Big Bale Feeder
Great way to feed round and square bales while reducing wasted hay. It pays for itself in 1 year!
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 connector hinges, 2 snap 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!
- 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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Pamela K from Montana
This is the best money I’ve spent! I’m feeding 3x4 bales and it has saved me the work and waste. I like the larger spiral hinges. I have the old jug pens and the hinge was a smaller spiral.
I’m feeding goats, sheep, and alpaca.
The only thing I can think that would improve this setup would be some kind of easy-to-handle top. Some of my goats can jump up and into the middle.
Wellington M from Missouri
I am very cheap and these panels seemed expensive to me... at first, so I only bought one. I used it in the corner of the fence to feed square bales. It was amazing! So I bought a few more... and a few more... Now I have them in the corner of each barn stall and two full sets to use around round bales. The first ones I bought are still in perfect condition years later, because they are made TOUGH. Hay is expensive. These panels have EASILY paid for themselves by preventing wasted hay. I put a round bale in and cover the top with a small tarp. When the bale is done there is not a drop left wasted.
Mary M from Montana
I love this hay feeder. Easy to put together. Easy to move. The sheep love it and waste almost nothing! When hay gets low the sheep start moving the panels a bit.
Conner R from Iowa
No better way to feed sheep round bales.
Jessica B from Indiana
Easy to use with the bale springs, goes together quickly.