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Feeding hay in a barn?

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coyotefur

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I have the option to play musical chairs with round bales, equipment and some cows.

How much more beneficial would it be to feed hay in a barn vs in the field in a hay ring?

Thanks
Dustin
 

Bigfoot

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I have a feeding barn, and don't use it as such. The mess around the barn, ends up equal to or greater than the mess you are trying to avoid. Hay savings are minimal at best. You also have to spread what they do waste, plus the manure. I have no idea how many cows you are feeding, but with a herd of any size, it has proven to me to be a headache I'd rather avoid. Your mileage may vary.
 

ClinchValley

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I personally have no experience feeding in a barn. But a neighbor does.

It looks to be pretty hard on the structure. Rubbing. Urine. Bumping with the tractor.

My thoughts are it would be a headache and potentially lessen the life of a barn..
 

Texasmark

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Bigfoot":ih0cbrvr said:
I have a feeding barn, and don't use it as such. The mess around the barn, ends up equal to or greater than the mess you are trying to avoid. Hay savings are minimal at best. You also have to spread what they do waste, plus the manure. I have no idea how many cows you are feeding, but with a herd of any size, it has proven to me to be a headache I'd rather avoid. Your mileage may vary.
 

Dave

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I did it for years. So did most of the other people in the area. Mainly do to the environment I lived in. The feeder barn needs to be built in such a manner that you scrape out the manure with a tractor. Just a straight drive through. Corners or dead ends are not good. The bad news is you have to handle the manure. The good news is you can put the manure where you want it.
 

ALACOWMAN

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I did it once in the blizzard of 93...just for a change upper days...couldn't imagine doing it all winter... Plus the strong ammonia smell, would not be good for em, and will knock a maggot off a gut wagon...
 

Dave

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My barn and everyone I know who feeds in a barn have concrete floor. I scraped the manure out at least once a week. Most of the time twice a week. The manure went across a slab and was pushed into a pile And the barn was open to lots of air flow.
 
OP
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coyotefur

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Thanks for the replies. I have a pass through barn. The cows will not be in there all the time. They can come and go as they please. I might try it for a while to see how it goes.

Dustin, KY
 

Grundy53

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Dave":3nlmvdqx said:
I did it for years. So did most of the other people in the area. Mainly do to the environment I lived in. The feeder barn needs to be built in such a manner that you scrape out the manure with a tractor. Just a straight drive through. Corners or dead ends are not good. The bad news is you have to handle the manure. The good news is you can put the manure where you want it.

When I start up I'll not be to far from you (SW Washington) I was thinking of building a barn just like you described. With the amount of rain we get I think feeding in a barn will help cut down on wasted feed. My grandpa was a dairy farmer when I was growing up and that's how he fed.
 

ALACOWMAN

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If I were upnort I'd probably have a barn set up more for that situation....here 99 percent of the time, their better off outside..during that period of 93 I had Brahman...got them outa the wind..and blowing snow...
 

ALACOWMAN

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I hate handling square bales,, but my neighbor fed hay in his barn he built a rack down one wall, and the hay was stacked behind that half wall..just threw the hay over into the rack..there was a trough under it to catch the loose and waste
 

Dave

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My feed barn was more like a long feed shed. The cows and their feed were under a roof and on concrete. The slab extended out about 20 feet past the roof. Me, the tractor and the stack of round bales were on the other side of the feeder in an area that was rock. Go off the slab very far on the cow's side with a tractor in the winter and it would be stuck until late spring.
 

TCRanch

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The majority of our bale rings are in a pasture that's fairly well protected from the elements by trees, slopes, etc. but we always have a ring in the barnyard, about 100' from the barn. They can eat outside & go inside for shelter. Only time I feed inside is when I'm weaning a small group of fall/late calves or using the barn for a sick cow (foot rot, pneumonia, mastitis, whatever). Even keeping it scraped, it's a treasure trove for flies. That said, our main barn was built in the 30's so definitely no concrete floor.
 

Dave

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snoopdog":hcdekrll said:
If the weather was severe , maybe . I just see respiratory problems in a barn.

The majority of the feed barns in my old neighborhood were open sided. Probably less respiratory problems because for at least part of the day there was a roof over their head and they had a chance to dry off. My new neighborhood cows get fed outside but there is a big difference between 10-12 inch annual rainfall and 60 inches falling between Dec. 1 and March 31.
 

greybeard

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ALACOWMAN":135tfmrs said:
I hate handling square bales,, but my neighbor fed hay in his barn he built a rack down one wall, and the hay was stacked behind that half wall..just threw the hay over into the rack..there was a trough under it to catch the loose and waste
That's the old time proven traditional way of feeding square bales. I did it one year in a small subdivided barn for a handful of heifers. Labor intensive and the usual wet nasty stinky mess in front of the rack. It's like dry lotting under a roof but after a couple weeks, there's nothing dry about it. Amazing just how much they pee.......
 

ddd75

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i just built one for feeding cattle.

they will be on / eating on cement through guardrail. My entire goal is to keep them out of it as much as possible. It's so moist here and with so much topsoil ( 3' - 10'+) its a mess if it stays wet.. I am going to build 2 more barns for stockers. They will have access to the outside and I'll let them have some pasture probably once a week. I'll be building a monoslope design with no side walls, or possibly 1 sidewall for wind.
 

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