Approximately 10 cows can fit around a round bale feeder at once. If more than 10 cows eat at one feeder, the most aggressive animals typically get the best hay; the others eat what remains or nothing at all. One 900-pound round bale feeds about 30 cows daily.
A farmer with a herd of 30 cows can minimize hay losses by using three hay rings and filling them every third day, instead of filling just one hay ring each day. The three-ring configuration significantly reduces hay waste and labor expenses while providing each cow with better access to the hay.