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What are hay bales?

4 min read

Asked by: Alinush Weihn

Vocabulary: Bale: A large bundle of raw or finished material bound tightly together with cord, and sometimes wrapped; examples: a bale of hay or a bale of cotton. Baler: A machine that bales hay. Hay: A grass that has been cut, dried and stored for animal feed. Livestock: Useful animals raised or kept on a farm.

What is the difference between straw and hay bales?

Hay is a crop that is grown and harvested as a feed crop for cattle, horses and other farm animals. Straw on the other hand is a byproduct of a grain crop; in our area it’s usually usually wheat straw that we see.

Why do they have hay bales?

Large farms with hundreds of animals require huge amounts of hay. For these farms, large bales make the most sense, because they provide the most hay at the least cost. Large bales also allow the hay to begin to ferment naturally, which can prolong its use by preventing rot and mold.

Why is it called a hay bale?

A bale is a compact, easy-to-move bundle of a crop like hay or cotton. Bales are formed in various shapes by a machine called a baler, and wrapped in twine or wire so they can be efficiently transported or stored. The word bale is Old French for “rolled-up bundle,” from the same Germanic root as ball.

How much is a bale of hay?

The Price of Hay Bales By Weight

Hay Quality Bale Type Maximum Price per Ton
Prime Large Square $280
Large Round $275
Grade 1 Small Square $290
Large Square $275

What do farmers do with hay bales?

Many farmers use it as animal bedding for barns. It can be used for seeding, mulching, and even decoration! There are plenty of uses for old hay bales – so while picking up hay as soon as it’s been baled is ideal, it doesn’t have to go to waste if that doesn’t happen.

Do horses eat hay or straw?

While quality hay and pasture grass are the ideal sources of forage for most horses, there are some cases in which eating straw is a suitable alternative or supplement. “Yes, horses can eat straw,” said equine nutritionist, Shannon Pratt-Phillips, PhD.

What is hay used for?

Uses of Hay

Feeding hay to livestock is the number one use for hay. Almost any animal on the farm – horses, cattle, sheep, goats, etc. – will eat hay. Hay is usually fed to livestock when they cannot graze or be in a pasture, either because it is winter or because of drought.

What holds a hay bale together?

Net wrap refers to the wrapping or string that binds hay together. Round bales are commonly fed to cattle and the net wrap that keeps them together comes in different materials. It doesn’t matter what type of wrap is used or whether the hay bales are fed whole or after grinding, many producers leave the wrap on.

Who invented hay bales?

To make large round hay bales, you need a large round hay baler. And in 1966, agricultural engineer Wesley Buchele invented one.

Do cows eat hay?

Hay is the most commonly used winter feed for beef cattle, but it’s also the most expensive. Each cow requires a daily intake of 40 pounds of round-baled hay, which amounts to $1.61 if pricing hay at $80 per ton.

How are hay bales made?

Farmers cut hay in the field and let it dry for several days in the sun. Then they raked the dried hay into rows and ran baling equipment over the rows. This produced the bales. Storage is key to keeping this crop ready to be fed to animals in the winter.

Why are hay bales round?

Farmers often bale hay in large round bales instead of small square bales because they require less labor to bale and move than small square bales. The shape of round bales enables them to be stored outside, something you would never do with square bales. Rain and snow naturally run off their curved sides, like a roof.

How do you turn grass into hay?

A perfect day for making hay is when it’s sunny and calm. Spread the grass clippings in a thin layer on the ground, preferably on the concrete. Turn it and mix it around a few times during the day. It shouldn’t take more than half a day or so until it’s completely dry.

How do farmers make hay bales?

The disc fine doesn't just cut the hay it sends it through these rubber rolls that crush the stems. So water can escape as it dries in the sun.