Bulk Feeder

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parksfamilyranch
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Bulk Feeder

Post by parksfamilyranch » Tue May 14, 2019 1:24 am

We have been debating on investing in one of these 8k bulk feeders that are on axles for our cattle. I have a milling company 5 miles away so loading it is easy.

My issue is that I know nothing regarding using them in a feed plan. I talked to a local rancher yesterday that was getting his filled and he said he leaves open free choice out in the pasture.

Anyone have experience with these feeders, would be so much more convenient for our one man operation.



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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by wbvs58 » Tue May 14, 2019 3:37 am

Show us a picture of one. If it is like what I have with slides to control the rate of intake, it is very hard to get them down to what you might want if you only want to feed slowly. I only use mine on the bulls if I want to put a lot of weight on fast or time limit them at it. At the moment around here people are buying skinny cows due to the drought and putting them on a feeder for a while and then selling them for slaughter and are doing OK even though feed is expensive.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by parksfamilyranch » Tue May 14, 2019 10:34 am

Sure here are some pictures. I'm looking at buying new or refinished.

Image

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by Katpau » Tue May 14, 2019 11:38 am

We own a couple. We purchased them originally with the intention of using them to feed rye grass screening pellets to calves we were weaning. I was not at all happy with how that worked out. They went through considerably more pellets than I normally feed with no improvement in gain. They camped out there instead of grazing and they pushed pellets out on the ground wasting feed.

One of mine has attachments that can be pulled down to keep the cows out and we tried using that the first year to feed calves while they were still on cows. That did not pencil out either. Between the cost of feed and the discount for heavier calves, we lost money.

We use them now kind of like a gravity box and I'm actually happy I have them. We can get three ton in each, so we are able to buy in bulk and store it in them while we feed it out. I scoop out the amount of pellets I'm feeding into buckets, and then dump it into feeders. In this area, rye grass screenings are cheaper than hay, and better nutritionally than most local hay. We feed 8 pounds of pellets per day to the cows in winter plus limit feed hay. The wagons are a better way to handle the pellets than the large sacks we once used. The sacks were a pain to move, awkward to scoop pellets out of, cost about $16 each and the mice always chewed them up. With the wagons we just roll in to the grain tower every week or so and they fill us up.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by parksfamilyranch » Tue May 14, 2019 11:43 am

That's kind of what I was thinking, rationing it out in a way. The feeders close up, side close. So my thinking was I go out and scoop feed everyday, I do t have a hopper or anything like that.

My idea if I purchased one of these, filled, and opened when I went out and checked cattle everyday then close when I head home.

Let the cows eat for thirty minutes or so then close it up and return repeat the next day.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by bird dog » Tue May 14, 2019 12:50 pm

I guess I need to ask, why do you think your cows need feeding? Are they lacking in something or do you not have enough grass forage? A lot of my old cows have never seen one range cube.

The only time for me that it makes some since to feed from a bulk feeder is to feed calves a few weeks before weaning. This will help on your fresh weaned calves maintaining their weight and they seem to wean easier when their belly is full. Saying that, I rarely do it even though I have the feeders. I fence line wean my calves in a small area that has the feed in troughs and they readily start on the feed in a couple days.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by parksfamilyranch » Tue May 14, 2019 12:52 pm

Reseeding pastures so stocking them with round bales at the moment so as far as forage it is thin.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by Katpau » Tue May 14, 2019 1:31 pm

I think you will like them for what you are planning to do with them. I use them just in winter. There is very little to graze on in the calving pasture in February, so screening pellets are my most economical feed. Like I mentioned before, screening pellets are cheaper than hay and the cows love them. I won't feed more than about 30% of their diet, so we still need to buy hay too. I have never seen a range cube either. They don't sell them in my part of the country. I also fence line wean and the calves are offered a limited amount of screening pellets to teach them to use the bunks, but mainly depend on grass and or hay. We start weaning the calves in about a two acre area and after a few days the cows leave and we open gates to allow the calves access to their own pasture.

Where are you located?

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by parksfamilyranch » Tue May 14, 2019 1:54 pm

I'm in southern Oklahoma and we have had a lit of rain. Issue is I reseeded way late, so now just wanting g to give my cows the best nourishment I can. They have access to plenty of high quality hay at all times, and they are feed grain daily. It's just getting to become a big chore bucket feeding. Poor man's farm lol.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by Lucky » Wed May 15, 2019 7:47 am

Cows would eat 10-15#’s a day or more out of a bulk feeder. I think you’d be better off investing in an old flatbed truck and trip hopper so you could hand feed them. It’s hard to say not knowing how many cows or acres you are running on though. I did the bucket deal for allot of years and it does get old.

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Re: Bulk Feeder

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed May 15, 2019 4:28 pm

If you are trying to stretch out the hay you are feeding while you are waiting for your pastures, it should work. But, if you have plenty of good hay, they don't need supplement.
If they will only have a short time to eat from it, you need enough space for all the cows to eat at the same time.
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