How Many Bales of Hay in a Ton? Guide

Hay is a crucial component of the diet of many large grazing animals. It is made up of dried and cut plants and is available for purchase in either small bales or large rolls. If you are wondering how many hay bales you would need to reach 1 ton. Here’s the answer.

Choose 40 small hay bales or 1-1/3 large hay rolls for 1 ton or 2,000 pounds of hay. Each small bale is about 18x35x14 inches, 5.1 cubic feet, and 50 pounds. Large hay rolls are 5×6 feet, 141 cubic feet, and 1,500 pounds. 

Note that the number of hay bales needed to make 1 ton can vary by supplier. This guide will show you how many bales are needed to reach 1 ton based on different stock weights. You’ll also learn how many large grazing animals can be fed with 1 ton of hay.

How Many Bales of Hay in a Ton?

Suppliers may have different sizes of hay bales, but many stock bales that are 18x35x14 inches and weigh around 50 pounds each. To get 1 ton or 2,000 pounds of hay, you’d need to get 40 small hay bales.

Now let’s address the main question: How many bales of hay are there in a ton? To determine this, we need to convert the weight of a ton to the weight of a single bale. Since a ton is equal to 2,000 pounds (907 kg), we can use this conversion factor to calculate the number of bales. Here’s a simple formula:

Number of Bales = Weight of a Ton / Weight of a Single Bale

For example, if the average weight of a small square bale is 50 pounds (23 kg), the calculation would be as follows:

Number of Small Square Bales in a Ton = 2,000 pounds / 50 pounds = 40 bales

Keep in mind that this calculation will vary depending on the weight of the bales you are working with.

The below table shows how the number of hay bales required to make 1 ton can vary depending on the supplier, comparing the dimensions and weights of hay bales from different suppliers:

VendorsDimensions (Inches)WeightHay Bales Per Ton
Canfield Family Farm14 × 18 × 4250 lbs.20
Forbes Lucerne18 × 15 × 3655 lbs.34.48
Hay Forks16 × 18 × 3660 lbs.33.33
High Desert Hay16 × 18 × 48110 lbs.18.18
Horse Racing Sense14 × 18 × 3548 lbs.41.67
Key Thorpe16 × 12 × 3944 lbs.45.45
Machine Finder16 × 22 × 44100 lbs.20
Progressive Forage14 × 18 × 3655 lbs.34.48
Straw Works18 × 14 × 4155 lbs.34.48

How Many Animals Can One Ton Of Hay Feed?

The number of animals you can feed with a ton of hay depends on several factors, such as the size and weight of the animals, their nutritional needs, and the quality of the hay.

The following table provides a quick overview of the average hay consumption and how long common livestock will take to consume one ton of hay.

Animal TypesAverage hay consumption on a daily basisCount of days consumed per ton of hay
Cows24 lbs.83.33
Goats4.4 lbs.454.54
Horses20 lbs.100
Llamas12 lbs.166.67
Pigs2 lbs.1,000
Sheep0.3 lbs.6,666.67

To ensure the optimal health and well-being of your livestock, it is important to provide them with the right amount of hay. As a rule of thumb, horses typically require about 3% of their body weight in hay on a daily basis, while cows typically require only 2%.

Is Hay Bale’s Size Important?

Is Hay Bale's Size Important

Hay bale size matters for several reasons. First, it affects how much hay you can store in a given space. Large bales take up more space, but they may be more efficient for storage because they require less handling. On the other hand, small bales are easier to move and handle but may require more storage space.

Secondly, hay bale size can impact how much hay you need to feed your animals. If you use large bales, you may need special equipment to handle them, which can increase costs. However, large bales may be more efficient to feed large herds of animals because they require less handling time.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Hay?

The lifespan of hay depends on various factors, including the type of hay, how it’s stored, and the environment in which it’s stored.

Generally, properly stored hay can last up to two years or more. However, the quality of the hay will decrease over time, and it may lose nutritional value and become less palatable to animals.

To maximize the lifespan of hay, it should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and moisture.

However, If hay bales are stored in the open, their lifespan will be significantly reduced to just 2 days due to the negative effects of moisture and heat on the quality of the animal feed.


How many bales of timothy are in a ton?

The number of bales of timothy in a ton can vary depending on factors such as the size and weight of the bales. Generally, a ton of timothy hay is equivalent to around 40 to 50 bales, assuming an average weight of each bale.

What is the weight of 1 bale of hay?

The weight of a single bale of hay can vary significantly depending on the type of hay and the way it is compacted. However, a common weight for a bale of hay is around 40 to 60 pounds (18 to 27 kilograms).

How do you calculate tons of hay?

To calculate tons of hay, you need to know the weight of each bale and the total number of bales. Multiply the weight of one bale by the number of bales and then divide the result by 2,000 (since there are 2,000 pounds in a ton). The formula is as follows:
Tons of Hay = (Weight of One Bale × Number of Bales) / 2000

What is a full-size bale of hay?

A full-size bale of hay refers to a bale that is typically larger and heavier than standard-sized bales. Full-size bales can vary in weight, but they are often larger and may weigh around 100 to 120 pounds (45 to 54 kilograms) or more. These bales are commonly used for larger livestock and commercial purposes.

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