Big Bale Feeder
Great way to feed round and square bales while reducing wasted hay. It pays for itself in 1 year!
Improved for 2020! We’ve added a 1/4" reinforcement rod above and below the feeding holes for extra support against large, pushing rams or ewes.
Note: We sell wire panels, hinges and snap clips individually. This way you can design according to your situation or need. See “Customization” section below for more information.
- 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
- Hot-dip galvanized steel
- 48" tall x 40" long
- 4 - 8" x 12" eating holes with 1/4" reinforcement rods top and bottom
- 3/8" dia support rods (outer rods & 4 vertical internal rods)
- 1/4" dia rods elsewhere
- 4 head-holes per panel
Big Bale Feeder—10% wastage, $231 wasted hay.
Other feeders—25% wastage, $577 wasted hay.
The $346 difference pays for a Premier Big Bale Feeder feeder—in only 1 year!
- Improved for 2020! Reinforced, double rod eating holes for pushy rams and ewes
- Folds flat—easy to store and move
- Adult sheep can’t get inside it
- More durable than feeders made with cheap farmstore wire panels
- Adapts to most round or square bale sizes
- Ships FREE via Ground service when ordering more than one panel. Most need 5–7 panels.
Shepherd’s Choice™ Management TipDue to weather variability during the haying season, producers may be feeding poorer quality hay during the winter months. As a result, late gestation and lactating ewes will need more protein in the grain mix. One can use soybean, dry distillers grains or corn gluten feed. The hay may also have less energy per pound—grain feeding levels may need to be increased by a half- to full-pound per day. Lastly, if your hay is mostly grass, consider feeding at least 1% limestone in the grain mix to improve calcium levels.
Looking for ration advice? We can help customize a feed ration for your situation.
How to Use
1. Panels are easy to carry and store
2. Joining panels with wire hinges
3. Adding a large round bale
4. Wrap panels around bale and close with snap clips
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.
What NOT to do with Big Bale Feeders:
- Don’t place bales on their curved (rolling) side. Bales may mushroom and collapse upon a feeding ewe.
- 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 F from New York
I have purchased a number of feeder panels over the past decade. I have been satisfied with the feeders; however, the quality of those purchased recently has declined. In one case one wire actually broke. More common on recent purchases are the ends of wires extending beyond the wire they are welded to causing a safety hazard.
C.J. W from Maine
We have used these big bale panels for the past few years to feed hay free choice to our flock of Romney sheep. We use them in a line of Premier's single-sided feeders to spread out hay or when feeding grain. We use just four panels and have the fifth side open to barn floor, so we can roll in a new round bale as needed. Screw eyes and 1/2" rebar posts hold the bale panels to the wood feeders, which comes apart easily to reconfigure.
D&B T from Michigan
I love it and the sheep love it! Plan on ordering another one.
Melissa S from Montana
Just set this up and with 30+ wind gusts today I can already appreciate how much easier it will make feeding round bales this winter. The panels are a lot heavier than I thought they would be- a plus. Delivery was super fast. Wish I’d started out with this feeder four years ago.
Jeff G from Missouri
Do not use with goats that can get inside the feeder. We have had this feeder for 2 seasons now and it works fine with our adult goats, but we have had 2 broken legs and another 2 dead goats. Kids as young as 2 weeks can easily crawl into the feeder and if they try to jump up and over the side their hind legs can easily get caught in the panels. It is very disheartening to walk out and find dead goats hanging from the side of the hay feeder.
If young lambs and goat kids are climbing into the feeders, block off the lower access points. (This may restrict sheep and polled goat access.) To satisfy goats climbing desire, provide alternative climb friendly devices (such as spools).