Storing plastic wrapped bales in pasture with cattle? - Alfalfa/Hay - HayTalk - Hay & Forage Community

Jump to content




Photo
- - - - -

Storing plastic wrapped bales in pasture with cattle?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 EliPepper

EliPepper

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • LocationUpstate New York

Posted 18 January 2021 - 10:08 AM

Hello All,

My wife and I just bought a farm in Upstate New York that included 20 mini Herefords in the sale. We’re learning on the fly!

Currently we have dry and balage round bales, both wrapped in plastic (solid white plastic, not netting), stored outside but not in with the cows. I feed them every day.

I am looking at the upcoming months of mud and not wanting to create progressively worse ruts in the mud with the tractor. There is a stream with muddy banks in any direction to get to any of the pastures.

I am thinking of taking advantage of the frozen ground and moving all the stored bales in with the cows now, and just moving the feeder ring and opening the bales daily. Of course this would mean following up to pick up the bottom of plastic that would remain when I cut the rest off.

My questions:
Will the cows try to get into the wrapped bales? Once they’re opened, is the remaining plastic at the bottom of the bale any concern? Are there any other concerns I should consider that I’m not seeing?

I searched the internet and the forums and do see this anywhere. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

#2 IH 1586

IH 1586

    Hay Master

  • Members
  • 1978 posts
  • LocationNorthwest PA. Warren County.

Posted 18 January 2021 - 10:23 AM

The cattle will absolutely destroy the wrapped bales. Also leaving plastic net wrap twine in close to proximity to cattle will result in cattle eating it and it will not come out the other end.

With you question in mind I’m assuming you have no facilities at all?

You can place bales strategically in pasture now and protect them with an electric fence and move as they are fed out. Still requires removing all plastic and net/twine though.
  • Bgriffin856, Trillium Farm and hay slayer like this

#3 EliPepper

EliPepper

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • LocationUpstate New York

Posted 18 January 2021 - 10:59 AM

The cattle will absolutely destroy the wrapped bales. Also leaving plastic net wrap twine in close to proximity to cattle will result in cattle eating it and it will not come out the other end.

With you question in mind I’m assuming you have no facilities at all?

You can place bales strategically in pasture now and protect them with an electric fence and move as they are fed out. Still requires removing all plastic and net/twine though.


  • EliPepper likes this

#4 EliPepper

EliPepper

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • LocationUpstate New York

Posted 18 January 2021 - 11:03 AM

Sorry, learning how to use this site. Didn’t mean to just send quote.

Thanks for your response!

We do have a barn, but the seller stored the bales outside and we have kept them there for now.

The storage isn’t so much the question as is the mud problem. The only area that does not require driving through deep mud is where the cattle have already been and is full of muck. So I am not keeping them there anymore.

I see that you say they’ll go through netting, but will they go through solid white plastic wrap?

Thanks!

#5 IH 1586

IH 1586

    Hay Master

  • Members
  • 1978 posts
  • LocationNorthwest PA. Warren County.

Posted 18 January 2021 - 11:14 AM

Sorry, learning how to use this site. Didn’t mean to just send quote.

Thanks for your response!

We do have a barn, but the seller stored the bales outside and we have kept them there for now.

The storage isn’t so much the question as is the mud problem. The only area that does not require driving through deep mud is where the cattle have already been and is full of muck. So I am not keeping them there anymore.

I see that you say they’ll go through netting, but will they go through solid white plastic wrap?

Thanks!

 

They will go through the plastic. They will chew, rub, and play with them. You get holes in the bales and they will start to mold, especially on warmer days when you get to spring.

 

I am only saying this as I have cattle and know what they like to do. I have never put a bale in with them to see what happens. You are welcome to try and let us know the results.

 

Your saying you are not allowed to feed the cattle in the barn? Or no manger to feed cattle at?

 

What about feeding them along a fence and dump the bale over the fence into the feeder as needed?

 

How are you getting the bale to pasture? Grapple, spear, or pallet forks? You will have to tape any holes you put in the bale or it will start to mold.


  • 8350HiTech and Trillium Farm like this

#6 r82230

r82230

    Hay Master

  • Members
  • 3981 posts
  • LocationThumb of Michigan

Posted 18 January 2021 - 01:51 PM

As far as cattle making holes in the plastic, yep at least Michigan cows do (don't ask how I know that :cool: ).

 

As far as moving them now while ground is frozen - disadvantage, in my case anyhow, net wrap will freeze to ground and not thaw out until June or July 1st, depending upon how deep the remaining hay/manure is. 

 

IH gave you a couple of solutions that may work, the moving electric fence might be your best answer IF the cattle are trained to electric fence. But I'd put them on pallets if possible (see above). 

 

You kinda have to choose your poison, IMHO.

 

I feed once a week because of the mud, so I can sometimes choose which day I'll attempt task.

 

Larry

 

PS welcome to HT.


  • Trillium Farm and hay slayer like this

#7 pettibone

pettibone

    Member

  • Members
  • 170 posts
  • Locationwestern maine

Posted 19 January 2021 - 07:23 AM

I disagree on hay bales freezing to the ground, I have wrapped hay piled 3 high and the ground under it never freezes, but maybe if you put them on ground already frozen could be an issue. I don't think you should move the bales until you feed them out as moving will make holes and you will have spoilage. If you have cattle seems like you will have mud.



#8 Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

    Member

  • Members
  • 1215 posts
  • LocationHollis, NH, USA

Posted 19 January 2021 - 07:38 AM

Prolly the easiest solution will be to deal with the ruts until next spring/summer! Then design/build a better solution, be it access improvement, relocation of feeding area, or some other fix!

Been down that road, when we had Angus, and many loads of gravel solved the problem!

#9 r82230

r82230

    Hay Master

  • Members
  • 3981 posts
  • LocationThumb of Michigan

Posted 19 January 2021 - 09:06 AM

 but maybe if you put them on ground already frozen could be an issue

 

This is what I was referring to, moving from unfrozen place and putting them on frozen ground and/or snow.  I wasn't as clear as mud it seems.  :o

 

Larry



#10 broadriverhay

broadriverhay

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 976 posts
  • LocationJenkinsville , SC

Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:02 PM

Welcome EliPepper.  I can't help you , I don't have cows.  I live in the warm and wet South.



#11 Hay diddle diddle

Hay diddle diddle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • 328 posts
  • LocationAus

Posted 19 January 2021 - 06:51 PM

Cows are like kids. If they can break it they will. Had to patch countless holes over the years when they manage to escape in the middle of the night....(now, why is it ALWAYS the middle of the night....?) 


  • clowers and Shetland Sheepdog like this

#12 hay slayer

hay slayer

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 11 posts
  • Locationsw pa.

Posted 19 January 2021 - 08:55 PM

don't put bales in with the cows. i don't move  balage bales until feeding (mine are inline wrapped) i just deal with the mud(part of having cattle)


  • Shetland Sheepdog and Hay diddle diddle like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

× Sponsors