|Are you in the market for a new hay feeder? Hay feeders come in a wide assortment of shapes and sizes, and of course, prices. Along with not wanting to waste money on a hay feeder, you also don't want to waste money on the feed itself. When you pick a hay feeder, basically you are looking for ones that allows your livestock to feed safely while eliminating as much wasted hay as possible at the same time. You'll want a sturdy and durable feeder, to maximize longevity as well, since hay feeders are pricey.
A quality hay feeder will minimize the amount of hay that is wasted on the ground, saving you money. Hay left on the ground will be quickly ruined in a variety of ways. Ground moisture, rain, snow, dirt, mud and animal waste mixes with the hay over a short period of time, rendering it useless. Dominant horses will sometimes mark their territory in any hay left directly on the ground. Other horses will take the opportunity to make a bed out of it and lie down. With all these factors, as much as 50% of your hay can be wasted in a matter of a few days, if not hours.
What about round bale feeders? Do they solve this problem? Fact is, even hay in an open round bale feeder has a significant amount of waste. With this style feeder, your expensive hay is pulled out all over the surrounding ground. What's more, the hay on the bottom also rests right on the ground and can become wet and moldy. Once it becomes moldy, it is no longer edible and if the mold is bad, it can spread throughout the hay. If you have this type of open bottom ground feeder, we suggest making sure to use cone inserts. With a cone insert, the bale is suspended in a steel cone or via chains to eliminate any ground contact whatsoever. Air circulation through the bottom will keep hay dry, thereby reducing a substantial amount of waste that would otherwise be caused by 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.
Do you usually purchase round bales or square? You're probably already aware that round bales cost much less than square bales containing the same poundage of hay. Hay feeders that can accommodate these less expensive round bales can save up to 50%. Minimizing waste makes a hay feeder pay for itself rapidly.
Hay hopper round bale feeder for cattle