Cutting Round Bales - Chainsaw?

   #1  

Argonne

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Life interrupted this year, and I am ending up buying hay for the winter for our 3 equines. I went with round bales due to the economics.

We feed from a bunk feeder with hay rack out in one of the pastures, and I need to keep it that way because when it gets soupy out there the Gator is the only vehicle that can make the trip without tearing up the pasture. As such, we need to cut up the round bales (in the barn) and ration them out.

I have hopes ;) that my wife will do the feeding most days, and I want to make it as easy as possible for her. Pulling a round apart with a pitchfork is, um, not easy, so I am researching ways to section a round bale fairly easily.

I have an old electric chainsaw gathering dust, and my plan is to modify the blade (saw the procedure on the net somewhere), replace the oil with vegetable oil, and use it to cut the bales up. In another forum I saw comments that electric chainsaws were generally not up to the task, and would burn out, but I don't know how much cutting that were doing or whether or not they had modified their blade.

Has anybody here had experience using chainsaws for this purpose? Are there alternative methods that work?
 
   #3  

Tx Jim

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Have you considered flipping rd bale on the flat side then peeling the hay off the bale?
 
   #4  

Birdhunter1

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Have you considered flipping rd bale on the flat side then peeling the hay off the bale?
I'm a first horse owner and this is what I am doing. I've been around cows and hay a longtime but if I put one round bale out for a horse it would go bad long before she gets 1/2 way through it. So I flipped it on end in the barn and have been peeling it apart. So far so good.
 
   #5  

Wagtail

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A friend has two large posts... she then slides a metal rod through the centre of the round, attaches both ends to the top of the posts (block & tackle?) and hoists the round up off of the ground.

She then unravels as much hay as needed like you would a roll of toilet paper.

I haven't seen this arrangement in action but she's happy with it.
 
  
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#6  
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Argonne

Argonne

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Yea, I've been researching this off and on for a couple of weeks now. The silage saw is the most cool but it costs $ 1400. The only hay knives I'm finding out there are antiques, and the chainsaw idea, which appeals to me the most, gets criticized from time to time for various reasons, which is why I'm hoping someone on here has done it.

My fallback plan is to leave the end-loader with toothbar on the 2210 for the winter, and use it periodically to "disorganize" the bale, but I imagine it will tear things up so thoroughly that gathering ~ 40lbs a day to transport out to the pasture could be a messy proposition. I think sliced into wedges would be much easier to handle.

Then again, I haven't tried it yet, so tooth bar demolition might work just fine. The horses are still finding things to eat on the homestead, so I figure I have 2 weeks to come up with a plan. They do a great job on all the stuff I would normally have to weed-whack in the fall.

There are disadvantages to having them police up the homestead though, like getting out of the door.

KIMG0241.jpg
 
  
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#7  
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Argonne

Argonne

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JD2210, Ford 4400, Case IH 685, Terramite T7, JD 6x4 M-Gator
A friend has two large posts... she then slides a metal rod through the centre of the round, attaches both ends to the top of the posts (block & tackle?) and hoists the round up off of the ground.

She then unravels as much hay as needed like you would a roll of toilet paper.

I haven't seen this arrangement in action but she's happy with it.

Cool idea, but my wife lacks the innate physics aptitude to use a system like that. She'd be asking me why it doesn't unroll when she pulls the hay, and I'd be drawing pictures and showing her the math, and she's be nodding her head, and I'd get this oft repeated sinking feeling that I'm wasting my time.
 
   #8  

Dadnatron

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My only fear would be the stems twisting around the shaft or knocking the chain off the bar. Might be worth just firing up your regular saw and seeing how it works first. Although it will have a lot more speed and power, and might not represent an electric saw's action.

What about a $18 reciprocating saw from Harbor Freight with a long blade?
 
 
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