Big Bale Feeder
Great way to feed round and square bales while reducing wasted hay. It pays for itself in 1 year!
Note: We are now selling Big Bale panels and connectors individually. This way you can design according to your situation or need.
How many panels, hinges and clips you will need? See "Customization" below.
- 4 ft dia. bale: 5 panels, 4 connector hinges, 2 snap clips
- 5 ft dia. bale: 6 panels, 5 connector hinges, 2 snap clips
- 6 ft dia. bale: 7 panels, 6 hinges, 2 clips
- 48" tall x 40" long
- 4 - 8" x 12" eating holes
- 3/8" dia support rods (outer rods & 4 vertical internal rods).
- 1/4" dia rods (other rods).
- Hot-dip galvanized
- 4 head-holes per panel.
- Folds flat—easy to store and move.
- Adult sheep can’t get inside it.
- Average of 40 ewes per 6 panel feeder is advised. (Too many ewes will cause fighting for access.) 1200 lb hay bale should last about 5 days.
- More durable than feeders made with farm-store wire panels.
- Adapts to most round or square bale sizes.
- Not for use with cattle, horses or horned animals.
- Ships to you by UPS™/Spee-Dee™.
- Most need 5–7 panels.
Calculating the lost $$ due to wasted hay provides a picture of the relative value of a big bale hay feeder.
Assume 40 ewes eat 5 lbs of hay for 165 days. Assume hay costs $140/ton (7¢/lb).
Big Bale Feeder— 10% wastage, $231 wasted hay.
Other Feeders– 25% wastage, $577 wasted hay.
So, the $346 difference pays for a Premier feeder—in only 1 year!
Tip: To eliminate risk of sheep tipping over an empty feeder and thereby injuring themselves, drive a single steel post into the ground and secure 1 corner of the bale feeder to it. The post can stay in place all winter. Having noted that we rarely do this. We simply allow the sheep to tip the feeder over. Our last injury was 4 years ago-- and we use 20 feeders all winter long.
- Don’t use them for cattle or horses. Horned sheep or goats won’t damage the feeder but they may get their heads caught.
- Don’t lift the feeder with the tractor loader. This puts unnecessary stress on the welds.
- Don’t let panels freeze to the ground.
- Don’t feed more than 40-50 ewes per feeder. Too many ewes per feeder may cause them to fight for access—which can result in poor-doing (or even dead) sheep.
Listed below are recommended optional components or related items. Your particular situation may require alternative recommendations. Please call and talk to our consultants if there are any questions at 800-282-6631.
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Gary J from Kansas
Still liking this feeder a LOT. The only criticism is that in some instances, the weld might be a bit weak. FYI, it seems to help to position the panels so that the horizontal bars are outside so that they don't pop off.
Julie & John K from Wisconsin
Thus far, 1 month, we are liking the use of this panel feeder system. We are using it with just 11 ewe sheep—no horns. If it can help us cut down on small bale prep. that will be good. I like the extra exercise that the sheep are getting in winter as they run from the barn up a hill to the round bale. I think some kind of detachable cover for the upper openings would help keep the fleeces cleaner especially if being used for a small # of sheep. I like to keep our Navajo-Churro sheep fleeces in good shape.
Keith H from SE South Dakota
I really like the concept of these feeders. The design works great and hay loss is cut to a minimum. The only problem is they are not built heavy enough. The welds are breaking and the ewes can get inside the feeders then. If these were built heavier and of better quality they would be the best hay feeder around in my opinion.
Brittney K from Iowa
These feeders work great for "dry" seasons. During Iowa winters and muddy conditions it will get worked into the ground and take over an hour to get the unit unfroze or chiseled out. We've tried it on both dirt and concrete floors and haven't had luck on either during the thaw/freeze/snow/thaw/freeze again season. They work best on concrete and in dry weather.
This feeder has changed our lives with our sheep. We have a small hobby farm to produce wool fiber, and we have reduced the vegetable matter contamination to at least 50%, if not more. Thank you so much Premier!!!!
Now, could you consider designing one for horses?? The tractors repeatedly picking up the traditional round bale feeders destroys them over time. We had a horse rip her nostril open recently due to a jagged edge caused by metal fatigue of picking the ring up to place over the round bale. The beauty of this design is it does not require a tractor.