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View Full Version : Ring feeder, bale buddy, or DIY?!



diddy
05-12-13, 07:48 PM
Hi all,

Doing my head in looking at old threads here! Which of the above options (or anything else Iíve not thought of!) would you recommend for feeding big bale haylage in the field?

Last year, I just used to put piles out everyday but Iím on a mission to make my life easier so want to be able to put the bale out & leave them to it.

I know some people hate the metal ring feeders, but Iím inclined to go that way. Silly question Ė I donít have access to a tractor so can you just put the ring feeder around the bale, rather than dropping it in..?

The bale buddy seems a similar price to the ring feeder, which seems a bit bonkers Ė does anyone have one? And is it worth it?

Or finallyÖ(!) Iíve seen a couple of threads suggesting you can just make a ďboxĒ out of pallets. But Iíd be worried about them sticking their feet through. Has anyone made their own & perhaps lined it with something to stop any accidents..?

Phew Ė any thoughts welcome.

Thank you :)

D. x

Inthesticks
05-12-13, 07:55 PM
I use fork lift/tractor tyres, farmers have to pay to dispose of them so will offer for free...

diddy
05-12-13, 08:11 PM
Ooh thank you! Can you fit a whole bale in one or do you just stuff it with as much as you can..?

3Beasties
05-12-13, 08:15 PM
I made a feeder out of tractor tyres tonight, I don't think it would hold a full bale!

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/jen1602/hayfeeder1_zps6eedcb37.jpg

http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo266/jen1602/hayfeeder_zps2cfc6e2e.jpg

Nugget La Poneh
05-12-13, 08:17 PM
You can get split ones so once the bale is put into the field you can then wrap the ring around it.

Or you can just leave the bale in without a ring?

ETA: I have seen giant haynets for round bales that look to go one over the top and secure somehow at the bottom, but not sure what happens when the bale is eaten down?

Kooklet
05-12-13, 08:21 PM
The riding school I worked for has metal ring feeders in their fields! Although After a while, when the fields turn muddy, the horses would always be up to their belly's in the 'moat' of sludge around them which was a pain for getting hem clean again!

amandaco2
05-12-13, 08:50 PM
I have ring feeder on hardcore feeding area. Mine wil unwrap so dont need to lift bale
big square lasts 4 about ten days very little wasted.

ClobellsandBaubles
05-12-13, 09:13 PM
I have seen large tyres used with a net over the top I think it was Spookypony, that looked quite good, other than that I am used to the large bales just being put in the fields but then they tend to get used as a nice bed rather than eaten.

Kallibear
05-12-13, 10:34 PM
Metal ring feeder can be flipped up on their side. The bale isrolled in (doesn't need tipped back on its end either if the ring is big enough) all plastic and netting removed and the ring feeder flipped back down over the top. Most feeders are easily flipped up by one person and easy to roll too.

Enfys
06-12-13, 04:51 AM
Hmmm, DIY...

http://i377.photobucket.com/albums/oo216/Enfys_album/November2013021.jpg


I don't feed big bales out in the field anymore, I hate the mud, the waste and the mess. It would make my life easier. I hear nets are very good but at $200 each here ... I have 6 paddocks in use, so at least 7 bales to be netted :( I don't think so ....

I do like these plastic ring feeders though.

http://i377.photobucket.com/albums/oo216/Enfys_album/hay_feeder06.jpg

diddy
06-12-13, 08:02 AM
Darn it - posted a long reply & deleted it :) Thanks for the ideas everyone. Loving the DIY solutions. Although I'm guessing Enfys that my ground would get chewed up if I was able to copy yours - fab btw! Kallibear - Thanks very much for the guide to using a feeder. Didn't want to get one only to find I couldn't use it!

Am going to call ag merchants today & get prices on sheep feeders, otherwise will get handy with a hammer!

Thanks again all :)

D. x

hayinamanger
06-12-13, 08:17 AM
I feed outdoor hay on the ground when the weather is reasonable, once the mud becomes a problem, the horses come in.

I have considered using a round bale feeder, but I think there would be more mess, more waste and the risk of a horse getting stuck in one.

I would not want to use any DIY arrangement made from pallets, too many nails.

xxcharlottexx
06-12-13, 08:35 AM
I have bought a ring feeder this year and a net to go over the top so hopefully will be much less wastage this year! The ring feeder I bought splits into two parts so you can place the bale where you want then put the feeder around it, however not all of them are like that.

MagicMelon
06-12-13, 11:42 AM
OP, I'm wondering the same thing as well. Problem with my horses is that they don't tend to like wet hay! So most of these wouldn't work :( Need some sort of round feeder with a lid on it and haynet type sides...?

twiggy2
06-12-13, 11:47 AM
wheelie bins with a large hole cut in the bottom?

Kallibear
06-12-13, 11:54 AM
OP, I'm wondering the same thing as well. Problem with my horses is that they don't tend to like wet hay! So most of these wouldn't work :( Need some sort of round feeder with a lid on it and haynet type sides...?

They've got one like that at Millers at Fordel ( or did). Looks a little like a small round plastic shed with large slots at the sides that they can get their nose in. Think it was about £300

Spring Feather
06-12-13, 02:27 PM
You really need to have around 5 horses in a field to make the best use of metal hay feeders otherwise the hay will sit there for too long. I have 50 horses here so every field has one or two metal hay feeders (the horse ones not the cattle ones!). No way would I ever get them all hayed each day if I had to go around and feed hay daily. The horse feeders split into 3 pieces so can be disassembled if needs be or they can be tipped over to allow a bale to be rolled in. I lift them with the tractor spike if I'm moving them about the field though and then I put the bucket on the tractor and scrape all the poop and hay mess away from the area and then move the hay feeder back. There is a lot of wastage with hay feeders though; we run at between 25% and if the hay is very fine then this can rise to 40-50% at times. Do you have hay houses over there? I have too many fields/horses to use these but for those with only a handful of horses they seem to work fabulously! And there's little wastage from what I've heard. Bale buddies are the worst invention ever imo. I don't use the nets, kinda goes against my philosophies of adlib as I actually want my horses to eat as much as possible, and don't want to slow them down lol.

Charmel
06-12-13, 02:38 PM
Metal ring feeder can be flipped up on their side. The bale isrolled in (doesn't need tipped back on its end either if the ring is big enough) all plastic and netting removed and the ring feeder flipped back down over the top. Most feeders are easily flipped up by one person and easy to roll too.

This is exactly what I do.....however I am thinking of putting a giant haynet over the top to slow them down as they are eating it very quickly. A large round bale of haylage lasting 4 days for 5 horses and 3 small ponies. only in that field overnight, in a field with lots of grass by day. Day field too close to road and not secure enough for overnight.

honetpot
06-12-13, 03:14 PM
I bought one of these http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSyXMgz9Cd4&feature=youtu.be

The netting is very strong, I also have a bale toppa which is not well made. I put it the ring feeder with the bale toppa on the top as well and they still manage to waste loads. Both need small holes

p87
06-12-13, 04:34 PM
I take a wheelbarrow in to the field with a bale of hay, and scatter it leaf by leaf round the field. Takes about ten minutes. I don't want them standing in the one place eating because

a) there is one bully who will try and have it all to themselves
b) I want to encourage them to move around, not getting stiff from standing in the one spot
c) I want to encourage them to forage naturally
d) I don't want the ground getting churned up

It works very well, and they seem to 'discover' new patches of grazing meaning I don't need to put as much hay out. There is also no hay wastage at all. Whatsoever. Most likely because by the time they have foraged and found a pile of hay they eat it since it took them time to find it in the first place!

p87
06-12-13, 04:34 PM
I take a wheelbarrow in to the field with a bale of hay, and scatter it leaf by leaf round the field. Takes about ten minutes. I don't want them standing in the one place eating because

a) there is one bully who will try and have it all to themselves
b) I want to encourage them to move around, not getting stiff from standing in the one spot
c) I want to encourage them to forage naturally
d) I don't want the ground getting churned up

It works very well, and they seem to 'discover' new patches of grazing meaning I don't need to put as much hay out. There is also no hay wastage at all. Whatsoever. Most likely because by the time they have foraged and found a pile of hay they eat it since it took them time to find it in the first place!

Renvers
06-12-13, 04:57 PM
Bale Buddy is a good idea it certainly is very movable so one person can fi it, move it roll it etc. If it sets on wet mud it will start to get wet at the bottom so may be better for a group where it won't stand out too long/ or if you can put it in a well drained area.

coffeeandabagel
15-12-13, 09:25 PM
I put my first round bale down last Saturday and until today it was looking good - being eaten reasonably tidyly (I scooped up the stuff they have flung around and threw it on top) but since last night its been raining most of the time and now there is just a small soggy pile left they arent that keen to eat it. Stuff at the bottom is sodden and brown. Thats one bale between two out full time and 1 out days only. I am really tempted by bale buddy why dont people like them...? xxxCharlotexxx where did you get your ring feeder and net?

magicmoose
15-12-13, 09:38 PM
Have a look at the Hay Bell. I haven't used one but they sound like a good idea and look well made.

http://davidsons-vs.com/index.php/identification-1/jfc/jfc-haybell.html

coffeeandabagel
15-12-13, 09:43 PM
Hugely expensive!!

Jnhuk
16-12-13, 12:24 AM
I got a big bale buddy in the autumn and so far I have found that it keeps the hay in and there is lot less wastage than when just bale out without anything. It is a bit of a learning curve to know how much hay you need to wind off the bale to be able to get the BBB on over it. It is easier with two people to be honest but possible with one and does gets easier after the first few times. Horses will make the area round the bale muddy if not on hardcore.

I also got one of those big haynets to use inside it. I used it once and not going to use it again as my dominant horse decided he was going to try and hog the whole bale and the other horse ended up with a shredded rug. The big haynet are only for use with unshod horses unless covered. It does have a way of gathering it together when the bale shrinks. It also came with metal pegs to hammer in which i didn't use and I am not sure I would have been happy about them.

I am currently using just the BBB inside a big field shelter and it is working well. I did try to improvise the same thing out of some tarpaulin and bungee straps last winter which was a lot more cheaper but less effective at reducing wastage.

honetpot
16-12-13, 01:04 AM
I have just bought two hockey nets off ebay, I already have a bale net but the holes are too big and it doesn't fit my new round bales, they are huge. I am going to experiment. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A-pair-of-Heavy-Duty-Black-Harrod-HOC-001-hockey-Nets-New-/370964523726?pt=UK_Hockey&hash=item565f356ace
I also bought some wind break which I thought I could make a wrap round as it fairly rigid.

coffeeandabagel
16-12-13, 07:34 AM
I think since mine are shod that a net at foot height wont be a good idea - I did see the sister product on BBB page, Nah, not for us.Very soggy pile of hay in the field this morning - will be interested to see whats left when I get back tonight - eaten or trampled or slept on!

smokey
16-12-13, 08:30 AM
I used to use a large compost bin and fill it every day. There is a thread here somewhere! Now have a round feeder and.large.round bale. Just please br aware that there can be sharp edges on the bars. Our bars are now wrapped in duct tape after my horse gashed her face quite badly.

DCJACE
16-12-13, 10:51 AM
I use a Poise net ...... it`s been worth its weight in gold :)

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d99/Hazysp8/Coby%20Custard%20Favs/559654_4427637162796_1208182345_n.jpg

coffeeandabagel
16-12-13, 11:11 AM
Are your horses shod? One of mine got a tooth stuck on his haynet this week in the stable so goodness knows what he could do with this! (he is shod)

only_me
16-12-13, 11:31 AM
I have this http://www.horsehayfeeder.co.uk/#!the-hay-saver/c6qc
Which i use in the yard as bill would easily eat a bale of hay a day when in (he lives in a yard) and the haynets were so heavy!!

It is great, very easy to use! I thought about making a wooden one but billy plays with everything so thought the plastic would be more durable :)

ester
16-12-13, 12:23 PM
I use a Poise net ...... it`s been worth its weight in gold :)

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d99/Hazysp8/Coby%20Custard%20Favs/559654_4427637162796_1208182345_n.jpg

With these type things what happens when you get down to half a bale? lots of loose net?

honetpot
16-12-13, 03:16 PM
I put my bale net in a ring feeder, mine don't have shoes but you can tie it to the bottom of the feeder so the net stays in the feeder. When the net collapses the still manage to stuff their faces with on the dregs left in the bottom.

CeeBee
16-12-13, 04:20 PM
Harvey loved his Big Bale Buddy!
http://i872.photobucket.com/albums/ab285/CeeBee57/Harvey_sitting-sm.jpg (http://s872.photobucket.com/user/CeeBee57/media/Harvey_sitting-sm.jpg.html)

CeeBee
16-12-13, 04:23 PM
It's a while since I've tried to post a pic, try this one...
http://i872.photobucket.com/albums/ab285/CeeBee57/Harvey_sitting-sm.jpg

coffeeandabagel
16-12-13, 08:56 PM
I like Harvey!! Do you still use the BBB?

CeeBee
16-12-13, 09:30 PM
I like Harvey!! Do you still use the BBB?

Thank you, he is special in lots of ways :)
No, I don't use it any more, but only because I moved to a livery yard. I found it very useful and it definitely saved on hay and field poaching. You do need to make sure you get the right size though as if its a bit small its very difficult to put on the bale. I didn't take the 'string' off the bale, I used to wait till it was eaten down a bit and then remove it.

DCJACE
16-12-13, 10:05 PM
With these type things what happens when you get down to half a bale? lots of loose net?

Hi, as it empties it shrinks down, i shall try and get some photos over this next week as i put a new bale out for them on Saturday, so will take pics as the week goes on :)