How to Unroll Large Round Bales of Hay Easily 

If you are going to feed hay, I would highly recommend you use large round bales. However, you will see in a post coming later this week that I will help you feed less hay. Should the need to feed hay arise, I have learned a really easy way to do it from Greg Judy.

You will need the following:

  • A truck, ATV or pair of horses
  • Two logging chains
  • A fiberglass rod, 1 1/2”+ in diameter. Fiberglass is best because it’s flexible. Metal will probably bend, rendering it useless.
  • Drill
  • Wire
  • Your brain (sometimes I forget mine)

These are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Using a bench grinder, saw or anything else you can come up with and spike the end of the fiberglass rod.
  2. Drill a hole on each side of the rod, 1/8” is fine
  3. Drive the spiked end of the rod through the center of the round bale until it comes out the other side. Depending on the dimensions of the round bales you have, leave enough room on each side for 12” of rod to stick out.
  4. Place logging chains around the rod.
  5. Attach logging chains to your horse, donkey, ATV, truck or your three Jack Russell Terriers if your me.
  6. Put some wire or a pin through the holes that you drilled to keep the chains from falling off the rod.
  7. Cut the wrapping on the bale. Slowly pull forward and remove the rest of the netting/wrap.
  8. Take off! This is the fun part. If the bale isn’t unrolling properly, it’s backwards and you can just speed up, or repeat the steps above. I prefer speeding up!!

That’s all there is to it. No need for fancy expensive equipment. Thanks Greg Judy!


Many people think they are “wasting” hay by unrolling it on the ground. You are not. Ian Mitchell-Innes says that any litter (organic matter) you put in contact with soil will pay you back 10 fold. By “wasting” hay you are feeding the soil microbes, without those microbes you would have no grass, no cattle and no life. It’s important to feed all critters both above and below the soil.

Chris Stelzer

Chris Stelzer is a published Author, founder of Agricultural Insights and creator of many resources that help family farmers and ranchers grow their businesses. His flagship courses are the Grazing Mastery Program and The Farm Marketing Mastery Program. 

Chris Stelzer

related posts:

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch