When hay supply comes under extreme pressure the last thing you’ll want is to be wasting it! Inside you’ll find 23 proven ways you can reduce hay waste.

  • Chainless bale feeder
  • Chain / slat bale feeder (Cradle feeder)
  • Bale unroller
  • Bale bed / Bale deck
  • Hay ring / Hay trailer
  • Bale Processor
  • Bale splitter
  • TMR Mixer

A majority of the research in this guide was conducted alongside Australian & New Zealand’s farmers and ranchers. It includes best feedout practices for surviving a severe drought and improving the welfare of your livestock.

We compare systems, not brands.

To provide you with a balanced evaluation, instead of comparing brands, we’ve compared how each feeding system performs and compares in each of the 23 situations faced when trying to optimize performance when feeding bales to cattle:

  1. Investment cost
  2. Number of cattle that can be fed
  3. Feed Waste
  4. Feed Damage
  5. Hoof trampling
  6. Time to feed each bale
  7. Pasture damage
  8. Ease of access to feed for all animals
  9. Manure and nitrogen spreading 
  10. Ability to use part bales
  11. Diesel consumption per bale
  12. Minimum tractor size required 
  13. Approx maintenance cost in the first 3 years
  14. Can feed hay bales
  15. Can feed baleage bales 
  16. Can feed round bales 
  17. Can feed square bales 
  18. Mix with other ingredients 
  19. Open field feeding 
  20. Indoor feeding 
  21. Bunk, trough, feed-pad feeding 
  22. Straw bedding capable 
  23. Single tractor operation

What our farmers and ranchers say

luke carr

“We buy and produce both round and square bales, so the Hustler X2500 Chainless balefeeder really suited our needs.  It allows us to feed both types of hay quickly and without wastage.”

Luke Carr, Comobella (Australia) - Chainless X2500/LX105
Glenn Anderson

“It’s saving us half a bale a day!”  (25% of their feed costs.)

Glenn Anderson, Tasmania (Australia) - Chainless X5000/TX205

“I was impressed with how it trails the grain across the top of the hay and with how much labour it takes out of the work”

James Bishop, Mullaley (Australia) - Super Comby/CM106
Ian dickson

“We were very happy with the first one, it made the job a lot easier so we thought we’d buy another one!”

Ian Dickson, Milawa (Australia) - Chainless X5000/TX205

“The machine’s been fantastic, we’ve been looking around for a long time for one of these and now the drought’s come, we really needed this to feed our sheep, it’s been very convenient, and works very well, excellent.”

Sheep Farmer, Queensland (Australia) - Chainless X5000/TX205

Luke Carr survived the drought by deciding to change his feeding method

Drought conditions affect all ranchers to feed and finish stock. Then, keeping stock healthy at the lowest possible cost and reducing waste is a top priority.

For a few years now, a severe drought is impacting large areas of Australia throughout summer. In New South Wales, Luke Carr, feeds out his cattle daily. He has been feeding his livestock by hands – unrolling each bale manually without any use of mechanised equipment, “a very time-consuming and uneconomical way to do it,” Luke said – until he decided to switch to the chainless feeding system. Today, Luke is able to feed his stock efficiently, reducing wastage while also cutting his feed costs by 50%. See Luke’s full story here.

If you want to reduce hay waste and labour while retaining profits through critical drought conditions, maybe now is the time to rethink your feeding methods like Luke Carr did.


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