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hey everyone! i have a question about round bales as i am new to them. i have a horse and 6 goats and recently decided to try round bales, with hay prices way up due to the drought we had in N.H., it seemed like the best way to go. I had 3 of them stored underneath a pool cover which i now realize was overkill, it got hot and humid under the tarp and the outer layers of the round bales got white mold, they were only stored like that for a week and a half and i checked them a couple times and left for vacation for 5 days so i believe it was within that time frame they became moldy. i have moved them into a sunny area uncovered on pallets but i am unsure how to take care of the mold and i’m concerned it will spread, should i cut the netting off and peal off the moldy layer? then how will they store? i’m worried they will just fall apart without the netting and i’m not ready to use them yet. Thanks in advance.
 

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Use pallets or boards on top to create an air space between the bales and the covering and leave openings at each end for circulation. I wouldn't cut the netting until you have them where you want to use them. Just keep them as dry as possible until then.
 

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Never feed moldy hay to goats.
 

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Punch the ends of the bale with a fist, if it's tight enough to feel very solid, leave the hay uncovered and put it on pallets, when you feed it scrape off the top 1-2 inches, the rest will be good feed. If it's loose/soft when you punch it, find a new supplier, you are getting shorted. Seth
 

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Never feed moldy hay to goats.
I was wondering about that: the common wisdom is that horses(who can't vomit) shouldn't eat moldy hay, but cattle (ruminants- digestion employs regurgitation as part of the plan) have no problem with it.....What gives with goats, who are ruminants and seem to be able to eat anything?

(Did you hear the one about the two goats out in the alley behind the movie theater, eating old films thrown out in the trash? "How'd you like yours?" asked the one...."I liked the book better," replied the other.)

In regards the OP-- small squares are hard to come by around here, so I started buying round bales two yrs ago. Horses pick thru it and have no ill effects, despite a few obviously tainted spots on the outside. With a nose that big, they gotta have good olfactory senses and then use their horse sense...Maybe the advice against feeding moldy hay comes from stabled horses who have no choice in what they eat and can't pick thru an excess supply?
 

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I was wondering about that: the common wisdom is that horses(who can't vomit) shouldn't eat moldy hay, but cattle (ruminants- digestion employs regurgitation as part of the plan) have no problem with it.....What gives with goats, who are ruminants and seem to be able to eat anything?

(Did you hear the one about the two goats out in the alley behind the movie theater, eating old films thrown out in the trash? "How'd you like yours?" asked the one...."I liked the book better," replied the other.)

In regards the OP-- small squares are hard to come by around here, so I started buying round bales two yrs ago. Horses pick thru it and have no ill effects, despite a few obviously tainted spots on the outside. With a nose that big, they gotta have good olfactory senses and then use their horse sense...Maybe the advice against feeding moldy hay comes from stabled horses who have no choice in what they eat and can't pick thru an excess supply?
My mules won't eat moldy hay, the horses gobble it up like candy. Have to watch them close. Store your round bales out in the sun, with no cover. They will get wet, and in winter will be covered with snow. The top three or so inches will turn black, but the sunlight will keep the mold away. Pull off the discolored hay, and feed it. I won't feed round bales to horses, because they waste too much. I buy one hundred pound square bales, and keep them in a forty foot shipping container. I can measure out exactly the amount I wish to feed, with no waste.
 

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Don't feed round bales to horses (at least do so very carefully). They will almost inevitably eat a hole into the bale, sticking their head in farther and farther. If the hay is dusty, they inhale the dust in the confined space of the hole causing a type of pneumonia.
 

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Don't feed round bales to horses (at least do so very carefully). They will almost inevitably eat a hole into the bale, sticking their head in farther and farther. If the hay is dusty, they inhale the dust in the confined space of the hole causing a type of pneumonia.
That’s not been my experience but we always fed very good quality round bales.
horses usually pull it apart as they eat and if it’s not in a feeder, they’ll waste a ton of it that way.
We bought smaller round bales and put them in a horse safe feeder. Even in bad weather they were able to eat it faster than it could mold.
None ever ate a hole in it and got pneumonia, heaves, etc. though if a horse already had heaves I wouldn’t do it.
 
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That’s not been my experience but we always fed very good quality round bales.
horses usually pull it apart as they eat and if it’s not in a feeder, they’ll waste a ton of it that way.
We bought smaller round bales and put them in a horse safe feeder. Even in bad weather they were able to eat it faster than it could mold.
None ever ate a hole in it and got pneumonia, heaves, etc. though if a horse already had heaves I wouldn’t do it.
I only brought in round bales the first couple of years until I got set up to do my own hay... I do haycocks now. Funny thing is, that with the round bales my Perches tore them apart as you say but, my saddle horses and mini would just about burrow a hole right through the middle. I had many an old timer chastise me thoroughly for feeding round bales.

Thanks for coming up with "heaves"... I know that's the proper term (though I couldn't think of it). Locally they mostly call it dust lung or dust pneumonia.
 
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I only brought in round bales the first couple of years until I got set up to do my own hay... I do haycocks now. Funny thing is, that with the round bales my Perches tore them apart as you say but, my saddle horses and mini would just about burrow a hole right through the middle. I had many an old timer chastise me thoroughly for feeding round bales.

Thanks for coming up with "heaves"... I know that's the proper term (though I couldn't think of it). Locally they mostly call it dust lung or dust pneumonia.
The piece of advice that I remember best from old timers was to never use a tractor tire as a feeder. I kind of thought that was crazy though I never did use one. But then I met someone whose mare fell into the tire, got bolloxed up in it and dked of asphyxiation. Horrible tragedy. Horses practically look for ways to kill themselves.
 

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The piece of advice that I remember best from old timers was to never use a tractor tire as a feeder. I kind of thought that was crazy though I never did use one. But then I met someone whose mare fell into the tire, got bolloxed up in it and does of asphyxiation. Horrible tragedy. Horses practically look for ways to kill themselves.
It isn't just horses. I tell everyone as they observe their livestock peacefully resting, chewing their cud looking content....they are secretly devising ways to kill themselves. Let me stick my head in between these concrete feeders, I'm going to walk in the feeder next to the electric fence while everyone is trying to eat the feed none of them will knock me over on my back getting shocked over and over, there is possibly room in between this fence post and the automatic waterer to get wedged in, that bull weighs three times more than me, but I am going to get through that alley gate first, that conduit to keep that tree growing straight has a bigger opening 2 ft off the ground than 1 ft off the ground and if I stretch just right I can get my head stuck.
 

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...Horses practically look for ways to kill themselves.
Tell me about it. I had a great saddle horse... gaited, calm under pressure, friendly and gentle. Darned thing seemed to know exactly what I was thinking. But... he ripped a big chunk of skin lose off his shin (sticking his hoof through a hole in his stall, three feet off the ground that I couldn't fit my hand through). Next time he tore an eyelid on a fence post. The third time he ripped his right side lower lip when he got caught in a gate hinge... still ain't figured out exactly how he did that.

Anyways, that was over three grand in vet bills in just a little over a year. As I said, he was a great horse but he wasn't a homestead horse so I had to sell him to a family that had the ultimate set-up for him... a set-up like a professional stable would have... where everything is just perfect. I was so sad to let him go but he was going to end up killing himself and I couldn't afford the vet bills.
 
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