Flake is easy to ‘flake off’ component of any rectangular (or square) hay bale – a large bundle of hay compactly packed for shipping or storage. They are formed in the bailing process during the compression/release cycle. They are the almost equally sized slices of hay in bales of hay. Equine enthusiasts would get it easily; however, if you are a novice, watch the video below to grasp and visualize the concept better:

How Many Flakes in a Bale of Hay?

Although the number of flakes per bale depends entirely on the size of the bale, typically, there are about 12 to 16 flakes in a bale of hay. In addition to the size of the bale, its weight also determines the number of flakes in it. For instance, a three-stringed, 136-pound bale contains about 17 flakes. Similarly, a two-stringed, 80-pound bale has about 16 flakes.

Hence, one can easily estimate the number of flakes of hay in a bale by its weight and the number of strings. Doing so makes sure that their horses get a sufficient amount of food.

How Are Hay Flakes Made?

A flake of hay is formed through the baling process using dried legumes or grass, also called hay, as the basic and only ingredient. It is a cut, dried, and stored grass used as animal fodder.

Baling is mostly done with the help of machines – called hay balers – though it can also be done manually. The whole process is divided into the following steps:

Are All Flakes of Hay Equal?

No. All flakes of hay are not equal because there is no standard size of flakes, and the amount of hay used and the intensity of pressure applied during the baling process also matter. As a result, the flake size may differ from bale to bale or even within a bale.

Flakes are usually of large size when a greater amount of hay is, and lesser pressure is applied. However, if the amount of hay and pressure both are large, the hay flake might not be large but dense.

How Thick Is a Flake of Hay?

The thickness of a flake of hay can vary depending on the type of hay, quality of hay within the type, and the compression force applied during the baling process. An average flake of grass hay, such as Bermudagrass, may weigh 4-5 lbs, while an average flake of alfalfa hay will usually be thinner than the grass flake but may weigh around 5-6 lbs.

How Many Flakes of Hay to Feed a Horse per Day?

Just like the weight-carrying ability, how many flakes of hay a horse should have per day is also dependent on his own weight. Since horses need only about 1.5 to 2% hay of their body weight, they should not be overfed with flakes. Based on this rule, large horses such as the Shire must not eat more than 50 pounds of hay in a day. In terms of flakes, it tallies up to five.

Nonetheless, please note that it is always better to feed your horse based on the weight of the hay and not on the number of flakes.

Besides the quantity, the quality of the flakes also matters. Horses should be fed good quality hay, an indication of which is a bright green color, leafy and fine texture, and a fresh and pleasant aroma.

Did You Know?

Alfalfa hay has the highest protein content, i.e., between 15 and 21%, among all types of hay. For some horses, this can be more than their requirement; however, it is great for foals, mares, and growing horses.

How Much Is a Flake of Hay?

It depends upon the type of hay used in a bale and its weight. Nevertheless, the average cost of a bale can be estimated at $15. Considering one bale to have about 12 flakes, you can expect to pay about a dollar for each flake of hay.

You can get a better view from visiting Chewy shop here, where the actual prices of different types of horse hay are listed.

You can also find cheaper hay by visiting local pastures because most of the people split hay bales with neighbors either for free or they charge very little. However, make sure not to compromise on the quality.

Conclusion: What Is a Flake of Hay?

Flakes of hay are the almost equally sized slices of hay in a bale of hay. The bale of hay comes apart in small slices of compressed hay called flakes of hay. A bale of hay usually has around 12 to 16 flakes, with each flake weighing around 4 to 5 pounds.

A flake of hay is a part of a rectangular hay bale that is prepared through the baling process, i.e., cutting and compression of dried grass.

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