Unrolling bales

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mitchwi

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Regional variances are the key:

This is how we do it and we are in Wisconsin -

We put out enough round bale feeders that there is more than enough room for every animal and then some. Only start tractors once a week. Whole process of feeding hay takes about hour and half to two hours, from clean up of feeders to then hauling the hay out.

Before we put the new hay in we move the feeders and clean out the stuff still in the bottom, throw what is good and they missed into new location and spread out the rest for a bit of ground cover, this also helps in the spring for ground work when there is no big chunks to try and get through.

We have recently, started picking different fields every fall that is going to be dug and seeded (corn) in the spring. This has saved us $$ two fold... no fertilizer in the spring (for that field) and and no wasted fuel/tractor/time in the spring for cleaning up to spread manure.

This is what works for us, but may not be right for the next...

Michele
 

TLCfromARK

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I agree with the posters who roll out their round bales but we do use a few hay rings where we winter our heifers.

Pros: Cows don't tear up the pasture in wet weather.
Meeker cows & calves don't have to compete as much.
Less waste ( for us at least ).
The scraps that left don't pile up as bad. We feed over
a 80 acre field during the winter.

Cons: More labor intensive ( we roll out by hand most of the
time, not many hills where we feed. I've tried using
tractor but don't seem to have the knack.

Have to feed more often. We feed daily but don't feel
it's much more of a problem because my brother or I
check the cows daily anyway.

It comes down to what works best in your area for you.

"Opinions are like feet, everybody's got them & most of them stink."

;-)
 

certherfbeef

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KenB":1blpyhft said:
Another advantage to me by unrolling is I always feed in a different spot. I try to feed in the rougher areas where the grass is thin, and the soil is poor. This way I am reseeding and building the soil with the waisted hay and manure where I need it the most.

;-) This is what works for me, maybe not everyone.

BINGO!!

I am cheap. I hate to reseed pasture. I also have some pasture that a sane person would not put a tractor on.
After a winter of feeding (unrolling) hay those places are the greenest and the thickest. Seeds the clover right back into the fields with a touch of fertilizer.

I also have horned herfs. The bull wears the rings like a necklace. he gets his head in but cannot get it out without some intervention.

We have less mud and less waste when we unroll the bales. No calves get stepped on trying to find a warm dry place to lay. I make them clean it up before the next group of bales go out. Very, Very little waste.

Unrolling the bales works great for us. That is all personal experience and must not work as well for everyone. But we will never use the rings for anything but the horses.
 

L Weir

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We do both. We roll one bale and the other goes in a hayring. We use a J&L haysaver which has a closed bottom so the hay doesn't touch the ground.
 

stocky

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I like unrolling the bales better for all the positive reasons mentioned. To unroll, you have to feed each day because they will bed on the hay at night. To unroll, you need to have the number of cows in the pasture that will eat one bale per day. Or you could unroll part of a bale, I guess. I feed hay in feeders in pastures that have a smaller number of cattle. I also have pastures where I keep a coarser, or poorer quality hay in the feeders full time and unroll about half of what the cow needs of real good quality hay, so all cows can eat some of the good, but fill up the rest of the way on lesser quality hay. There is also some hay that cows wont clean up unrolled but they will clean it up in the feeder. I unroll down a hillside and it keeps manure scattered and seeds the area. I use feeders and unroll, but whenever I have a choice, I unroll.
 

msscamp

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Cowboy15":1jhysa8z said:
Now why would you unroll a round ball.
Sam

To allow all the cows to eat without being challenged as to heirarchy, and to reduce waste. We don't usually use round bales - they just don't fit our environment or needs very well - but on the few occasions that we have used round bales we always, always unroll them.
 

dj

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stocky":2acx26hz said:
I like unrolling the bales better for all the positive reasons mentioned. To unroll, you have to feed each day because they will bed on the hay at night. To unroll, you need to have the number of cows in the pasture that will eat one bale per day. Or you could unroll part of a bale, I guess. I feed hay in feeders in pastures that have a smaller number of cattle. I also have pastures where I keep a coarser, or poorer quality hay in the feeders full time and unroll about half of what the cow needs of real good quality hay, so all cows can eat some of the good, but fill up the rest of the way on lesser quality hay. There is also some hay that cows wont clean up unrolled but they will clean it up in the feeder. I unroll down a hillside and it keeps manure scattered and seeds the area. I use feeders and unroll, but whenever I have a choice, I unroll.
:nod:
And the years the ice sets unrolling is the only they can get to water with out falling on their bleeps.
 

Dusty Britches

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I agree with jdf

I have been feeding with rings, but I'm disgusted with the loss of hay and ground around the rings. So last year, I unrolled one bale. the cows preferred it over the rings and soon there wasn't a blade of hay from the unrolled bale left.

I've been unrolling them since, but I was just pushing it with my truck. I quickly learned that the hay gets stuck on the radiator, so now I'm trying to figure out how to unroll a bale without the truck and not spend the money on the one for sale that was posted here.

jdf - can you draw a sketch of your's and send it to me?
 

C & C Land & Catt

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I unroll some of my bales with big g hay bed (like a dew eze). We have lots of oilfield washes and dump the rest in those. The advantage to unrolling for us is we will pick a spot where the grass is poor and unroll bermuda and bluestem there. Never unroll in the same place just unroll next to each other and then aerate the next year and fertilize. Usually we can get grass started that way. If u have ever had 2 deal with salt washes u know how hard it is 2 get anything 2 grow. But if u dump hay in them the cows will fertilize and n 2-3 years grass will start growing. As 4 waste we make them clean it up before we put out more.
 

AngusLimoX

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The main reason I do and will continue to use rings is that I am not forcing my cattle to eat where they may have crapped/peed.

I know, they will pick around it, and lots of herds get along fine being fed on the ground, and yes it does happen here sometimes that I just dump one out ( for them to unroll ).

Unless there is a good reason for it there should always be clean feed out, it doesn't take much bacteria or parasites in a mouthful of hay to get em sick.
 

dun

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We use rings so I only have to put out hay every couple of days instead of everyday. The old deal about hay if there are multiple days put out and not protected is "First day dining room, second day bedroom, third day bathroom" seems to fit.

dun
 

gabby

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I don't have time to unroll 6 bales every other day. I can feed in less than half the time with rings, I have very little waste, and I move them about 30 feet every time to a new spot. If I unrolled them half the hay would get ruined before it got ate.
gabby
 

MrBilly

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I have one of those Perry unrollers. Used it two years and it was a real pain. I then bought a Worksaver unroller that attaches to the three point hitch and operates hydraulically.

http://www.worksaver.com/product/bale-3pt.html

It was much easier to use, however I saw the light! :idea:

Too much hay being wasted, never was able to give the correct amount so often put out too much. The cows would poop in it, urinate on it, lay down in it and then ignore it.

We now use cone rings and happy.

Billy
 

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