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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James T from New York
We raise meat goats here on our farm and began feeding round bales several years ago. We have a big bale basket feeder that had to be raised up on extensions to keep the goats from climbing up on the hay and contaminating it. They also pull out a lot of hay which is then wasted since they are walking on it and contaminating it. Several years ago we purchased an older Premier panel feeder from a farmer that was retiring. We found it worked much better than our original feeder since the goats were able to do a much better job of consuming the hay than the feeder up on legs. As our herd has expanded we decided to purchase another of the Premier panel feeders and were very pleased with the robust construction of this new feeder. It is much more rugged than our original feeder and we anticipate this new feeder to last many seasons in our operation. The design is well thought out and the panels are very well made. The goats have no problem reaching in to consume their hay and the waste is minimal. As a side note, we disbud our doelings, so horns are not an issue with this feeder.
Cathy W from Tennessee
It has done what I expected. Less hay waste. Easy to handle. So far so good.
David T from North Carolina
Great product, goats are the worst farm animals for wasting hay. I am very pleased and will be purchasing more panels for my other pasture.
Bonnie F from Wisconsin
These are absolutely the best feeders ever. I have 5 of them. They save so much hay. I'll never use anything else.
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.