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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch of wrapped bales left over from last year and I read in Hay and Forage that each bale has about 37.50 worth of nutrients at todays prices. So I've been thinking about how I could spread them out. I have 2 spreaders a old one with the beaters on the back and a side slinger, just wondering if anyone has ever done anything like that or has any ideas on how to do it. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Watched a utube video about unrolling bales with a bar driven through it and just ropes to pull it, maybe make two pins and hook chains to the pins, put that in the spreader and let the chain unroll it as you go, apron chain that is. Have chains hooked so bale couldn't go back against the beaters, might even be able to do 2 at a time. Might work. They take a long time to rot away, have one in a stump pile that's lasted for years and no knives in baler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I watched a video on the Greg Judy? bale unroller towed behind a 4 wheeler but probably 2 grand. I'm thinking this will be a one shot deal so trying to not spend much on it. The bale unroller did work good though. Great way to feed cattle if you have the setup for it. Unrolling hay into 2 feet of snow doesn't seem like a great idea to me, at least for feeding out.
 

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I unroll all my hay with a 3pt bale unroller for the cows everyday. We get more snow than you could imagine and I feel its the best way to feed cows. Unroll what the cows will eat in 24 hours, very little waste, manure is already spread on the field, all cows have access to the hay unlike a feeder.

But unrolling and not having animals eat from the hay will leave you with thick carpets of hay (sometimes 6-8" thick) that will take a while to decompose.
 

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Nothing that I'd want to feed out but I'm sure for the right price someone would. I just thought might be good to put it back in the ground.
I was just thinking more along the lines of letting cattle rip them apart rather than you having to break something trying. As long as they pulled them apart some and crapped in them, it would be a lot easier at that point to push them onto a pile to compost or break down, and it would break down a lot faster with the manure mixed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
We're kinda challenged for flat land and all my fields are up on the top of a pretty good hill and it gets to be a pain to lug hay up there but the big thing is no water when it's cold. We have a Ritchie fountain at the barn so as soon as stuff freezes up I bring them down where the water is and I don't have to think about that. I have fed out alot in the fields and it definitely helps the fields. Always thought the cows would just walk on the hay and end up pushing it down into the snow.
 

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At this point it hay, not fertilizer, and it takes time and effort to get hay turned into fertilizer. You would likely be money ahead to sell the hay and buy fertilizer with the proceeds, even if the hay gets sold at approximately a break even for its nutrient value.
 

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Only unroll what they will clean up in 24 hours. None of it is truly wasted if its being composted and put back into the fields.

My cows have water at the house which is 3/4 a mile from where I'm feeding. Most just eat snow or find water under the snow to drink from. They don't often hike home.
 

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3 or 4 years ago I bought a farm with 550-600 bales of rotten moldy baleage. I piled and burned about half of it, the other half I rented a bale processor and blew it all onto the fields.

The bale processor worked great other than it ate a lot of man power and fuel. Burning left me with a fairly small pile of ashes that went thru the manure spreader nicely.

If I had a large pile of bales to dispose of again I would pile them up and burn them. Then spread the little bit of ashes that are left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll probably try to do something to spread them, always seems easier when you're thinking about it than when you actually do it. I think getting it to unroll in the manure spreader and having the beaters do a little to it wouldn't be too bad but going to take time and fuel$$. Around here probably be lucky to sell it for 20 per bale so it seems like getting something out of it would be better, maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've seen them roll down the hill and so far into the woods you need a skidder to get them out but they don't seem to unroll. Maybe you should put twine on before dumping them from the baler.
 

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This is great. We put a junker bale aside in 2020 and it's been sitting in place. It's just one bale so We will just roll it out on a field prior to replanting and get the boys to rake it up.

My feeling on hay is that if it's baled it's worth something. Some modest farmers are in need and if their cattle will eat it, it might be a nice break for someone to buy a $15-20 round bale. If you don't have the bale processor, or bale unroller it seems like a tough job.
 
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