|Hay feeders come in a wide assortment of shapes and sizes. The idea behind hay feeder selection is to choose the one that allows the animal to feed safely while eliminating as much wasted hay as possible. Of course, basic construction to maximize longevity of the feeder is also a consideration as a hay feeder can be a significant investment.
A quality hay feeder will minimize money lost to hay that is wasted on the ground. Hay can be wasted in a variety of ways. Hay left lying on the ground is frequently wasted when ground moisture, rain, snow, dirt, mud and animal waste mixes with the hay over a short period of time. Hay left directly on the ground is also used to mark territory by dominant horses and makes beds for others, wasting upwards to 50% of its intended use in a matter of a few days, if not hours.
Even hay in an open round bale feeder wastes a significant amount of hay. Hay is pulled out all over the ground surrounding the feeder. Hay on the bottom also rests right on the ground and can become wet and moldy. To minimize waste in typical ground hay feeders, cone inserts are used. The bale is suspended in a cone of steel or chains to eliminate ground contact. Air circulation through the bottom will keep hay dry thereby reducing waste through mold and rot. Combining a cone feeder insert with a round bale feeder provides substantial savings and stretches out the hay supply. The insert keeps the hay in the feeder as cattle are eating and cuts hay loss to a minimum.
PROBLEM: Enormous amount of hay LOST using the standard hay ring.
SOLUTION: Other types of rack and elevated hay feeders provide proper air circulation as well. Closed bottom feeders can handle loose hay and silage. Covered or solid top feeders provide additional protection from rain and snow.
Hay feeders that can accommodate round bales can save up to 50% as round bales cost significantly less than the same amount of hay in square bales. Minimizing waste makes a hay feeder pay for itself rapidly.
Hay hopper round bale feeder for cattle