Round Bale Hay For Horses : Good Or Bad, Quantity, Duration

Image Credit: Round Bales of Hay by Pixabay

Hay makes for excellent horse feed and comes in different sizes. But, are round bales of hay suitable for horses? Let’s find out. 

Round bales of hay are densely packed and can be good for horses if they are correctly stored. Hay is made of different types of grasses and provides your horse with the right kind of nutrition, especially if they do not have access to pasture. 

Let’s look at some commonly asked questions about round bales of hay, from the quantity that is needed to the different types. 

Are round bales bad for horses?

There is a common misconception that round bales are good for a horse’s health. Let’s find out the truth. 

Properly handled and stored round bales aren’t bad for horses. Since round bales are stored outside, it is believed that they are prone to moisture accumulation and may be bad for the horse’s health. However, if kept dry and stored correctly, they make excellent feed. 

Ideally, horses should be given a proper, high-forage diet for improved health. 

How to make a round bay hay feeder for horses?

Making a round bay hay feeder for your horses may seem complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy. Allow us to tell you how. 

You can use either plastic or a wired mesh to make a round bay hay feeder. You have to wrap the mesh around the bale and use a rope to keep it in place. Remember to keep the holes large enough for the horses to pull out the feed with their teeth. 

With some effort and online tutorials, you can easily make your round bay hay feeder. And, if not, they’re easily available at affordable prices. 

How much does a round bale of hay cost for horses?

Another factor that you need to consider when it comes to horse feed is the price. Let’s check out how much a round bale of hay costs for horses.

On average, one round bale of hay costs between $105 to $195 per ton in the USA. However, the price varies from state to state and depends on the quality of hay. If you buy in bulk, you’re likely to get a discount on the purchase. 

Always purchase the bale of hay from a reliable seller and ensure it’s properly mixed and nutritious enough for your horse. 

How many round bales of hay does a horse eat per month?

Horses need a proper diet to function well and stay healthy. Let’s see how many round bales will suffice for a horse per month. 

On average, a horse can eat one 4×5 round bale of hay per month. You’ll need around 20-25 pounds of hay per day for an average-sized horse, and each bale of hay is usually 750-800 pounds. So, one bale will suffice for your horse, but you can buy an extra round bale of a smaller size to be safe. 

If you are buying in bulk, remember to store the bales properly to avoid moisture penetration. 

How long does a round bale of hay last for one horse?

Horses are moody creatures, and there’s no definite way of determining how much hay they will consume per day. But, we can give you a brief idea. 

Ideally, a 4×5 ft round bale of hay can last up to a month for an average-sized (1,000 pound) horse. Horses should eat 2.5% of their body weight per day so that a 1,000-pound horse will eat around 25 lbs of hay per day. As such, it’ll need 750 lbs of hay per month. 

There are other factors such as quality, weather, and type of hay that determine how long one round bale will last for a horse. 

How do you feed a horse round bale?

Image Credit: Covered Horse Feeder by Pixabay

Horses can be picky eaters and prefer fresh bales of hay. Let’s see what’s the best way you can feed a horse round bale. 

To feed your horse round bale, purchase or make a horse feeder. Alternatively, you can place the bale of hay on an elevated wooden pallet that allows moisture to drain through and prevents wastage or mold formation. Some horse owners keep the bale inside a metal frame. 

It is essential to protect the hay from horses if you want it to last longer. Otherwise, horses can drag out chunks of hay and trample on it, thus making it inedible. 

How long does a round bale of hay last for 2 horses?

If you are wondering how long a round bale of hay will last for two horses, we’re here to provide an answer. So, let’s explore together. 

It takes two average-sized horses around two weeks to finish one large round (4×5 ft) bale of hay. However, if it’s winter, they can finish it in under two weeks since horses eat more as the temperature drops. If you have a round bale hay feeder, you can prevent wastage and ensure that the bale lasts longer. 

What kind of hay is bad for horses?

It is important to feed the right kind of hay to horses to prevent diseases. Allow us to explain what kind of hay is bad for horses. 

Hay made of grasses like ryegrass, Dallisgrass, Argentine bahiagrass, and Johnsongrass is bad for horses and can lead to various diseases, lesions, and mouth ulcers. Besides, hay that has been out for a while is prone to moisture accumulation and will be bad for horses. 

You have to feed your horses the best type of hay to improve their lifespan and keep them disease-free. 

Round bale hay nets for horses

Round bale hay nets prevent mold formation and keep the hay fresh for long. Here’s how they help.

Hay nets are tightly wrapped around the round bale of hay to prevent the horses from nudging or gnawing at the hay. By neatly wrapping a net around a round bale, you allow the horses to chew the feed properly while minimizing the risk of the hay being trampled on or exposed to excess moisture. 

These nets have holes large enough for the horses to pull out as much hay as they need using their teeth. 

Covered round bale hay feeder for horses

Making a covered round bale hay feeder is one of the best ways to prevent hay wastage. Let’s explore more about it. 

A covered round bale hay feeder minimizes waste and keeps the hay away from the ground, thus protecting it from elements. It can be made easily at home or purchased. It is usually made of plastic and comes in different styles. Covering the hay allows it to last longer and keeps your horse disease-free. 

Round bale hay ring for horses

A popular way of feeding horses without wasting the hay is by placing the bale in a hay ring. Let’s explore more about hay rings together. 

By placing your round bale of hay in a hay ring, you can feed your horse properly without wasting any feed. It increases the longevity of the feed and keeps round bales of hay fresh for a long time. The hay is not fouled by the weather or by the continual gnawing of the horses. 

Round bales of hay are expensive, and therefore it is essential to adopt a proper method to store it properly. 


I am Sehrish , I love writing about animals. I like exploring the different aspects of the animal kingdom and aim to present the information to the readers in an interesting, easy-to-read format. The world of animals is full of undiscovered, intriguing facts and stories and there is nothing I enjoy more than delving deeper into it.

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