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.
Not for use with cattle, horses or horned animals.
How many panels, hinges and clips are needed for a round bale?
- 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, $297 wasted hay.
Other feeders—25% wastage, $750 wasted hay.
The $453 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 use them for cattle or horses.
- Don’t use them with horned sheep or goats. We have tried this and know that they may get their heads caught and die.
- Don’t place bales on their curved (rolling) side. Bales may mushroom and collapse upon a feeding ewe.
- 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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Elizabeth M from Illinois
I just purchased this feeder and am impressed so far. I was using a regular cattle panel around my hay bales before with holes cut out so my Boer goats could eat. They kept crawling thru the holes. And the panels would fall apart (welds). My babies may still crawl thru but these panels are made really well. I did cut bigger holes since my goats are horned. I know I run a risk of them getting caught but they can get caught in other things too. I will not put these feeders in with goats that their horns go out to the side too far, like my bucks. So far it is working great- super easy to use.
Cynthia C from MI
Works as advertised. Easy to handle, assemble and disassemble.
LeRoy R from New York
Bale feeder works as advertised and does help in limiting the amount of hay that is wasted. In three feeders, I received one defectively welded panel that broke apart after 3-4 weeks use. Assume this is an aberration, but disappointed that no follow up from Premier after phone call inquiry and emailed description of problem per suggestion when I called. Will buy more, but check carefully in the future.
I have only had this feeder for a week, but I am very happy with it so far. It is very heavy duty wire, good connectors and it's sturdy. I have had a grass hay bale in with my 25 sheep for 5 days and they have barely put a dent in the bale. Before I had no feeder and in 4 days a round bale would be ruined and wasted. So far there is very little on the ground. My sheep seem to be happier too as they don't have to rummage and clean up at all. I will definitely be buying one more of these in the future.
Absolutely the best way to feed hay to sheep. I now own 3 and one of these has been in use for several years and you can't tell it from the one I bought last month (minus the dirt).