Handling round bales without tractor?

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Anonymous

I'm just starting out in the cattle business and am thinking ahead to the winter and want to buy the round bales of hay instead of the more expensive square bales. I am trying to think of a way to load/unload the round hay bales, but I do not have a tractor yet. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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OP
A

Anonymous

You can move them with a truck and a trailer called a tumblebug or hay buggie. The disadvantages -vs- a tractor are you can only move one at a time, you can't stack them two high ,if the field or hay pen where you keep the bales is muddy it is easier to get stuck and you have to either go get the bales one at a time or have someone deliver and stack the hay for you. On the positive side, the price for a new hay buggie is far less than a new tractor. I have seen them for as little as six hundred dollars and used one can be had for even less. If you don't have to move a lot of hay this may be the way to go. good luck

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A

Anonymous

> I'm just starting out in the
> cattle business and am thinking
> ahead to the winter and want to
> buy the round bales of hay instead
> of the more expensive square
> bales. I am trying to think of a
> way to load/unload the round hay
> bales, but I do not have a tractor
> yet. Does anyone have any
> suggestions?

> Any help would be greatly
> appreciated.

I have tractor, but it doesn't have a 3 point hitch or lift mechanism. I use an old car hood and roll the bales on it. I strung a piece of aircraft cable across the front quarters. I use this to pull the bale to the field. It works pretty good and didn't cost munch. One could pull the hood with a truck as long as it isn't to muddy.

Another thought. I don't know your setup , but have an idea I am going to implement this summer. One of my out buildings is adjacent to the alley way to the barn and watering troughs.I am going to make a door in the rear of this building and build a 3 sided hay feeder outside using the building wall as the 4th side. Store my hay in this building. When hay is needed, open door and roll the bale into the feeder. Don't know if it will work, but believe it is worth a try for the cost and small number of head I am feeding.
 
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A

Anonymous

When you first receive the hay, set it in the feed yard or field at about ten foot spacing between bales. Segregate the bales that you want to reserve from the bales that you want the stock to access with an electric fence rope/wire. Through the course of winter you can move the position of the rope/wire to permit access to the next bale, instead of moving the bales.

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OP
A

Anonymous

> When you first receive the hay,
> set it in the feed yard or field
> at about ten foot spacing between
> bales. Segregate the bales that
> you want to reserve from the bales
> that you want the stock to access
> with an electric fence rope/wire.
> Through the course of winter you
> can move the position of the
> rope/wire to permit access to the
> next bale, instead of moving the
> bales.

The idea of segregating the hay with a wire is a very good one, if you have enough space. I considered doing this but by the time you space out 100+ rolls during the time when the cattle are still feeding you may lose a lot of grass space. Consider the ease factor of being able to walk out to your hay during the snow season and changing the wire as opposed to the space you loose during the grassy season.

Another option I'm sure many of us have used when our tractors are broke down is simply tie a rope or chains around the rolls and hook the rope to the trailer ball of your truck and pull that sucker out into the pasture that way.

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