The Benefits & Uses of Bale Hay Feeders in Victoria
Updated: Apr 14
From Warrnambool to Wodonga, farms all over Victoria rely on supplementary feed like hay and silage to stay on top of livestock feeding. It can be an important part of livestock’s daily diet and nutrients levels, particularly in times of drought or poor pasture yields.
If you use bale hay as part of your feeding routine, but you’re in need of a better and more efficient system, you should consider a mechanical bale hay feeder.
Benefits of bale hay feeders in Victoria
There are plenty of ways to feed out bales to livestock like cattle, sheep and horses, but the best option available to farmers are purpose-built mechanical feeders. These pieces of machinery can automatically distribute round or square bales across a large area and to large numbers of livestock. They take a lot of the labour out of bale feeding and the best bit - they greatly reduce the chance of feed wastage.
These feeders distribute hay evenly to livestock, which means that it isn’t all dumped in one location and left to livestock to manage their feeding.
All feeding systems for livestock waste a certain amount of feed. While this can’t always be helped, there are systems that are much better at reducing wastage than others. Feeding losses are often overlooked on farms and seen as unavoidable. However, incorrect feed out systems can easily lead to much greater wastage than is needed - and it can start to add up.
Rather than letting feed wastage eat into your bottom line, it might be time to invest in a more effective and efficient system.
Reduces pasture damage
If you don’t have a mechanical feeder or other feeder system, there is the option to put a bale in a paddock and roll it out into a thick mat or leave it standing up and allow livestock to feed themselves. However, giving livestock free access to hay like this can cause large losses. Livestock (particularly cattle) will likely walk over and sleep on the hay, which fouls it. This happens a lot more when feed is plentiful.
On top of hay spoilage, it can also cause areas of pasture underneath it to be damaged. This can become apparent well into the next season.
Mechanical feeders are a great option to avoid this kind of pasture damage and to reduce the losses associated with feed out.
Uses of bale hay feeders in Victoria
Mechanical feeders can be used for any number of livestock, from cattle to horses, sheep, and camelids. Depending on herd sizes and the type of bales you use, there is a hay feeder or feed out cart to suit your needs. From multi-bale feeders that can take up to eight round or square bales to round bale feeders that carry just two bales, you can select one that’s perfect for your requirements. If you can’t find the perfect one for you, WMI Feeders also offer feeder customisations. Talk to our team about your requirements today.
So, what are some of the most common uses for bale hay feeders in Victoria? Let’s take a look.
Bale feeders for cattle
Victoria has nearly 29,000 farms across the state, with livestock numbers of over 22 million beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, goats and other animals. But making up the largest percentage of that number is dairy cattle. Victoria is Australia’s largest dairy producing and exporting state. Sixty-two per cent of Australia's milk production comes from Victoria.
This is why bale feeders are most popular with feeding dairy cattle. They are the most beneficial system for feeding large heads of cattle, ensuring that feed is distributed evenly across large areas and also reducing any wastage of hay or silage.
For dairy cattle farms in Victoria, mechanical bale feeders are the easiest and most efficient way to feed out, as well as offering value for money for farmers.
Best hay feeder for horses
Another popular use of bale hay feeders is for horse feeding. Farms with large numbers of horses will find that bale feeders save time and money. By reducing the time and labour involved in manual feed outs, mechanical feeders can make farmers' lives that much easier. It can also make for a smoother feeding time, with horses not having to fight over feed in a small container or pile.
If you’re interested in a feeder system for your cattle or horses, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your best option.
We hope this article has helped answer your questions about the benefits and uses of bale hay feeders in Victoria. If you’re looking for WMI Feeders in Victoria, take a look at our extensive dealer locations here.
If you have any questions about our bale feeders or feed out carts, as well as our customisation services, you can contact Willie's Manufacturing Industries today by calling 0488 605 713 or reaching out here.