Baleage 101

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Baleage, also known as haylage or baled silage, occurs when you bail hay at a moisture level between 45 and 65 percent with a round baler and then have it sealed tightly in a plastic bale bag to keep oxygen out. This prevents rotting and allows for fermentation that naturally occurs in livestock’s digestive system. A hole the size of a penny in the plastic wrap can cause serious rot in your hay.

Baleage can be better than dry hay for cattle because it is less likely to cause bloat, tends to retain more nutrients, and is easier to digest. It also has improved longevity and sees less than 10 percent losses compared to 20-30 percent of dry uncovered hay.

Baleage is generally more expensive because of machinery costs to produce than dry hay. However, it has many benefits and may be a good long term solution to invest in.