Bale Grazing

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chukar

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I am pondering the idea of bale grazing this winter. I am in Southern Oregon, East of Cascades, so we typically feed around 4-5 months depending on fall feed situation.

For those of you that do bale grazing, what sort of distance do you place the bales? I have read that 40ft centers is good, but curious if that is about right. Also, is there a difference if you put the bales on end vs. leaving them on their sides? Obviously more moisture is going to get in them if they are on end, but didn't know if it makes that much difference.

Thanks
 

bigbluegrass

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I have bale grazed the past few winters. I would guess that I put the bales no closer than 20' and no farther than 40'. I usually just space it by what looks about right. The spacing would kind of depend on your soil type, number of cows, size of cows, size of area you want to impact, how much impact you want to have. They need plenty of room to get around the bale. If you put the bales too close together, when they are pushing around for the preferred spot, they can knock your electric fence over.

I put my bales on their side. I feed on a hillside, so I would be afraid if I put it on its end it might flip end for end and take off down the hill. If it is on its side, the cows tend to eat into the ends to get the best hay from the middle first. Then as a last resort, they will eat into the side of the bale.

I would feed on the most worthless ground you have. An old gravel mine or an area with too much rock are perfect. You will be surprised at what will grow next year and they won't tear up that ground too bad.
 

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