Hay is an essential ingredient in the food chain. It provides feed for livestock and wild animals alike, as well as being used in everything from composting to insulation. There are many different types of hay bales and we will discuss them in detail throughout the article. We will also cover what materials you need to build a hay bale and the steps involved with each type of hay baler. Building hay bales is not only profitable but also easy!
Table of Content
Why Bale Hay?
There are many reasons why people choose to bale hay. Some common ones include:
- It is more cost-effective than purchasing it from a store or feed provider. Hay can be expensive, especially if you have multiple animals that need to eat regularly throughout the year. Buying in bulk and making your own bales allows for significant savings over time.
- It also saves on storage space because these large round hay bales take up way less room than traditional square straw bails.
- It’s easy to transport as well since they can easily fit into semi-trucks, trailers, and small spaces like sheds or garages without taking up too much room.
- You don’t have to waste money on cellophane wrap because the hay is protected by a tough exterior of compacted grass.
- These are just some of the benefits of making your own bales, which we will cover in this guide.
- Hay bale size and shape may vary based on what you’re trying to achieve. In addition, straw can also be used instead of or in combination with hay for different purposes such as bedding or composting materials.
How to Cut Our Hay Grass?
Hay grass is cut when the seed heads are rapidly forming. The best stage to cut hay grass is just before heading, or flowering of the plant begins. This way, you get more leaf material which will help in making good quality silage for livestock. For harvesting purposes always use a sharp dual-blades mower with a high lift capacity and wide wheelbase so that it can maneuver easily through rows while cutting the crop’s top leaves at the same time reducing damage during transport on the ground surface across uneven terrain without tearing up any roots below.
Ted the Hay to Help it Dry Faster
If you have a small amount of hay, consider using a food dehydrator. For large amounts, leave it in the field and let the sun do most of the work for you. Once it is dried out and no longer green, you can bale your hay.
Rake the Hay Before Baling
A hay rake is a large, flat machine that you drive over the field with. The tines on the front of it will pull your hay into rows and cause clumps to form so they can be baled more easily.
Rake the hay in two directions: once from north to south and then again from east to west. Sometimes farmers will use a roller after raking which helps compact them even further for baling.
Baling With Balers
The first step to making hay bales is choosing the right baling equipment. The three main types of equipment are round balers, square balers, and forage wagons. Round or cylindrical bale size can range from small 50cm x 60 cm cylinders up to large 120 cm diameter trailers that weigh over 100kg each. Square baler technology has also come a long way in recent years with many now being able to produce larger-sized 200-300mm high by 300-400 mm wide bales weighing around 15 kgs each.
How to Build a Box Baler
In order to bale hay by hand, one must first have a hay baler. A simple hand bale of wood is usually made for the beginner, and you will find that most people start with this type of hand bale when they are getting started in hay-making. Once hay is harvested it needs to be dried so that it can be stored properly without losing any nutritional value.
In order to make your own hay bailer by hand, there are some important measurements that need to be taken into consideration before you get started on building your new tool. The dimensions of the square-shaped wooden frame should measure 20″ across, with 36 inches between each sideboard along with 26 ½ inches from the bottom board up until top edge boards come together at a point around 16 ¼ ” high.
Now take two 36 inch pieces of ¼ inch rebar or metal rod material. Drill a series of ½” diameter holes about one inch from either end going completely through both rods but leaving approximately three inches of the rods’ ends exposed.
Also Helpful Articles
How to Use a Box Baler
It is added through the opening at the top. When full, it is packed down with a plunger, then more hay is added, plunging after each addition. Finally, the end of wire or twine is pulled out from little nails on the back and laid across the highest part of hay bale about half-inch off the floor. Push again to compress hay tie up tightly using two ends of twine or wire. Release door and remove bale hay slip right out if set up correctly as I said before ingenious!