Friday, December 9, 2016

Hay Feeder For Three Please


 Feeding our livestock is just another challenge we've had here, not because we're new at this animal thing, but because we're new at doing it with less moola. On the big farm we had big metal hay feeders like these:



They worked well for feeding huge round and square bales to 20 or 30 head of cattle at a time. But those feeders, too big for our needs here, were sold this past summer. Now that pasture season is gone we needed a way to feed winter hay to our petite herd of three steers.

So as is his skill, Keith rummaged through what was on hand (and leaning against various trees) and constructed this feeder without purchasing a single item:




Open near the back where the electric wire runs, it allows easy access for us to fill. In the front Keith cut a large V in a leftover piece of wood, which allows our biggest steer to pass his head and horns.






Whereas the sides have narrower slats which he cannot fit his head into. We hope. Cattle can be cattle. This allows the two smaller calves to eat alongside the big steer, without him pushing them out of the way. Keeping hay up off the ground helps decrease parasite issues and allows us to monitor how  well they are eating over the winter, which is a prime time for weight loss as extra energy is used by the animal  to maintain body heat.




13 comments:

  1. I think I could use that feeder to munch on hay quite happily.

    Love,
    Janie

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  2. Great design thinking, and implementation, once again. Well done Keith and observation assistant, for blogging about it. ;)

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  3. Did Keith measure the Steer? The opening is PERFECT.

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  4. What a clever solution. It's nice to have 'a man who can' :-)

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  5. Very clever. Getting them to all get along (no matter what the species) at chow time is something of a challenge! We're looking at hay feeder designs as well, in hopes of making things more peaceable with our thats. (HA!)

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