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Loose Mineral Feeder

skip

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I want to build 3 or 4 wooden mineral feeder troughs. I plan on putting one feeder in each pasture with 15 cows. How big do these feeders need to be? I know the mineral needs to stay dry but how much cover is necessary? Any one have a unique design that works good for you? I appreciate any replies.
 

lazyhill

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I'm curious about the same topic as I was going to make one myself. I had planned on a scaled down 3 sided shelter type structure. Would love to hear if anyone else has done this.
 

Arnold Ziffle

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If you want to go a quick and easy route here are two alternatives:

Just get a few old worn out auto or truck tires, cut off the sidewalls on one side and then turn them inside out (so that they look like a big bowl). Then bolt those tires to marine grade plywood bases and you are all set. Just put a fair amount of mineral in them (don't fill them) until you get a good idea how much your cattle consume between your visits to your place. Consumption will vary with the seasons --- and also make sure you have a mineral mix that is appropriate for your location. Those feeders won't be covered, but a little rain own't hurt the mineral/salt mix all that much, and down in DeWitt Co. I'd guess that you are not going to be getting really frequent rains anyway.

Another alternative --- go out and scrounge for, or buy cheaply, some of the blue plastic barrels that car wash places have a lot of. Cut out a hole towards the bottom of the barrel, big enough for a cow or bull to readily get it's head in (if you have horned cattle this becomes more of a problem). Put some bricks or concrete blocks on the inside bottom of the barrel and then on top of that place some sort of feed pan or similar devise in which to place the loose minerals. That should keep out most rain and the weights should keep the barrel from blowing all over creation
 

PATB

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I am going to make several mineral feeders shortly out of the blue barrels. You cut a hole in the side of the barrel big enough for the animals to get there head in. you drill a hole the center of the top end of the barrel and insert a Eye hook thru the hole with a flat piece of steal on both sides as added support. Hang from tree with rope or chain with several swivels inserted in the support line.
 

dun

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Here's a trick with a hole in it.
Put the hanger hole 2 inches from the back in the top. It casuses the barrel to hand at an angle so the hole for the head is slanted down just a bit. It keeps out the rain and also makes the whole barrel function as sort of a wind vane and keeps the hle aimed away from the wind.
Since you are keeping the inerals dry you can just dump them in the barrel. Make sure they are food grade barrels and haven't had toxic chemicals in them. A little silicone caulk around the hanger hole also keeps water from running down the hanger and getting in the barrel. We use a U bolt instead of a single eye hook. For unhorned cattle, make the hole from about 4 inches below the top to a foot to 16 inches from the bottom and 16 inches wide around the curve.
Calves really enjoy bonking the back of the barrel when the cows stick there heads in to get the mineral. One more of lifes humorous events.

dun


PATB":3de7r5zq said:
I am going to make several mineral feeders shortly out of the blue barrels. You cut a hole in the side of the barrel big enough for the animals to get there head in. you drill a hole the center of the top end of the barrel and insert a Eye hook thru the hole with a flat piece of steal on both sides as added support. Hang from tree with rope or chain with several swivels inserted in the support line.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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I saw a design similar to your barrel feeders, except it is mounted on an old wheel hub and rim (w bearings) and had four pieces of tubular steel laying out flat welded underneath it so it doesn't tip over. It also had a weathervane mounted on top so the open side is always away from the wind. I would build one if I didn't have so many cows with big horns.
 

txag

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have you considered the tubs w/the solid mineral? you just dump them off the truck anywhere in the pasture & don't have to worry about covering them. we just started using them and have used the ones w/the fly control and have been really satisfied. at first the cows went through them like candy but have now settled down.

i know this wasn't your original question, but just thought i'd throw out an alternative.
 

TLCfromARK

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What we use are empty protein lick tubs for our salt & mineral. We keep two out in all the pastures, 50# fits in them nicely. We don't worry too much about keeping them in the dry.
;-)
 

lazyhill

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TLCfromARK":bkwzsyzc said:
What we use are empty protein lick tubs for our salt & mineral. We keep two out in all the pastures, 50# fits in them nicely. We don't worry too much about keeping them in the dry.
;-)

What happens when they get wet and dry out? My experience with most brands of minerals is that the get so hard that you have to throw them out. Also, do the minerals loose any value after they get wet several times?
 

TXBobcat

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txag":3dc6m2xf said:
have you considered the tubs w/the solid mineral? you just dump them off the truck anywhere in the pasture & don't have to worry about covering them. we just started using them and have used the ones w/the fly control and have been really satisfied. at first the cows went through them like candy but have now settled down.

i know this wasn't your original question, but just thought i'd throw out an alternative.

What is the name brand for the mineral tubs? Are they similiar to the molasses tubs? What about price? Sounds like something I might like to start using.
 

skip

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Right after txag posted about the mineral tubs, I called our local feed store and they told me that they carry 250lb. tubs of "Promax" for $145.
 

Larry Sansom

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skip":29grjeoo said:
I want to build 3 or 4 wooden mineral feeder troughs. I plan on putting one feeder in each pasture with 15 cows. How big do these feeders need to be? I know the mineral needs to stay dry but how much cover is necessary? Any one have a unique design that works good for you? I appreciate any replies.

A "Bull proof" alternative is to find the largest (wider the better) flotation tires like on the big fertilizer commercial spreaders etc. Find one with a hole in it and they give it to you and thank you all the time for taking it away for them!
Place it in the field, wire a cross tie or large log on it - like it is rolling - with the log as a stop or scotch. (Looks like the tire is trying to roll over the log). One hint - place the tread toward the likely wind direction to keep out majority of water. Bulls will push it some but never break it up like the feed store mineral feeders or the wooden home built type. Plus they are Free and will last forever!
 

txag

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skip":3ck50eco said:
Right after txag posted about the mineral tubs, I called our local feed store and they told me that they carry 250lb. tubs of "Promax" for $145.

ours are Westway & they're $34 for a 125 lb tub. i don't have the ingredient list w/me to give the exact mineral ratios but i can check if you'd like. skip, our feed store may not be too far for you if you're in DeWitt Co. pm me & i'll give you the name.
 

Linda

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200# tubs of excellent quality tubs here run about $50. We use http://www.key-lix.com/.

One thing to check when buying the tubs is the percentage of water in the mix.
 

lazyhill

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The tubs that everyone keeps talking about seem to be protein tubs. While I have nothing against protein tubs, they don't have all of the minerals that loose minerals do. Did I miss something in the conversation in that there are mineral tubs also?

I use protein supplements and loose minerals.
 

TLCfromARK

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lazyhill":1gn1dp9o said:
TLCfromARK":1gn1dp9o said:
What we use are empty protein lick tubs for our salt & mineral. We keep two out in all the pastures, 50# fits in them nicely. We don't worry too much about keeping them in the dry.
;-)

What happens when they get wet and dry out? My experience with most brands of minerals is that the get so hard that you have to throw them out. Also, do the minerals loose any value after they get wet several times?

Sorry about not getting back sooner, I've been away for a few days.
The rain doesn't seem to affect the mineral value that we can tell, maybe Mr. Dun or Vickie the Vet or one of the other long time posters has some info on that. As for as getting hard, it will solidify a little but since we check the herd daily all we do after a heavy rain is break it us a little by hand.
;-)
 
A

Anonymous

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I've used the ones that are plastic and have a piece of rubber over the top of them for rain protection, you hold them down to the ground with a rod driven thru the holes that are provided. I have never had any problems with them what so ever!!! They sell for around $60.00.
 

Michelle Pankonien

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OK

I use Durabulls, they are made by vigortone, they are yellow plastic, have three pie shaped quadrents that hold 50# each, or you can put less

Hunny bunny ran over one with the dozer and it didn't do a lot od dammage still use it

Bulls will scoot them around when they are empty, but hard to break, they have a soft rubber disk on top, and the cattle and horses can't resist peeking under it and so on and so forth, they cost $99. and last for years, my oldest is 7 years so far, and the mineral gets no water damage

I have one in every patch now, but while I was gathering funds I just scooped them into the tractor's front end loader and moved them around

By far the best method for mineral feeding and no waist, and have not had much trouble with the deer getting into them
 
A

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Michelle, I noticed that you said that when the feeders were empty your bull moved them around, I pin mine to the ground with " 3 - 1/2" x 2ft. pieces of rebar. I suppose that you move them occasinally.
 

C & C Land & Catt

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Steve Banks":lkkex3dk said:
I've used the ones that are plastic and have a piece of rubber over the top of them for rain protection, you hold them down to the ground with a rod driven thru the holes that are provided. I have never had any problems with them what so ever!!! They sell for around $60.00.
These are the same feeders we use and we are very pleased. No water damage and they are almost indestructable unless you run over it with a brushog
 
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