Pays for itself in 1 Year! Simple steps to install—after that, it just saves money!
1. Panels are easy to carry and store
They can be carried or dragged short distances by hand (6 panel size weighs 106 lbs), transported by ATV and stored out of the way. Unlike most other big bale feeders, Premier’s wire panel feeders stack flat.
2. Adding a round bale
Use a tractor or loader to place a round bale onto either of its flat ends. Remove all outer twine, plastic or netting. Be careful to prevent the “freed” hay from unwinding. Remove any outer spoiled hay with a pitch fork and scatter it as bedding.
3. Joining panels with wire connector hinges
Join all panels with wire connector hinges. For 6 panels you need 5 connector hinges. Once joined we rarely remove the hinges. Wrap the panel “system” around the bale. Connect the last opening with 2 snap clips (not included).
4. Allow animals access to bale
Sheep can’t reach the core of a 6 ft diameter bale (but they can a 4 ft diameter bale). So after they eat in to the core, we reduce the size (by hand or fork). Then we roll the core onto its side (while still inside the feeder).
5. The end of bale
If possible fold the panels toward the center to make the shape of a double triangle. This allows the sheep to completely clean up the bale.
What Not to do with Big Bale Feeders—
- 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.
Premier 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.
Download PDF on Big Bale Feeder Instructions
View video on wire connector hinges.