Each draft horse on the farm consumes about a bale of hay a day, or 40-50 lbs. At $4.50 -$5.00 a bale, it costs us about $40.00 a day to feed out hay to all our horses. Yesterday we tried something new - round bales. Each round bale weighs approximately 600 lbs, and costs us $40.00. We estimate that each round bale should feed the three horses in each lot for five days - that's $2.60 per horse, per day. If they last longer than five days, the cost per horse will be better yet. I am hoping this works for us - to be able to cut our feed bill in half would be a tremendous savings!
I woke up early this morning and wandered outside to see how the horses were doing with these new bales. In both paddocks, the horses were just standing around, too full to care about eating. Once I walked into the paddocks to visit with them, they started to eat at the bales again. That's when I snapped these pictures. They all seem so content!
The chickens, of course, are free-range and they are happy all the time, too!
Photos: Top: Lincoln & Gillette (in fly mask) eat from the round bale while Cyrus hangs back.
Middle: Danny & Dakota - Dolly was so full she was sleeping under a tree.
Bottom: My young hens, busily running about the yard.