Last Updated on February 16, 2023
Is your horse a messy eater? Sick of seeing hay to go waste as it’s trampled and blown away in the wind? The best round bale feeder for horses will help to solve all these problems, and more!
Round bale feeders are typically circular, cage-type devices used to provide hay to horses out at pasture. The round bale goes inside the feeder and horses can still get to the hay to eat, but they can’t stand in it or spread it around as easily. This results in less hay waste, which equates to less money spent on hay!
Many livestock and farm supply companies manufacture and sell round bale feeders. These include popular names like Tractor Supply Company, State Line Tack, and the like.
If a round bale feeder is not right for your situation, another option may be to use a slow feeder net instead. Check here for the best Slow Feeders for Horses you can buy!
Today, we’ll be looking at the two top retailers when it comes to the best round bale feeder for horses. These are Tractor Supply Company, which sell a variety of different round bale feeders, and Cashmans, which manufactures and sell its round bale feeders.
We’ll also take a look at the advantages of using a round bale feeder for horses, and how to choose the right one for you and your horse.
Round Bale Feeder Supplier #1: Tractor Supply Company
If you’ve ever been to a Tractor Supply Co., you know how they are laid out; a seemingly normal retail store on the inside, and larger farm-related products on the outside. Typically, the farm-related products on the outside include round bale feeders to suit a range of situations.
Visiting a Tractor Supply Co. gives its customers the ability to see some of its round bale feeders before purchasing them. Most of the time, round bale feeders are too large to have in stores, and customers are forced to buy them blindly online.
Tractor Supply can provide customers with hands-on experience, so you can take a look at some of their most popular lines.
Let’s take a look at some of the best round bale feeders for horses you can buy at Tractor Supply Co:
CountyLine Equine Pro Round Bale Feeder
Tractor Supply supplies the popular CountyLine Equine Pro Galvanized Bale Feeder, which is designed especially for horses. It is covered in a sheet of galvanized metal on the bottom half, protecting hay from the elements.
On the top, this Tractor Supply hay ring features a staggered beam design, allowing horses to bend their necks down and into the feeder, rather than trying to reach through the bars. This makes it one of the safest round bale feeders for horses you will come across.
|-Protects hay from the elements|
|-Designed specifically for horses|
Century Livestock Horse Feeder
The Century Livestock Horse Feeder offers the most simple yet effective design of round bale horse feeder on the market. It looks almost like a miniature round pen, the perfect size to hold a round bale snugly in place! With its simple straight bars, the Century Livestock Horse Feeder is almost like putting your round bale in a brace.
|-Simple, easy to use||-Provides little protection from the elements|
Round Bale Feeder Supplier #2: Cashman
Cashman is an American-based equine and livestock supply company that manufactures and sells its products. They are known for their high-quality products and reasonable prices.
They offer six different types of round bale feeders for purchase online. These include the Heavy Duty Round Bale Pasture Feeder, Cashmans Feeder Panels, Cashmans All-Weather Hay Feeder, Hay Hut Round Bale Feeder, Cashmans Cattle Round Bale Feeders, and Cashmans Horse Round Bale Feeders.
Cashman Heavy Duty Round Bale Pasture Feeder
This is Cashman’s premium round bale feeder. The Heavy Duty Round Bale Pasture Feeder offers a unique and innovative design, ensuring both the safety of your horse and the preservation of their hay.
The Heavy Duty Round Bale Pasture Feeder offers a metal “pan” for the horses to eat out of. On top of that is the standard “V” design that allows for the bale to feed into the pan at the bottom.
On Top of this V is a roof, ensuring that the hay will not blow away or get ruined by weather, animal feces, and the like. It also offers adjustable bottom panels to be situated safely on uneven surfaces. It is one of the few round bale feeders with roof options on the market.
This feeder is sold for an expensive price, as it is a premium round bale feeder. It is a big financial outlay but there are many desirable features that the Heavy Duty Round Bale Pasture Feeder has to offer.
|-Protects hay from the elements||-Expensive|
|-Allows hay to fall naturally|
|-Stable on uneven surfaces|
Cashmans Feeder Panels
Cashman feeder Panels are a popular option for many farm owners, but they are not able to store an entire round bale. The bale would have to be broken up and stored separately.
The Cashman Feeder Panels are the rectangular structure that allows hay to be stored on the top. Its beams allow for storage of about two feet deep into the structure, so it is capable of storing a lot of hay; but, most likely not a whole bale.
This feeder is sold for a reasonable price, depending on which length you decide to purchase.
|-Cheap price||-Doesn’t hold a whole round of bale|
Cashman All-Weather Hay Feeder and Hay Hut Round Bale Feeder
There are many benefits to this design of plastic round bale feeder. Firstly, because they are made entirely of hard plastic, they will not rust. The surface is easy to clean and can be exposed to any weather conditions without severe damage.
Secondly, the enclosed structure offers the ultimate protection of the hay. This protects from many weather conditions including snow, rain, and hail. It also protects against the loss of hay due to windy conditions.
Prices for these feeders can vary considerably depending on what size you choose to buy.
|-Protects hay from the elements||-Relatively pricey|
Cashman Cattle Round Bale Feeders
When you think of a standard round bale feeder, you’re thinking of Cashman Cattle Round Bale Feeder. A circular metal structure, Cashman Cattle Round Bale Feeder is the quintessential feeder you’d expect to see in a pasture.
The Cashmans Cattle Round Bale Feeder is a green, metal, circular structure that allows for a hay bale to be lifted inside of it. The breaks in the metal allow for livestock to reach their heads through, or over, the bars to get to the hay.
Simple and classic as they come, the Cashmans Cattle Round Bale Feeder starts at a really cheap price, depending on which size you wish to purchase.
PLEASE NOTE: Not all cattle hay feeders are suitable for horses. Avoid gaps large enough for a horse to step through, as these can lead to dangerous injuries and even death.
|-Cheap price||-Not designed specifically for horses|
|-Simple to use|
Cashmans Horse Round Bale Feeders
Cashmans Horse Round Bale Feeder is quite similar to Cashmans Cattle Round Bale Feeder, except for one feature. It has staggered metal beams at the top, allowing horses to reach their long necks down and into the feeder.
Theoretically, horses could eat from the cattle feeder, and cattle could eat from the horse feeder. But, the horse feeder accommodates the horse’s long neck reaching down, rather than straight into the feeder, and the cattle feeder does the opposite for cattle’s stout and straight necks.
The Cashmans Horse Round Bale Feeder is the same price as Cashmans Cattle Bale Feeder, depending on the size.
|-Simple to use|
|-Designed specifically for horses|
How to Choose The Best Round Bale Feeder For Horses
As you will have noticed in our top picks for the best round bale feeder for horses, there are many different designs to choose from! A round bale feeder for horses represents a considerable investment, so it pays to get the right one for your individual situation.
It makes sense that you should buy a hay feeder that suits the type of hay you normally buy. Feeding square bales of hay in a round bale hay feeder will not work well, and vice versa.
The size of the hay feeder you buy will also depend on the number of horses you are feeding. Overcrowding at a hay feeder can lead to less-dominant horses missing out, as they are pushed away from the best eating spots. If you prefer to use smaller hay feeders, it can be a good idea to provide more than one to allow every horse to eat their fair share.
We’ve outlined some of the best round bay feeders for horses above, but it pays to research the different types available to see what will work best for you and your horses. Sometimes a ring feeder can be too cumbersome, particularly if you want to move it to another paddock. In this situation, you might prefer to use a lighter plastic feeder or even switch to large slow feeder nets for horses.
When it comes to hay feeders for horses, safety must always be the first consideration. There are numerous examples of horses getting stuck or injured on badly designed hay feeders, which is a particular problem when it comes to a DIY horse round bale feeder.
Pay attention to any gaps in the feeder – they should be large enough for the horse to access the hay, but not big enough for the horse’s head or hooves to become trapped. The surfaces of the feeder should be smooth and free from jagged edges or sharp corners.
It is also important that the feeder can be cleaned, as stale, wet hay at the bottom can present a hygiene problem. A roof over the top can help to prevent spoilage of the hay due to rain.
Why Use a Round Bale Feeder For Horses?
When you look at the price of a round bale feeder for horses, you may wonder if they are worth the money. However, a study by the University of Minnesota has revealed that using a hay feeder can considerably reduce the amount of wasted hay, saving you money in the long run.
Interestingly, they also found that using a round bale feeder had positive effects on the health of horses in the herd. Horses that were fed hay lose rather than in a feeder were more likely to suffer from weight loss, which could be due to their reluctance to eat hay that was dirty and soiled from contact with the ground.
There are many options available to purchase when looking for a bale feeder! Preserving the quality of hay is important for all horse owners and farmers, and a good round bale feeder for horses can considerably reduce the amount of hay that is wasted.
Several manufacturers and retailers have created a range of different products to meet a variety of needs. Whether you prefer Cashmans Horse Round Bale Feeder or the CountyLine Equine Pro, we are sure that there is something out there that will meet your needs.
Keeping your horse happy and healthy is a priority for every horse owner, and having a safe yet effective way of feeding hay is an important part of that goal. Round bale feeders ensure that horses have access to their hay and also prevent hay from being wasted.
We hope that this article has helped you learn more about the best round bale feeder for horses on the market today! If so, please share this article, and share with us your experiences using these round bale feeders!
Are round bale feeders safe for horses?
When designed and used correctly, round bale feeders are a safe way to feed hay to horses. It is important to only ever purchase a round bale feeder from a reputable supplier who can guarantee that it is safe for horses. Unsafe designs can lead to the horse becoming entangled in the feeder or injuring themselves on jagged or sharp edges.
How many horses will a round bale feed?
How many horses a round bale can feed will depend on the type of round bale feeder used. Horse round bale feeders may be categorized in several ways, including tube diameter and height of funnel or extended ramp/funnel.
Horse round bale feeders that are designed for use with large square hay bales can hold enough food for 10 horses at once, whereas horse round bale feeders that are designed for use with round hay bales can feed up to 4 horses at once. However, it is important to make sure that all horses have fair and equal access to the feeder, as dominant horses may push weaker horses away from the feeder.
Smaller hay feeders that are used with 1/3 or 1/2 round hay bales can only feed one horse at once.
How much of a round bale is wasted in round bale feeders?
Wasting of hay is a big problem, as horses will not eat hay that is dirty or contaminated with urine or feces. Using a round bale feeder has been shown to significantly reduce this problem, with wastage of just 5% when a 'Waste Less' feeder is used. When using a traditional ring-type round bale feeder, wastage can be as much as 33%, but this is still lower than the 57% of hay that is wasted when it is fed loose on the floor.
Are round bale feeders expensive?
Round bale feeders can be expensive, but they are often more economical than feeding loose hay. Horse round bale feeders cost $250 to $400 dollars and up, depending on the size of the model and if it is made of wood or metal. Horse round bale feeders can considerably reduce the amount of hay that is wasted, and they are more durable and long-lasting than hay nets or traditional hay mangers.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.