Round-bale Feeders Reduce Waste and Increase Intake

A study done at the University of Minnesota revealed the following interesting facts:

Feeding round bales without a feeder (placing them directly the field) results in 60% of the hay being wasted.

Placing round bales in a feeder reduces losses to between 5% and 30% depending on the design of the feeder.

Horses fed from feeders tend to consume more hay. Feeder-fed horses ate 2% to 2.4 % of their body weight in hay, while non-feeder-fed horses only ate 1.3% of their body weight.

This study shows that horses eating round bales not placed in a feeder may have trouble meeting their energy requirements even when hay is present.


Round-bale feeder design affects hay waste and economics during horse feeding.

Martinson K1, Wilson J, Cleary K, Lazarus W, Thomas W, Hathaway M.

J Anim Sci. 2012 Mar;90(3):1047-55. doi: 10.2527/jas.2011-4087. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

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