Consider winter option of bale-feeding cattle

Cali O’Hare photo A pair of cowboys move cattle Friday morning between Pinedale and Trapper’s Point.

Want to save labor feeding in the winter? Make more time for other activities without hiring additional help? Have a site in your pastures that is not productive? Bale grazing may be a feeding practice you can try. Bale grazing is placing a certain number of bales out in a field at one time and unwrapping them for a cattle buffet. Bales are usually placed, with enough for your herd, every three days. Labor and time are saved by not unrolling the bales and not feeding every day.

While there may be some additional hay used in this method, producers have cited the increased labor and time savings as far outweighing this concern. Bales are placed at least 30 feet apart in order to allow for animals to surround each bale. The best spot to put these is in places you would like to improve your hay field – the more marginal soils or places where you would like to see improvement in production or composition.

Bale grazing concentrates increased residual and concentrates manure and urine which can eventually increase soil organic ma