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 3/8" 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 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.