Hay--feeding round bales

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snake67

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backhoeboogie":2md8cjug said:
snake67":2md8cjug said:
What we do does not work for everyone - when you are feeding just a few animals - those tramploine cradles probably work fine.

I am down to 80 head. Cut 31 cows last year in the drought. 12 cradles. Call fill them up on the weekend and I am done for the week.

There are 3 more trampoline frames people gave me laying out there needing a purpose. At the moment I do not need any more cradles and I am thinking of more ideas for them (sweep frame maybe?)

My whole point is you can build these things without spending $800 or $1,000 a piece. Cut your hay waste to 5%. The steel was free. Cattle panel pieces line the bottom and you know the cost of those. One panel will do three frames. Short iron scrap and junk iron braces. Other than time, there's probably $20 in each frame. I could have bought iron and built them more robust.

Caustic put me on to the idea a few years back when I looked at the ones he built. It was a wet winter. The cows were tossing the rings off of the hay bales when the bale was about half gone, tromping and pooping on the hay etc. Waste was probably over 30% with the rings.

The best advice I could give anyone starting out would be to spend money on a welding machine.

Agree with all you have said.

I like to feed once a year - and only once - that one feeding lasts from October until April or May - depending upon the weather. Not unusual to feed for 7 or more months. We budget 10 bales per head on average - it is sometimes 9 bales and sometimes 11 bales - depending upon the year.

I think I would need at least a couple more cradles! LOL

Not everyone gets free steel - I wish I could get some- unfortunately up here everything is grabbed up for scrap if not tied down - people are desperate for the cash

It all depends on how long your winter is - how hard it is on equipment, how hard it is on you and how much fuel and oil you want to burn.

On average we probably save about 7 grand a year by feeding once. when factoring in all I have mentioned plus no straw to purchase for cattle bedding, no corral cleaning, manure hauling and spreading and the biggie - the reduction in fertilizer costs

I just wish we could swath graze here - I could also cut all my tedding, raking, baling and hauling costs to zero - and that would be a huge savings - but things get pretty iced up and the cows cannot handle that when attempting to feed - plus the feed tends to get ruined in all the rains and mud.

Sold all the calves today - managed to average just under a buck fifty a pound - not bad but not great - last of this years lambs go next Monday. Cows are singing and the calves are not answering - going to be a long night.

Lambing again in 5-10 days, plus two new groups - one in Dec and one in Feb - calving in Feb as well - more cold weather work - hope the calves are on the ground in weather that does not hit anything colder than about minus 15 degrees C

Anyone want some free cats - seems we have three new litters - time to start culling I think

Off to bed

Best to all

Bez
 

ChrisB

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Bez, I have given bale grazing some thought but currently I feed corn silage also. I have learned that I can feed every-other day with no ill effects, but if I could get by without starting a tractor from November 1st to May 15th that would be even better. Anyway, do you allow the cows access to all the bales from day 1? The people I have read about all seemed to put up temporary fence and only give the cows access to enough hay for a week at a time.

Thanks,
Chris
 

1wlimo

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snake67":1xnjabvh said:
Swath graze? In the prairies yes - where I am now it is too wet to do that

Works really well and cuts costs even further.

By the way - where in Wales? I have a very large sheep farmer close by who hales from that part of the world

Best to all

Bez

I have been in North East Wales for heck all of the last 6 months.

Something we have done in the past was to bale for a customer with no strings leaving the bales in the field for winter grazing.

I was going to try this approach while in Alberta how ever the weather did not co-operate and I had to take the greenfeed for silage
 

snake67

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ChrisB":2gsha2jl said:
Bez, I have given bale grazing some thought but currently I feed corn silage also. I have learned that I can feed every-other day with no ill effects, but if I could get by without starting a tractor from November 1st to May 15th that would be even better. Anyway, do you allow the cows access to all the bales from day 1? The people I have read about all seemed to put up temporary fence and only give the cows access to enough hay for a week at a time.

Thanks,
Chris

We have several areas we feed - when one is cleaned up we open the gates and walk them to the next one - most times it takes about a month to clean up an area - but there is one field we use that is about 20 acres in size and that field will hold them for a minimum of three months. I do not do temporary fences - too much work for this old guy. We find that the deep snow keeps them close to the bales and they do not wander.

If they cherry pick we still leave them in the field - they WILL eat what I put out for them before we move them. Do not put the bales close together - we put them out in groups of 20 to 50 - when they wade through the snow to get to the feed they tend to stay close to it until it is eaten and then they move to the next group of bales in the field.

Cheers

Bez
 

Stocker Steve

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SRBeef":j3woque0 said:
I have a very small operation, land-limited. I tried bale grazing a few years ago and it works as Bez describes with a number of advantages. However in my land intensive system, the area under and around the bales has not grown real good grass in the 2 or 3 years since I tried it. For me that out weighs other advantages.
Jim

Depends -- on a dry ridge grass takes years to fill in, but on a damp area with quack grass or other sod formers you should have grass the following summer.
I bale feed in semi permenent meadows during the winter when we have free cement. Less wind and more sod formers. I do use bale rings and cross fences which can be a pain at times..
I bale feed in selected better drained paddock(s) during the spring and then they get renovated. My renovation paddocks yielded 40% more corn this year compared to conventional corn on corn ground.
 

dutchcowboy

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Hi,

This is the way I feed my bales. 4 cows , 1 bale (square), 8 days.
When I feed round bales ,I put them on their side. When standing up, the cows pull more hay uot of the ring and it gets trampled.



Can not manage to put a picture here from photobucket anymore . Can somone tell me how its done since they changed it

Greets, DC
 

slick4591

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Look to the far right of the page your photo is on. You'll see a box with codes. Click on the IMG code and paste here in the reply box.
 

dutchcowboy

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Thanks Slick !

IMG_20121018_143413.jpg

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Put in a new bale and flip the ring over the bale, another 8 days to go
 

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