It's very important to cover round bales. I think I've read somewhere that the outer 6 inches of a round bale is 1/3 of the bale. Besides losing nutrients from weather exposure, the exposed bales will become moldy, and some kinds of mold can cause abortion and/or respiratory disease in cattle.<br>
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: How important is it to cover round bales of hay to protect from the elements? Does the hay lose much nutrient value from being exposed to the weather?<p>In the June/July issue of "Cattle Business in <br>Mississippi" an article indicated that keeping the <br>hay off the ground was the most effective use of <br>our resources! Covering was some help, but not as<br>much as you would think.<p>The article indicated that using wooden pallets, <br>old truck tires, long poles, etc. to keep the <br>hay off the ground was a good investment! Of<br>course the best method was a roof and concrete <br>floor!<p>It seems that the hay actually draws water out of<br>the ground, so limiting ground contact was the <br>best help.