I was considering getting one of the giant round bales this summer. Can you leave them outside? Will the goats just munch away? I thought that hay had to be inside, but I see pictures all over of the hay just sitting in the field?
Most of the time the huge round bales are for cattle. The mold does not seem to bother them at all.
For the horses and llama I just stack my hay bales on a platform 5" off the ground. It is stored in the corner of our barn with a tarp over it b/c the barn has some leaks in it.
With mine, any hay that hits the ground instantly becomes a soft place to lay down. I feed mine in a pasture with my horses several times a day. The horses clean up after the goats so I don't have as much waste.
The majority of my goats get nothing but the large round bales. I have about 35 goats in the main barnyard this winter and they are going through approx. one 800 - 900 lb bale a week. I have specially designed feeders made of square metal tubing. They are square and have two sides that slide in as the goats eat the bale. These work fairly well at minimizing the waste.
It is a good idea to move the bales around and not feed in the same place all the time, but when the snow gets 2 feet deep, where I can put the bales does become a bit more limited.
So, yes, the large round bales will work for goats, but it depends on what you, and they, are used to. It also takes a pretty skookum tractor to move the big bales.
Yeah, if you just put it out there they will waste vast amounts of it. You can buy a roundbale and keep it in a shed or barn and unwind just what you need for the day, though, and put it in their regular hay feeder. If it is the price that appeals to you.