View Full Version : How long does opened baleage last for?

17-08-09, 08:04 PM
hi everyone

I am looking at getting a bale of baleage (the person selling it is across the road from where the horses are so I'm hoping they can dump it in the paddock) its $75.00 reserve ($85.00 buy now) and 700 - 800kg bale.

We have three horses at this paddock, and one at home (could rip hay off it I suppose to take to her).

Anyway, would this be worth it for three horses?

one needs fattened up a bit, but if its only good for a week its prob not worth getting one.

We did get some small square baleage (about 40kg) for $18.50 a bale which I thought was too expensive for what came out of the bale (damp hay lol) but we thought we would try it.

17-08-09, 09:16 PM
Hi, I am a long time lurker. But thought I might post because no one else had :).

I have always purchased large bales, especially in cereal and pasture hay as it is so much cheaper.

From my experience over the years. I would never place a large bale in the paddock, unless it is in a feeder. As the horses waste and trash more than they eat.
If you are purchasing a 700kg bale, it must be a large square and would not fit into a feeder anyway, so I guess that point does not really matter.

Large bales will fall apart much faster than rounds when opened, so can get ruined by the horses far more quickly. I personally feel it is to unsafe to leave the twine on like I have seen some people do.

I always store mine under a large tarp, and depending on the pasture amount, I can get about 2-3 months per bale, per horse. I would not leave a bale that big out in the paddock, if it gets a good amount of rain on it, it could be ruined in one day.

For that price, I would definately be checking the qualilty. Cereal and pasture hay is going for $250 -$350 per tonne, in my area.
That price sounds very cheap, in comparison to the price of your small bales, which I pay $10 for.

17-08-09, 09:28 PM
it is a round bale of wrapped baleage - they have photos (I suppose they have estimated the weight?)
I was going to put it somewhere they couldn't get to it, and throw blobs out every day.

Baleage doesn't last a couple months does it?

I am in NZ, and our hay, baleage etc seems to be a lot cheaper than oz (we never have droughts where I am)

17-08-09, 09:35 PM
I think I may be getting confused :).

Perhaps you are talking about what we call silage. Which over here is moist sealed hay, in an anaerobic environment, with bacteria used to help ferment the sugars in the hay.

That will not last very long at all whan opened, is that what you are refering to when you say Baleage?

You lucky thing never getting droughts, what makes your small bales so expensive?

17-08-09, 09:43 PM
Haylage, like silage, must be consumed within about a week of opening.

With only 3 horses in the paddock this might be problematic as the risk of haylage developing a rapidly growing bacteria infestation is greater as it is exposed to the air.

You would really need to spread it right out which leaves it open to being spoiled by the weather and wind but at least you won't have toxins developing.

In Australia we have very little experience with feeding out haylage (baleage) or silage and most people have a horror story to tell about salmonella etc.

We are far more likely to be feeding out round bales of hay rather than a wilted and wrapped product.

17-08-09, 09:44 PM
is it commonly fed over there foxni - all the reading I have done on it, says its too risky for horses as it is not cut dry enough and is fermenting

18-08-09, 12:07 PM

ok so here are some NZ terms lol -
Silage: In a silage pit - fed to cows (and sheep?)
Baleage: Similar to above but wrapped up in plastic, usually innoculated with something that kills bad bacteria.

Lots of people feed it, it is becoming more popular as the hay makers stop doing small squares of normal hay.

Baleage is definately different to silage - it is marketed as a horse food, and the stuff I have got in the small squares is basically just greener damp hay - not slimy and yuk like silage can be.
Silage I've heard horror stories about, but baleage nothing bad (just that it has to be fed in a certain amount of time).

I was interested in it as it would be a lot cheaper than feeding small squares of normal hay (prob $7.00 a bale) or small baleage ($18.50).

this is it here

If it would last two weeks it would prob be cost effective, as we have 6 sheep as well we could feed it to.

18-08-09, 03:41 PM
There are many types of ensiled hay. Usually they are all innoculated to ensure that the fermentation process is taken up quickly to lock in the sugars at a certain time.

Pit Silage is the wettest and needs to be fed out before the weather gets too hot,
Wrapped Silage which is most popular with dairy farmers
Wrapped Haylage which comes in many different sized bales depending on how it would be fed out and stored. This is the driest.

They all still have to be fermented properly without salmonella etc

Once exposed to the air they all start to alter.

No one can give you an anwer about the haylage because there is always a small risk of botulism involved. It's great feed but if it goes wrong it can be a disaster.

18-08-09, 03:48 PM
so why do lots of places sell it as a horse food? and experienced horsey people feed it? if there is a risk?

Also what about the chaff versions that you can get (well I can, not sure about oz) chaff with molasses (or not) vaccum packed? wouldn't that have the same risks?