With November just around the corner, many haylage users with 3-4 horses could be thinking about saving money by making the switch to big bale haylage for the winter. Not only will horses generally be given more forage in the stable than when they have free run of turnout in the summer, but big bale haylage will last longer after opening in cold weather then when the mercury is in the 80s! Although the traditional advice is 7-10 days open for a bale of haylage before spoilage starts, many people manage to use a bale for 14-20 days during the depths of winter. So with the price per kilo of big bale haylage less than half that of small bales, maybe its worth thinking about a change!
It is always worth checking the dimensions of big bale haylage though. Not all square bales are the same size and shape, and even the ones commonly called ‘mini-hestons’ can vary by 25% just in cross section! If you’re unsure, checking the number of strings is a good starting point, 6-string bales being generally bigger than 4-string, and if your still worried get the tape measure out and try and remember the high online pharmacy uk school maths for calculating volume. Width by height by length of each bale will give you the best comparison and make sure you are really getting the great value you have been promised!
At Thorogoods we always sell our haylage by the bale. Buying by the tonne (by weight) can lead to you paying more for bales just because they have lower dry matter than another bale. Unlike cows, horses don’t generally increase intake due to lower dry matter, and indeed haylage which is too wet can make them scour or ‘fizz up’. As one of our customers is fond of saying ‘I’ll buy my water from the water board and haylage from you!’.
If ‘fizzing’, scouring or laminitis has been a problem when feeding haylage in the past, it’s worth asking and looking around for haylage with different nutritional content. Remember haylage only preserves the qualities of grass better than hay, its doesn’t add anything extra, so high fibre, timothy or threshed big bale haylage could suit well even if you’ve previously had a bad experience.
Switching to big bale haylage during the winter months can be cost effective. Take a look at our range of big bale haylage.