For hundreds of years, farmers have been perfecting haymaking techniques to provide enough feed for livestock. What originally required teams of scythe-wielding workers up until the 1930s has become a much simpler process thanks to the invention of the motorised tractor and hay baler. Buy hay bales online Farmers spend thousands of dollars on these machines designed to produce perfect hay, and one of the most important aspects of this process is the bale itself.
What’s in a bale?
There’s a lot more to a hay bale than what meets the eye – each has a specific size and shape to cater for the needs of each farm, its animals and its facilities.
Square hay bales
Square bales are usually chosen because their shape makes them incredibly easy to stack and store. For large farms that want to be able to keep hay undercover for long periods of time, a square bale is an obvious solution.
With small square bales weighing between 20 and 30 kilos, heavy machinery isn’t necessary to transport them. Because a trailer can be drawn behind the baler, transportation is incredibly easy from the moment they are made. The baler operator does require a second person to stack the bales on the trailer, although a bale thrower can help to automate the entire process.
Large square bales have also become popular, with some weighing up to 400 kilos. They might not be so popular on small farms, but for long-distance transport by truck or train, large square bales can be easily stacked and moved.
These are made almost specifically for larger farms. Usually a lot larger than square bales, round hay bales commonly weigh up to half a tonne and are efficient when there are a lot of animals to feed. Storage is usually required to keep round hay bales protected from the elements, but in some climates a cover can be enough for them to keep long enough for use. However, round bales are known for creating significant waste with more surface area exposed and often ruined by bad weather and poor storage.
Cubed hay bales
These are usually smaller, packed in 10-kilo bags. They are perfect for small farms and have the benefit of creating minimal waste. It is a more expensive to make as farmers require more of them, but some studies have shown livestock actually gain, on average, more than a kilo when fed cubed hay bales.