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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Karen B from Idaho
Used five of these panels to surround a 650 lb round bale for adult mini (Nigerian Dwarf) goats. They eat out of all the big openings, standing on lower bars to reach the top ones. I would not use it with kids because they would climb in the holes and probably hook a leg coming out (have had this happen with other feeders, luckily I was there to rescue them before they broke a leg), as well as dirtying the hay.
Carrie M from Ohio
After loosing 2 yearlings we decided to purchase these and we couldn’t be happier! This is meaty and well made especially compared to the pig panel we were using. So far no losses! Read waste seems to be way down as well, worth the investment.
Gary M from Kansas
Moving to feed more round bales to my sheep, I’ve tried several ways to feed them. Other feeders leave me with about 40 to 50% spoilage. I purchased one and was pleased at the minimum amount of spoilage dropped on the ground so I purchased a second. I place a tarp over the tops to keep out rain and snow; this works good but I need to find a way that doesn’t poke holes in the tarp. I’ll buy more of these feeders if finances allow.
Gail H from Kentucky
Love this system! I am a 67 yr old woman and have been looking for a feeder that the sheep could not destroy their hay before it is finished. This is light enough that I can move, but sturdy enough the sheep cannot destroy their hay. Little hay wasted and all can eat without any problems.
Arvid A from Illinois
Bought one two months ago wasn’t sure how it would work. Just bought second bale feeder because my sheep prefer eating from them.