This post is about hay bales and what we’ve learnt about them on the Camino.

I think it’s pretty interesting but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

There are different types

Walking in France, Belgium and Germany, we only saw round hay bales.

Round hay bales in a field

In Spain, all the ones we’ve seen look like big blocks.

Square hay bales in a stack with some loose

What they’re for

Square bales

The ones shaped like blocks are actually a load of smaller blocks tied together. Each smaller block is roughly enough to feed an animal. If you loosen the twine the whole thing opens out like an accordion and you can pull out the bit you need.

This type have been around for longer. We only started seeing them when we got to Spain.

This shape are more labour-intensive to use but good if you need to know exactly how much you’re feeding your animals.

Round bales

The round bales are a single roll of hay. This is the kind we saw in France, Belgium and Germany.

Because the round ones are a standard shape you can buy feeders they fit into. You can drop a bale in, leave it in the field and your animals can feed themselves.

Feeder, built to fit round hay bales

(Image from

The round bales can also be wrapped in plastic so they stay dry. When you need one you just unwrap it and it should be ready to go.

Hay bales wrapped in plastic

Giant haystacks

The bales we’ve seen in Spain are stacked in big piles. Really big:

A big stack of square hay bales

Tom in front of a giant haystack

Tom in the corner of a giant haystack

Hay experts

A couple we met while we were walking were both from farming families. We learnt most of these hay facts from them.

I’m sure there’s stacks more to say about hay but I’ve gotta bale.