- Dec 17, 2011
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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