farmco logo cattle feeders pa

A Guide to Round Bales for Horses

If you’re a horse owner, you know how important it is to provide your equine friend with a healthy and balanced diet. One of the most popular options for feeding horses is hay, and round bales have become an increasingly popular choice. Round bales offer several advantages, including convenience, cost-effectiveness, and easy storage. However, selecting the right type of round bale and properly storing it can make all the difference in your horse’s health and happiness. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of hay bales for horses, tips for selecting and storing round bales, and how long a round bale can last for your horse. Join us as we dive into the world of feeding round bales to horses and discover the many advantages of using round bales for horses.

round bale about to be placed on wagon for round bales for horses for sale article

Let’s start by exploring the advantages of feeding round bales to horses.

What Are The Benefits of Round Bales for Horses?

• Cost-Effective

• Reduce the amount of labor required.

• Convenient to use.

• Excellent option to feed a group of horses.

Hay bales have become a popular choice for feeding horses due to their many advantages. One of the most significant benefits of using feeding round bales for horses is their cost-effectiveness (read more about hay bale prices) Pound for pound, round bales for horses are typically cheaper than square bales, making them an economical choice for horse owners. Additionally, feeding round bales reduces labor since they only need to be put out once a week, as opposed to tossing individual portions multiple times a day. This not only saves time but also makes feeding more efficient.

Furthermore, feeding round bales is an excellent option for feeding groups of four or more horses. Unlike traditional square bales, round bales can be placed in a feeder, which prevents horses from wasting hay by trampling or soiling it.

2 horses running through pasture for round bales for horses for sale article

Tips for Selecting Round Bales for Horses

The benefits of round bales for horses mentioned above are just a few of the advantages they offer. However, to maximize the benefits of hay bales for horses, it’s essential to pay attention to the selection process. In the following section, we will discuss some key tips to keep in mind when selecting and feeding round bales to horses.

When selecting round bales for horses, it’s important to keep a few key tips in mind to ensure that you are providing your equine companion with high-quality forage. 

Type of Hay

Firstly, consider the type of hay that you are purchasing. Different types of hay have varying nutritional values and may be more suitable for specific horses based on their age, weight, and activity level.

Health Caution

It’s also essential to inspect the hay for any signs of mold, dust, or other contaminants that could be harmful to your horse’s health. When possible, purchase hay from a reputable supplier and ask for a hay analysis to determine the nutritional value of the forage.

Size and Weight

Another important factor to consider is the size and weight of the round bale. A bale that is too heavy can be challenging to move and may be difficult for horses to eat from, while a bale that is too small may not provide enough forage to meet your horse’s dietary needs.

photo of 3 horses for round bales for horses article

How to Store Hay Bales for Horses and What Are the Best Ways to Do It?

After learning about the key points to consider when purchasing round bales for horses, we have arrived at one of the most crucial stages: Proper Storage. In this section, we will discuss not only the shape and condition of the round bales but also the potential diseases that can arise if the bales are not stored correctly.

• Protect them from the elements.

• Do not leave your bale in the rain or snow. 

• Cover it tightly or store it in storage.

• Make sure your storage is well-ventilated.

When it comes to storing hay bales for horses, protecting them from the elements is crucial to ensure they maintain their nutritional value and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Leaving hay bales out in the rain or snow can lead to moisture build-up, which can cause the hay to become damp and lose its quality. To prevent this, hay bales should either be tightly covered or stored in a storage area to keep them dry. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that the storage area is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of heat and moisture. By taking these steps to protect hay bales from the elements, horse owners can ensure that their equine companions receive high-quality forage that meets their nutritional needs.

To delve deeper into this subject, wet round bales of hay can lead to several health issues in horses, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and bacterial infections. When hay gets wet, it can create a damp and humid environment that promotes the growth of mold and bacteria. If horses eat moldy hay, it can cause respiratory problems such as heaves, coughing, and nasal discharge. Additionally, horses may develop digestive issues such as colic, diarrhea, or weight loss if they consume hay that is contaminated with bacteria or toxins produced by mold. Therefore, it’s crucial to store round bales of hay in a dry, well-ventilated area and avoid feeding wet hay to horses.

3 horses standing for round bales for horses for sale article

Understanding Lifespan and Best Practices of Round Bale for Horses.

So far, we have learned about the benefits of hay bales for horses, key factors to consider when purchasing them, and the importance of proper storage to maintain their nutritional value for our horses. Moving forward, we will focus on the typical lifespan of round bales and the best feeding practices for horses. Additionally, we will address some of the frequently asked questions about feeding horses with round bales.

• How many horses will a round bale feed?

• Are round bales of hay good for horses? 

• Are square or round bales better for horses? 

• What are the benefits of round bales? 

• Are round bales of hay bad for horses? 

How Long Does A Round Bale Feed a Horse? Factors to Consider

The duration of a round bale’s ability to feed a horse depends on various factors such as the size of the bale, weight of the horse, and level of activity. Typically, a 1,000-pound round bale will last one horse for around 10-14 days, two horses for around 5-7 days, three horses for around 3-5 days, and four horses for around 2-4 days. It is essential to keep an eye on the quality of hay and the feeding habits of horses as these estimates may vary. Horses tend to consume 10 to 15 pounds of hay daily and empty their stomachs within 24 hours, so it is crucial to keep forage available around the clock for their proper nutritional balance. If a bale lasts longer than usual, it could be a sign that the horse is sick or has a dental issue, and it’s recommended to take the horse to a horse veterinarian.

Are round bales of hay good for horses?

Round hay bales can be beneficial for horses as they provide an economical and practical way to feed horses, especially in winter when pasture forage is limited. Round bales are generally less expensive per pound than square bales and require less labor since they only need to be put out once a week. They also work well for feeding groups of four or more horses without excessive waste. However, it’s crucial to choose high-quality hay and store the round bales properly to prevent health issues like mold, dust, and colic. It’s also important to monitor the horse’s hay intake and adjust the feeding routine as necessary to maintain proper nutrition.

Are square or round bales better for horses?

Both square and round bales can be good options for feeding horses, and which one is better may depend on individual circumstances and preferences. Square bales are often preferred by those with fewer horses or limited storage space, as they are easier to handle and can be stored in a smaller area. Round bales for horses are generally more cost-effective and convenient for larger herds, as they can feed multiple horses for a longer period of time and require less frequent handling. It’s important to note that both types of bales should be of high quality and stored properly to maintain their nutritional value for horses. Ultimately, the choice between square and round bales may come down to personal preference, convenience, and the specific needs of your horses.

exterior of horse eating hay for round bales for horses for sale article

What Are the Benefits of Round Bales?

Round bales for horses have several benefits for horse owners, including:


Hay bales for horses are typically cheaper per pound than square bales.


Round bales for horses can be easily stored and transported, and they can last for a long time without losing their nutritional value.

Reduced Labor

Feeding round bales to horses reduces labor as they can be put out once a week instead of tossing individual portions multiple times a day.

Ideal For Groups

Hay bales for horses can easily feed larger groups of horses for longer periods of time.

Less Storage Space

Round bales require less storage space than square bales.

Reduced Waste

Feeding round bales to horses is less likely to be wasted or spoiled by exposure to weather or other elements.

Good Source of Forage

High-quality round bales can provide horses with a good source of forage, especially in the winter months when fresh forage may be scarce.

Are Round Bales of Hay Bad for Horses? 

If the necessary precautions are taken, round bales do not pose any harm to horses. It is important to adhere to the guidelines mentioned earlier when purchasing and storing the hay to maintain its nutritional value and avoid any potential health risks. Neglecting these precautions can lead to various health problems for the horses, which we all want to avoid.

What We Offer

These issues, which many horse owners are not aware of or do not pay attention to, are actually of vital importance for the health of our horses. To ensure that our horses are fed a healthy diet, it is important to choose hay with high nutritional value and store it in a closed area that is not exposed to weather conditions such as rain and mud. Furthermore, it is crucial to have a good ventilation system in these closed areas to prevent the hay from getting moldy or rotting.

It’s also much more efficient if entire large round or square bales can be fed to your horses at once. Farmco takes pride in producing state-of-the-art and affordable feeders like our Slow-Feed Covered Hay Feeder that can do exactly that. We believe in keeping our customers and fellow horse breeders informed on vital matters that can impact the health and well-being of our beloved horses.