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Bale Grazing – Easier Winter Feeding in Pasture

There are all kinds of ways to feed livestock through the winter. This week we’re going to look at the ins and outs of bale grazing – a practice where you place bales in pasture and then give animals access to them a little at a time.

The Basics

Bale Grazing Dos and Don’ts

Unroll or Not?

Some folks feed by unrolling bales. Others follow the practice laid out above. So let’s hear from two bale grazing practitioners.

Greg Judy unrolls his bales and to make it easier, he even created his own hay bale unroller. Here he talks about how it works for him.

Soil Fertility and Good Feed – That’s Why Greg Judy Unrolls Hay

Tom Krawiec, a Canadian Rancher, is known for doing the math, and in this article he not only describes the soil and pasture health benefits of bale grazing, but he also compares the costs of unrolling vs feeding whole bales. He agrees that pugging can be a problem when feeding whole bales on ground that isn’t frozen, so that can be a consideration. Overall, he likes the results he gets from concentrated feeding.

To Unroll or Not to Unroll? What Gives the Most Bang for the Buck When Bale Grazing?

More Good Advice

Here’s a great video from South Dakota ranchers talking about their experience with bale grazing. You can watch the video, or read the transcript I provided that highlights lessons learned.

Bale Grazing Advice From Ranchers to Save Money, Improve Soil and Forage, and Have a Better Life

Results May Vary

One of the best pieces of advice from the South Dakota ranchers is to start out small the first year. That gives you time to adjust the practice to your own needs and climate. This article, written by a beginning grazier, gives you a look at some of the challenges you might encounter so you can solve for those before you begin.

Outwintering Cattle With Stockpile and Bale Grazing

Want More?

I’ve covered this topic with lots of articles. Click on over here for more to explore.

Last But Not Least – A Funny

My favorite holiday is just weeks away. For those who celebrate, here’s a tasty idea.

Halloween Party Food

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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