The way I unroll hay

Discuss grasses and how to grow and harvest them.
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The way I unroll hay

Post by Bigfoot » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:16 pm

I was very reluctant to join the hay unrolling gang. As previously discussed here, your either in that club or your not. I always blamed the soft nature of my ground in the winter, as the reason not to do it. I actually like this little rig for unrolling. The 8n has a very minimal impact on the ground believe it or not. I just run different tracks every time I go. The unroller doesn’t require hydraulics, anyway so that’s not an issue. The name brand is Hay B Gone. It works as it should, and the gentleman that sells them is a class act, and makes a quality product.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by snoopdog » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:56 pm

Dang, Imma gonna have to get up on an upgrade, I just been feedin mine on a hill and lettin it roll down. Seriously, we feed in different ways depending on the weather, sometimes we roll, and sometimes we feed in a ring. Gotta be adaptable, that all in or nothing is BS.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by bird dog » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:21 pm

That second picture is beautiful the way the sky frames it. I was just thinking today, why don't more people unroll hay.

'I have been unrolling oat/rye grass hay on one over grazed , drought stricken, needing nutrients kind of place for a couple weeks and already have sprouts coming up through the hay stubble and cow manure. The herd all eats at once including the baby calves and then they fertilize it and move on. The calves love it for bedding.
So we have feed, soil reclamation, forage planting, and bedding all from one roll of cheap hay. Tell me I ain't efficient. :D

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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:03 pm

That second picture really is frame worthy.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by TN Cattle Man » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:27 pm

Good looking rig Bigfoot!!
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by ccr » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:14 pm

cool photo and rig. do you roll the entire bale out, or just a portion for the day?
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by ValleyView » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:05 am

This is the first year I have decided to unroll hay when daylight, moisture and time allows. I have heavy clay soils that left very obvious spots from our very wet winter last year where I fed in the hay ring. It looked like buffalo wallows all over my place.

In the past, prior to owning a tractor my wife would pull the bales behind my truck with a rock bar stabbed through the middle of the bale with a tow strap looped around my hitch caveman style to the ring, while I hollered slow down, speed up etc over two kids in the cab. I don’t recommend doing that!

However, I have been using this same method to unroll hay with the tractor by myself in the more overgrazed or bare spots so far and hope it makes a difference next spring.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by Bigfoot » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:51 am

ccr wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:14 pm
cool photo and rig. do you roll the entire bale out, or just a portion for the day?

This time of year I unroll one per day. In about 3 weeks, I will start unrolling one of a morning, and one at night. I do occasionally unroll a portion, and the Hay B Gone works well for that. You just drink it back up, and the cradle keeps it from falling off the roll. I’m more inclined to do that, when I want to catch the herd.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by Bigfoot » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:56 am

I had gotten to where I hated the impact that feeding rolls in rings made. I also hated the mess the tractor left getting the hay to the rings. The little red belly isn’t exactly a delight to drive, but it does start
On the coldest of days, and leaves almost no tracks.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by chaded » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:21 pm

Bigfoot wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:51 am
ccr wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:14 pm
cool photo and rig. do you roll the entire bale out, or just a portion for the day?

This time of year I unroll one per day. In about 3 weeks, I will start unrolling one of a morning, and one at night. I do occasionally unroll a portion, and the Hay B Gone works well for that. You just drink it back up, and the cradle keeps it from falling off the roll. I’m more inclined to do that, when I want to catch the herd.

Could you tell me how many cows and approximately the weight of the bales? I have been seriously considering unrolling hay next year. If I had enough hay to do it now I would. Just trying to figure out how much more I would need than I use in rings. I have 15 cows (would be with calves) and a bull.

I have a guy that makes hay off our field and we split it 50/50. It leaves me with enough hay but that is fed in rings to eliminate as much as possible. I have thought about having someone make all of our hay and just sell what I don’t use so I can have enough to unroll and hopefully help our pastures in the process.

Of course, I would pay quite a bit more with the latter option ($17.50 a bale) vs not paying anything other then what fertilizer I put on the field. I guess I could also continue to do the 50/50 and bring whatever extra hay in but could also bring in a weed problem too. I don’t know....wish there was an easy answer.

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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by bird dog » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:51 pm

I think you feed less unrolling than you do in rings but then again I am not feeding all that they can eat. Your waste is way less than feeding in rings.

With 15 cows, you would not be unrolling a full bale. Probably only about 1/3rd of one. You don't want to put out more than they will clean up in a few hours.

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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by Bigfoot » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:15 pm

chaded wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:21 pm
Bigfoot wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:51 am
ccr wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:14 pm
cool photo and rig. do you roll the entire bale out, or just a portion for the day?

This time of year I unroll one per day. In about 3 weeks, I will start unrolling one of a morning, and one at night. I do occasionally unroll a portion, and the Hay B Gone works well for that. You just drink it back up, and the cradle keeps it from falling off the roll. I’m more inclined to do that, when I want to catch the herd.

Could you tell me how many cows and approximately the weight of the bales? I have been seriously considering unrolling hay next year. If I had enough hay to do it now I would. Just trying to figure out how much more I would need than I use in rings. I have 15 cows (would be with calves) and a bull.

I have a guy that makes hay off our field and we split it 50/50. It leaves me with enough hay but that is fed in rings to eliminate as much as possible. I have thought about having someone make all of our hay and just sell what I don’t use so I can have enough to unroll and hopefully help our pastures in the process.

Of course, I would pay quite a bit more with the latter option ($17.50 a bale) vs not paying anything other then what fertilizer I put on the field. I guess I could also continue to do the 50/50 and bring whatever extra hay in but could also bring in a weed problem too. I don’t know....wish there was an easy answer.
I live a very short distance from a salvage yard, and almost every cutting, I run two rolls down there on my truck and weigh it. My grass hay just about always averages 825 pounds per roll. When feeding is in full swing, I will unroll two rolls per day to 85-90 cows. A sprinkling of fall born calves on the ground. It works out to about 18 pounds per cow. Which is considerably less than I used to feed in rings. The key seems to be keep them a “little hungry”. I didn’t like that at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. Good clean hay, they come very close to cleaning up the whole roll. I will add, from early February to the green up, I’ll feed about 7 pounds of distillers grain per day.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by chaded » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:39 pm

Bigfoot wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:15 pm
chaded wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:21 pm
Bigfoot wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:51 am



This time of year I unroll one per day. In about 3 weeks, I will start unrolling one of a morning, and one at night. I do occasionally unroll a portion, and the Hay B Gone works well for that. You just drink it back up, and the cradle keeps it from falling off the roll. I’m more inclined to do that, when I want to catch the herd.

Could you tell me how many cows and approximately the weight of the bales? I have been seriously considering unrolling hay next year. If I had enough hay to do it now I would. Just trying to figure out how much more I would need than I use in rings. I have 15 cows (would be with calves) and a bull.

I have a guy that makes hay off our field and we split it 50/50. It leaves me with enough hay but that is fed in rings to eliminate as much as possible. I have thought about having someone make all of our hay and just sell what I don’t use so I can have enough to unroll and hopefully help our pastures in the process.

Of course, I would pay quite a bit more with the latter option ($17.50 a bale) vs not paying anything other then what fertilizer I put on the field. I guess I could also continue to do the 50/50 and bring whatever extra hay in but could also bring in a weed problem too. I don’t know....wish there was an easy answer.
I live a very short distance from a salvage yard, and almost every cutting, I run two rolls down there on my truck and weigh it. My grass hay just about always averages 825 pounds per roll. When feeding is in full swing, I will unroll two rolls per day to 85-90 cows. A sprinkling of fall born calves on the ground. It works out to about 18 pounds per cow. Which is considerably less than I used to feed in rings. The key seems to be keep them a “little hungry”. I didn’t like that at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. Good clean hay, they come very close to cleaning up the whole roll. I will add, from early February to the green up, I’ll feed about 7 pounds of distillers grain per day.
Thanks, that is very helpful. Did you buy the unroller locally or have it shipped (if so from who?)? I am trying to find a place to get one but haven’t found anything so far.

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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by Bigfoot » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:03 pm

chaded wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:39 pm
Bigfoot wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:15 pm
chaded wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:21 pm



Could you tell me how many cows and approximately the weight of the bales? I have been seriously considering unrolling hay next year. If I had enough hay to do it now I would. Just trying to figure out how much more I would need than I use in rings. I have 15 cows (would be with calves) and a bull.

I have a guy that makes hay off our field and we split it 50/50. It leaves me with enough hay but that is fed in rings to eliminate as much as possible. I have thought about having someone make all of our hay and just sell what I don’t use so I can have enough to unroll and hopefully help our pastures in the process.

Of course, I would pay quite a bit more with the latter option ($17.50 a bale) vs not paying anything other then what fertilizer I put on the field. I guess I could also continue to do the 50/50 and bring whatever extra hay in but could also bring in a weed problem too. I don’t know....wish there was an easy answer.
I live a very short distance from a salvage yard, and almost every cutting, I run two rolls down there on my truck and weigh it. My grass hay just about always averages 825 pounds per roll. When feeding is in full swing, I will unroll two rolls per day to 85-90 cows. A sprinkling of fall born calves on the ground. It works out to about 18 pounds per cow. Which is considerably less than I used to feed in rings. The key seems to be keep them a “little hungry”. I didn’t like that at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. Good clean hay, they come very close to cleaning up the whole roll. I will add, from early February to the green up, I’ll feed about 7 pounds of distillers grain per day.
Thanks, that is very helpful. Did you buy the unroller locally or have it shipped (if so from who?)? I am trying to find a place to get one but haven’t found anything so far.
A gentleman in the Carolinas makes and sells them. I ordered mine months before I needed it, and was willing to wait until he was near my area on a delivery.

My 12 year old daughter has fed by herself several times.
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Re: The way I unroll hay

Post by sstterry » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:09 pm

$17.50 a bale??? That is dirt cheap. Are they 4x5's?

The guy who makes the Hay-b-gone is from Missouri if I recall. He also has a dealership in South Carolina. Greg Judy also makes a good one and he is also in Missouri.

https://www.goodlifegrassfarms.com/hay-bale-unroller

[/url]http://greenpasturesfarm.net/bale-unrollers[/url]

The cost is about the same.

Let me add, that when I first came to this board, I thought rings were the way to go to avoid waste. However, I have learned that by unrolling you are improving your pasture and not having all of the damage to the field (Again search Greg Judy and you will see his videos on this). With all of that said, if we are going to have a big snow, I will still put a roll or two in rings so that they can get to it and for my own peace of mind.

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