inch long bale would be much heavier than 70 lbs from my baler, tho I'm not sure the NH 270 could make them that long. I get over 50 lbs with just the regular size bales. I can understand a bale accumulator & bale grab being real fussy about uniform size, but 60 inches would be an unusual size!
I don't sell hay, so I make my bales at 35 to 40 pounds. My wife and daughter and I can handle them . I have an old worned out back.
Most of the bales coming out of small square balers will lay end to end on a 7 foot hay rack without hanging over the sides. 3 1/2 feet is about average length. If the hay is baled a little too wet, the bales get very heavy. After they have been in the barn for several months and dried out, they are still very heavy. I never understood why they don't get lighter when they dry out.
The ones we get at an auction, about 25 miles from here, are usually about 1ft x 1.5ft x 3ft. We got a load of smaller ones that were like 2.5 ft long, but those didnt stack nearly as nice, probably because I started my pile with the longer ones. Next year, were thinking about getting a baler then I can make my own, I would probably make them smaller because then they are lighter and stronger. A stacker may need a certin length so that the baler feeds it far enough into the stacker for it to grab it. They are pretty neat machines though.
Most of my bales are 14 by 18 by about 40 -48 inches. Weight depends on how tightly packed and upon what kind of hay or straw is being baled. alfalfa is usually the heaviest at about 70 lbs, straw the lightest at about 35-40.