– Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator, Guernsey County
Large round bales are the most popular source of hay when winter feeding beef cattle. Unfortunately, these bales are subject to a variety of losses, including feeding loss.
Research published in the Journal of Animal Science (2003, 81:109-115) has shown feeding losses can be influenced by bale feeder design. The feeders investigated in this research trial were ring, cone, trailer, and cradle type feeders. The percentage of hay loss ranged from 3.5 to 14.6%. Cone and ring type feeders respectively exhibited the least amount of loss, while the trailer and cradle feeders exhibited four times the waste per animal compared to the cone design. This trial documented changes in animal behavior influenced by feeder design. Continue reading