Cattle Hay Feeder
October 11, 2017, 7:31 pm
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , , , , ,


October 11, 2017

The rain fell the whole time we worked, but the feedlot addition for the new hay feeder is complete. All that remains to do is add some height to the east fence, taking the top rail up even with the gates. The material is ready. I will be repurposing some old pipe. I just need a day to finish that part of the project.


The new gates on the end of the feeder will allow for easy access with the skid loader. I will fill it full of round bales. Once the cattle have eaten all that they want of the bales, I can push the debris out the other end to be used as bedding before composting it.


Here you can see where the fence needs to be extended just a bit taller. This photo also shows the wide aisle where the cattle will feed and move about. I will have plenty of room for manure removal too. The bolts sticking out in the foreground, have been cut off and smoothed over. This will make a safe comfortable place for the bovines to eat.


The place where my dog is watching a couple of fattening pigs, is where the cows will sleep on cold winter nights. They will have access to this feeder, a large cement lot and the dry bedding area under the barn’s overhang. This place is where they will spend the bad days of winter. On better days, when the sunshine and daylight make for a nice day, the cows will be allowed out to a large field. The 4 acre field will be put into crops next spring, but will be an exercise lot for all the farms animals this coming winter.

I also built into this area the “headlocks” pictured above. They will allow for a humane way to catch a cow or steer when needed for ear tagging, vet checks or sorting for freezer camp. A large water trough will sit on the outside of the headlocks and catch rainwater off the roof. I will of course supplement as needed, but on rainy days I can save some. Even the dew will be collected as it runs off the barn roof.

Lastly, I can put the cows in this section of the feedlot when I am working the horses in winter. The cows have the protection of the feeder as they eat. I can leave the barn door and gates open as I wish to get the horses in and out. I won’t have to fuss with the cattle when coming and going to the woods or fields. It will prove to be a very efficient way to save time and stress levels for every single one of us!

Find and Opening
September 29, 2017, 7:30 pm
Filed under: September 2017 | Tags: , , ,


September 29, 2017

The hay feeder is taking shape. The cows should be able to find an opening, to munch on the sun cured hay, all winter. We used an old print from a university. I’m guessing it was information first posted in the early part of the last century. The measurements were just right for my cattle. I guess some things don’t change.

The opening at the top is twenty one inches. At the bottom the opening is seven inches. This gave me seven openings on each side. My feeder measures just under seven feet wide and eighteen feet long. I will fill it with round bales using my skid steer.

The hay feeder project is almost complete. Lumber is waiting for another project. I am in high gear. My knee is doing well, but I am still getting much help from family and friends. The next project is for an overhang to store hay and a couple pieces of equipment. That project is well started and should only take a couple more days to complete.

Lastly, we will be making a small addition to the sugarhouse for a large holding tank for maple sap. The tank is stainless steel and will hold just over 2000 gallons. This new tank will make it possible for us to have a storage capacity of well over 4000 gallons. We don’t use reverse osmosis in our operation. We choose instead, to boil the water out of the sap from start to finish. The flavor that develops during that time is awesome.

Our new guard donkey has found an opening in our family. The children are sitting on his back and loving him daily. He is content with the cattle and sheep as they eat, sleep and graze together. He comes when he is called. He is an adorable creature…long ears and all.

Making it Easier


June 30, 2017

I am engaged in a project that will make my life easier for the rest of my days. We are adding onto the feedlot and building this hay feeder. This will allow me to keep all of our animals by the barn for the whole winter. I will only have one water trough to keep thawed and clean. I will only haveĀ one area of manure to stack and manage and the addition of this “built in” hay feeder, will allow me to only have to handle big round bales weekly,feedlotfeeder instead of almost daily.

I can fill it with the skid steer using four bales at a time. The cows will get some protection from the weather as well as the hay, as they eat. The whole thing can be cleaned out when needed by simply pushing out the opposite end of the feeder. I will add a few gates that will give me flexibility when sorting or confining animals. It will make things easy when using the horses in winter, by being able to isolate the cattle when I want.

Sheep can be offered the protection of the barn, while keeping them out of the way of the cattle by simply making a portion where only the sheep will have access. I can bed the area with chips, sawdust or straw all kept nearby. Chore time in winter will be reduced by hours, giving me more time for important things like talking to friends, breathing on horses or sipping coffee.

The real goal, however, is to make doing chores easy for me well up into my advancing age. I am currently recovering from knee replacement surgery. Yep, it was a surprise for me too! I will be down for three months. Projects such as this have been put on hold. They are only moving forward thanks to the help of family and friends. I ice my knee, stretch my muscles and watch from the window…these are some of the hardest things I have ever done!