RicelandMeadows


Winter Hay Feeder

hayfeed

December 5, 2017

We have been trialing the newly built hay feeder. The cows like it well. We had to turn one gate around on the feedlot for animal movement, but the feeder is working out very well. The cattle stick their heads through to eat. They eat at different times, but even when most of the herd east together, even the most timid animal can get a spot at the table.

They do eat some from the ends where the green gates are located, but mostly just clean up what ever has spilled out. There has been very little waste feeding the cattle this way. I can click the “success” button on this project! The feeder is easy to fill using the skid steer. The animals use it very well. The percentage of wasted hay is minimal. Lastly, I only have to move hay once a week or less, so it is a great time saver too!

This feeder is permanent, but building one on skids would be a great option for many small farmers. You provide some protection for the hay, as well as, the animals. This could even provide shade from the hot summer sun, while feeding hay when pastures are declining. I recommend trying one on your small holdings in some form or another. The benefits far out weigh the costs.



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

fedlot1

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.

fedlot2

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.

fedlot3

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.

fedlot4

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!



Back in the Slop
August 29, 2013, 8:34 am
Filed under: August 2013 | Tags: , ,
Nuff Said!

Nuff Said!

August 29, 2013

Here we go again… Monday we got a nice little shower that gave us a half of an inch of rain. That rain was almost welcomed after almost 9 full days of dry weather. The weatherman said, “don’t worry, the next couple of days will only contain pop up showers, from daytime heating.”  Well, they sure popped up here !   😮

I had just finished digging up our driveway to install a waterline to the washhouse. The trench had been filled again and “some settling” was sure to occur…. My daughter-in-law got her car stuck in that settling! It took seven tons of gravel to help fill the squishy mess. It is still unstable, soft and a bit of a concern. It resembles a road through a swamp.

I was sure that my daughter-in-law had embelished her car story a little, but when I went outside, I was amazed. A small river was running through our driveway. A pile of stone was on one side of the new waterway and my skid steer was on the other. I stepped into the fast moving stream to check how the bottom was … there was no bottom…well, it was deeper than my boots were tall.

I sloshed,one footed to the telephone and begged for another load of stone. The guy brought us one as fast as he could. He dumped it in the stream that was once our drive and created a small bridge for me to get the skid steer across. I spent the rest of the morning trying to fill in the moat that surrounded our house.

I swear that as I was working as fast as I could, I saw two black bears fishing in the trench down stream. I would dump in stone and almost watch it get washed away. I would roll up on top to push it down, but there seemed to be no bottom. The hole took load after load of stone, mud and gravel. I spent quite a bit of time trying to correct my problem, time that I has set aside for othr projects.

Later in the day, I tried to do some of those other projects. It seemed that everything I tried to do was stalled by muddy conditions. I have a cement truck due today…I’m thinking he may have to wait a day or two!  At least he won’t have to try and cross …. “The bridge over the river Cry!”