When I cut hay last month, I stuffed the cured hay into empty feed bags for storage. It was kind of a pain to fill the bags, and it turned out that they only hold about ten pounds of hay each. Even ignoring the high labor cost, it would take about 400 bags to make a winter's worth of hay. I have a lot of empty feed bags, but not that many. So I decided to try something different with this batch.
I used a large Rubbermaid container as the form, and laid lengths of twine across the bottom. Then I filled the box with hay (compressing it down as much as I could), tied the twine across the top, tipped the box over, and voila! had a small bale of hay. I made four bales before it got dark, and I think I'll get about another four bales out of the rest of the hay. Tomorrow I'll weigh the bales; I'm guessing that they're about 15 or 20 pounds each, more or less. Since this idea worked so well, I intend to look for an even larger container for my form. I'd like to make 50 pound bales, but that may be a bit out of reach.