Our neighbor is a farmer and because his horse lives on our property, he gives us free rounds of hay. They are wrapped with a plastic twine. All we need to do is get the skid steer and move them from his property next door to ours.
There are other rounds for sale in the area that are wrapped tightly with a white plastic. These cost $55 each and we would have to transport them.
We don't have a barn large enough to hold the rounds so they must stay out in the field until we use them. I don't mind buying them if they are healthier for the horses.
1. Are these plastic wrapped rounds better for the horses health?
2. Should we purchase the plastic wrapped rounds?
3. Will the horses' health suffer is we use the twine wrapped rounds?
Personally I don't like to use round bales. Mainly because my horses seem to get fat eating them. With just 2 horses eating from the bale, I would pay a lot of attention to mold that might set up. It should take 2 horses at least 3 weeks to consume one bale and depending on the weather mold could set up. Unless you have it covered.
The wrap or ties are just to hold the hay together because round bales seem to be fluffier than square bales. There is a Hay Cradle you can purchase at Tractor Supply that will hold the round bale up and keep it off the ground to keep from getting soaked in rain or snow.
I have a cradle and I zip tied two strips of bull wire in the bottom of it to help keep the hay from falling to the ground so much. As far as safe, hay is hay. Some is more nutritious if it's bermuda or alfalfa, but as long as it dose not have a bad smell to it or filled with weeds it should be safe to feed. But pay close attention to it in case it has already set up with mold. Generally farmers leave it outside stacked in a row, but it's because they are feeding it to cows and they can consume almost anything. and the mold will set up in the middle of the bale because that's where the warmth is that makes it sweat. Horses stomachs are much more complicated and require a more nutritious diet. I'm sure you are learning by now that they need to stay on a good regulated diet and don't change their feeding to fast.
I hope this helps in some way. Keep up the good work. It will show down the road.