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Cheap Alternate Bedding?

LoveMoo11

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We usually toss some shavings into our pole barn for our Angus but those have been hard to get lately due to the increased number of wood pellet plants in our area that are buying them. What is something we can use that is cheap and easy to get (in Maine) that isn't going to be a hassle to clean up?
thanks
 

VtMapleGal

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here in southern vermont i have the same problem. with 10 pigs, 3 horses and all the cows, we could go through a lot of shavings fast, but we have to limit them. I havent tried them yet, but some of my horsey friends love woody pet. its like a pressed pellet that fluffs as it gets wet. not sure on the price, but you might check into them.
 

Bez+

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LoveMoo11":1f80ba95 said:
We usually toss some shavings into our pole barn for our Angus but those have been hard to get lately due to the increased number of wood pellet plants in our area that are buying them. What is something we can use that is cheap and easy to get (in Maine) that isn't going to be a hassle to clean up?
thanks

How many cows - how big an area - how often do you want to bed?

When do you bed?

Where do you feed? How do you feed?

How often do you feed? What do you feed?

Pics would be good.

Questions are for a reason - if I get a chance I will maybe come up with an idea that saves you a bit of cash.

Cheers

Bez+
 

Alice

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When I was raising baby holstein bulls I would rake up dry leaves and use it for bedding in their hutches. Worked real well! However, you're talking about grown animals, so I don't know if that would be an option.

Alice
 

TexasBred

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Don't know if you have rice hulls in Maine but some folks down this way have been using them in horse stalls. Not much good for anything else anyway.
 

LoveMoo11

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Bez+":13ja8i1w said:
LoveMoo11":13ja8i1w said:
We usually toss some shavings into our pole barn for our Angus but those have been hard to get lately due to the increased number of wood pellet plants in our area that are buying them. What is something we can use that is cheap and easy to get (in Maine) that isn't going to be a hassle to clean up?
thanks

How many cows - how big an area - how often do you want to bed?

When do you bed?

Where do you feed? How do you feed?

How often do you feed? What do you feed?

Pics would be good.

Questions are for a reason - if I get a chance I will maybe come up with an idea that saves you a bit of cash.

Cheers

Bez+

Bez- We have eight head right now (just sold off twenty something), five cows and two calves. The pole barn is a three sided structure, the front is open. Usually we treat it as a pack, peel off the top layer and bed it. We bed it as needed, the animals don't utilize it unless they feel like it, usually in high winds, the rest of the time they just lay wherever. During the summer they have lots of pasture but right now they are hanging around the feeders and staying on the cement pad, the snows too deep to go out. We usually feed them a round bale of first crop once a day, they don't eat it all but my grandfather puts the feed to them! Sometimes they will lay on the old hay but I don't want to spread that in the barn because it is a pain to clean up. The barn is probably seventy feet or so (not quite sure) and fifteen feet wide. Thanks.
 

Bez+

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LoveMoo11":1uvaelbn said:
Bez+":1uvaelbn said:
LoveMoo11":1uvaelbn said:
We usually toss some shavings into our pole barn for our Angus but those have been hard to get lately due to the increased number of wood pellet plants in our area that are buying them. What is something we can use that is cheap and easy to get (in Maine) that isn't going to be a hassle to clean up?
thanks

How many cows - how big an area - how often do you want to bed?

When do you bed?

Where do you feed? How do you feed?

How often do you feed? What do you feed?

Pics would be good.

Questions are for a reason - if I get a chance I will maybe come up with an idea that saves you a bit of cash.

Cheers

Bez+

Bez- We have eight head right now (just sold off twenty something), five cows and two calves. The pole barn is a three sided structure, the front is open. Usually we treat it as a pack, peel off the top layer and bed it. We bed it as needed, the animals don't utilize it unless they feel like it, usually in high winds, the rest of the time they just lay wherever. During the summer they have lots of pasture but right now they are hanging around the feeders and staying on the cement pad, the snows too deep to go out. We usually feed them a round bale of first crop once a day, they don't eat it all but my grandfather puts the feed to them! Sometimes they will lay on the old hay but I don't want to spread that in the barn because it is a pain to clean up. The barn is probably seventy feet or so (not quite sure) and fifteen feet wide. Thanks.

Cut the area they have down in size - cut it by half and the animals have lots of room - reduces your bedding area by 50%.

Or ...

Do not use shavings. Use straw. Or old hay. May be a pain to clean - but it is money saved.

Or ...

Do not bed at all if it is freezing. They can lay where they want and the old hay is fine.

Or ...

Cut bedding depth by 50% if you must bed.

Or ...

Do not allow any access unless it is really wet. Cold wind is fine - they can move to the side of the barn to avoid.

And ...

Be harder in your thoughts about their comfort - you would be surprized at what they DO NOT need.

Best is to ...

Do all of the above.

Cattle live outside year round and as long as they are fed and can get out of the wind they do well. Yes that includes getting very wet - as long as they do not stand in mud.

Make them work for you - not the other way around.

What is your total daily cost to keep one head of your cattle?

I want an answer on this one as well please. Method to my madness - please bear with me.

Regards

Bez+
 

LoveMoo11

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I have no idea what the daily cost is( I know, bad management)...l would guess about 6-8 bucks each because all we really do is feed and water them. We really don't bed them that often but we have a couple of young calves and another that will be calving soon so I like them to have a place where the calves can get to. We have piled the snow all around the barn on the backside to insulate it. My grandfather feeds them too much too, they only really need a bale every other day but I can't convince him otherwise.
 

Bez+

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Hmmm ....

Averaging 7 bucks a day is around $2555 per year per head.

Believe it or not you are probably not alone here despite the fact that there may very well be howls of protest at my comment.

You probably did not have to pile snow around the barn as the wind coming through the boards is minimal - the cows will not mind it at all.

You have some options on the bedding - suspect you could drop that number to about 1.50 with a little planning.

Take care

Bez+
 

grannysoo

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Bez+":2n0c5uzo said:
Hmmm ....

Averaging 7 bucks a day is around $2555 per year per head.

Believe it or not you are probably not alone here despite the fact that there may very well be howls of protest at my comment.

You probably did not have to pile snow around the barn as the wind coming through the boards is minimal - the cows will not mind it at all.

You have some options on the bedding - suspect you could drop that number to about 1.50 with a little planning.

Take care

Bez+

If you're spending 7 bucks a day per head, it's time to get out of the cattle business before it puts you out. I can't tell you my "exact" numbers, but it runs less than 1.50 per head during the winter while feeding hay. If you average it out over the summer, it gets even less.

My goal is for my input cost to be close to -0- :nod:
 

LoveMoo11

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That was just a guess, i honestly don't have a clue. My grandfather isn't really in the cattle business anymore, this is just for fun. We make all our own hay..I don't know. But thanks for the input and stuff.
 

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