We needed a way to feed the animals a round bale, have a way to feed some salt and mineral as well as give them a place to scratch themselves and kill flies. This way we have everything in one place and when we move it, everything comes along.
We made it out of steel, except the floor of the mineral box, which is wood so that the mineral and salt do not eat through . We put all three items together, brush, mineral box and bale feeder because if we needed to move them, it is much easier to move one thing then three, as well the mineral box often gets pushed over and the brush has a hole worn into the ground under it and we would need many brushes to have one in every pasture (or move them which is unhandy). There is a down side to this system, as you can see the round bale mushrooms and when the cattle are young they cannot reach very far into the feeder so we spend some time forking the hay down, when they get older and bigger there is much less forking, they usually can eat to within about a foot (30cm) of the center. The bale feeder part was build 10 feet long with thoughts of putting in two bales, unfortunately it is rather tight, and we find one bale works just fine. The feeder is 8 feet wide. When we move the feeder with a bale in it, what they did not clean up is left behind on the ground because the floor is 24 inches (60 cm) from the outside wall, this way any rotten hay does not need to be cleaned out of the feeder. We move the feeders with a bar in the three point hitch of a tractor, so we can lift the hitch off the ground and do not need to slide the legs up on the feeder.
Since the picture was taken we modified the bale area, the sloped inner floor is now flat and the bale is placed in upright and there are three pipes (on each side) that are welded in vertically about a foot from the outside to hold the bale from falling too close to the outside keeping the cattle from wasting too much feed.
Last Updated 22 Apr 2003
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