As you may remember last year, or was it the year before, I used a mobile hay feeding system instead of just the stationary one used prior too that and again used so far this year. Up Every Morning At 6 (Really?) On a Hobby Farm Too? Followed up with a report on the results of using it. http://hobbyfarmlife.com/update-how-has-the-hay-wagon-worked-out/ It had some drawbacks but some benefits as well. The long and short of it is I am using it again. Not the same one since it was pretty well broken up by the end of the season so I have thrown another one together.
Several motivating factors have come into play in this decision.
#3 We just lost a yearling from scours! A condition that can be caused from unclean conditions. A condition called dysentery in humans and as in humans it can be very devastating even if caught early and fatal if not treated in time. Why a different name I am not sure but I am sure it has something to do with it being more politically correct us the higher species to have a different name for it when it applied to us. My Dad however id refer to it as the Uncle John Scours. Where or who the uncle john came into it I have no idea. Of course Dad was not often concerned with politically correctness. Maybe that is where I got it from?
I had told you about the unusually wet season we have had to date and the need to put down a corduroy deck because of the deep mud around the hay rick. http://hobbyfarmlife.com/a-deck-for-the-hobby-farm-cattle/ We don’t have all the land choices on a small scale farming operation.
He wasn’t in the same lot with the other cows but the his lot is slightly down hill from that area and bacteria from run off may have been a factor. I just don’t know.
#2 Probably the most influencing reason is that we have one cow that is less than nice to the two others. Very dominating. Especially to the youngest and smallest of the three. Quite often I have found her just lying down in the hay area effectively keeping the other two from feeding. The youngest especially won’t even attempt to get in there and feed when this one is present even though there is room far all three to feed at the same time. I noticed a couple of days back that her, the younger one, ribs are beginning to show so she is not getting enough to eat. And hopefully she is carrying a calf. I can’t have her malnourished. Yes I could separate her but we have tried that before and even though she is treated less than well she doesn’t do well when separated from the rest of our small herd.
#1 Now here was the real clincher! Pauline said she wanted it done so that Bella, that is her name, has a second option of feeding when the (bit___) whoops I didn’t say that did I, decides to be aggravating. Well more so than normal.
Now I may not be bright but some things are just plain obvious. Do it now! lol
This one is a lot less complicated than the previous one but there is also only a couple of months of winter left before the grass starts growing again. But hopefully enough time to get Bella back in good condition before her calf is born which should be late March to early April. Also hopefully spreading of some organic matter and grass seed to areas where we have recently cleared trees. Yes we are getting some of that done this winter as well.
2 2x4s on the bottom help hold the stock panels in place while to two higher up serve as rails to discourage the cows from trying to get in it.
We had a 10′ x 7′ flat bed trailer not being used for anything in particular so this is what we modified for it. Two 48″ x 16′ stock panels arched over the top, held in place by 1×4 strips to hold it in place front and back. A couple of 10′ 2x4s on the bottom to insure they stay down and two more the full length to keep them from getting up in, and hopefully cut down on the waste and some old plastic I had left from covering the hay before we had the room to keep it inside and now the rain and snow doesn’t get on it.
Why don’t I just put it on the ground like most of the other people do? For me there is just to much waste. Not only is a lot of it left uneaten but it also kills the grass where it is at cutting down the amount of grass for next season. Something we are already short on. Also the trailer is mobile so I can move it as I see fit to stop any build up of dropped hay. That to will stop the germination of existing and new growth in the spring. The plastic over the top keeps it dry and again cuts down on the waste. Last but not least, we have to buy our hay. We don’t have the grass to cut our own so this cuts down on overall cost. I’m frugal, or cheap, your choice and not the least apologetic about it.
Check it out.
You know what? Pauline is right, IT IS UGLY
Pauline’s first comment when she saw it was, That’s Ugly,. She is right but for one day’s work and fifty dollars expense and only about two months of winter left I think it will work.
But the cows don’t seem to mind
So now we have it Equal opportunity feeding on the hobby farm.
You think it will help? Send me your thoughts on the matter. I am tough I can take it.