does anyone use these which ones work best for horned dexters? At times mine are waisting a lot of hay it would be more if I didn't pickup what they had not already trampled on twice a day. They do good for a couple of days then when they start getting the bale loosened up it looks like it just exploded every where. Part of the problem is competition in the morning when they all want to eat at once they go in grab as much as they can and pull it out on the ground to eat it. Will the hay saver rings stop this? Some of them look like the bars are close together will they be able to get there heads turned and in there with horns? Will the fact that they do have to turn there heads cause them to stay in there to eat verses getting a mouth full and pulling there head out to eat it?
I don't know if this would work for cows/bull. Back in November I went to Indiana to go hunting, the guy I lease the land from has a lot of goats I noticed he also uses the 4x4 rolls of hay. he has them elevated on a wood platform about 2ft off the ground that he made from wood he puts the roll so its laying on the round part of its self instead of the flatpart. then he takes cement wire and fastens one end to one side of the platform then he pulls it over the top of the roll and fastens it to the other end of the platorm leaving the two flat parts exposed.
He had hardly any waste of hay. The cement wire helps keep the roll together. He tightens the wire up ever week also. But again i have no idea if it would work for the dexters, he said it works great for his goats.
I put my round bale in a corner that way they can't spread hay 360degrees around the bale. But I only have 3 dexters also, so I can getaway with that.
Post by rezzfullacres on Dec 9, 2011 11:12:45 GMT -5
I use horse rings with the hay saver band around the bottom and they seem to work very well. They are a bit more expensive than the plain cow rings but I believe they work much better with horned animals..Similar to this but you can find them for less if you look
For horned cattle you need the type that have the dividers in the upside down tight U shape dividing each bay, not wide enough to get their heads in the U. You don't want a feeder with an overhead continuous T shape. The cows need to be able to escape quickly if a bossy cow wants the bay that they are in. We have had several cases of torn labia, needing stitches, even when the cows have had the tips taken off their horns. You need to allow one bale feeder to every 5 or six horned cows, not the 10 cows the manufacturer will advertise. We would not feed large bales without feeders. They waste enough as it is, even with feeders.
Cattle will waste a lot of hay, even with bale feeders, if there are too many of them to a feeder. They tend to pull out some hay and go with it instead of standing and feeding.
I make my feeders from the cedar saplings that the goats kill. That makes them cheap (<$10 for bolts) and they seem to last as well as painted steel feeders. That way I can have as many as I have the ambition to make.
The most waste-free design I've seen was four posts welded to the bottom ring (only) of an old roundbale feeder with the bars cut off and just the solid ring on the bottom. Then two chains were suspended between the posts, parallel to each other. the posts were set so the two chains were about 2/5-3 feet apart and the chains were long enough to creata deep sag. The bale was hung on the chains, curved side down. It stayed centered, the weight kept it up off the floor of the feeder until it was pretty well finished, gthere was no need to fiddle with it, and when the cows, as they always do no matter what, reached in for a mouthfull and then pulled back, any loose hay dropped inside the ring. Almost zero waste.
You could also try a slantbar style. This is big enought to get horns in, and they soon become adept at extricating themselves. The slant tends to limit the amount they pull back.
In my experience, ANY feeder that allows them to lift their heads and back up will waste hay. c.
Last Edit: Dec 9, 2011 19:33:57 GMT -5 by cddexter
We are using a cradle type of hay feeder and our Dexters, most of which are horned have no problems with it. My husband modified it a bit and added a cover. We found a dealer at the Indiana State fair but there are other cradle designs. We like it better tha the ring type. Some waste but not too bad. LizMo
rezzfullacres that looks like it would be to tall for mine to reach in to the bottom when it got low. Did you remove the feet that hold it up in the air. I am feeding 10 right now but 3 are calves. I will be pulling my bull and a steer out to a different pasture at the end of the month to prevent any unwanted breeding. Then there will only be 5 cows and there calves on that ring. and 2 on the other. The ring I have is a 8 foot slant bar design. One problem is the bales I feed are very large and until it gets low it fills up most of the ring so there is not much room for them to stick there heads in. Do the ones that look like a big funnel inside a regular ring work or can the dexters reach it. The other ones I see are square and large on the bottom and taper in at the top. Right now I have no way to lift the bales in one of the top loading ones. I move with a 3 point bale stabber. I do have a loader on my other backhoe but it is 2 wheel drive and worthless in the winter when it has a load on the front. maybe I should be trying to stand the bales up on the flat end so they would fit in the ring better.
hi andrea. no, It was a custom job I saw it on someone else's farm about 10 years ago, and haven't seen anything like it since. I'll call you when I get back from work...by that time it should be a reasonable hour for you. Maybe LizMO has a pic of hers?
I used to use regular square bales, and designed a feeder with a row of slant bar feeder panels (cow with HUGE horns fitted in just fine) forming one side of the pen in the barn, in front of a halved 15" hard plastic sewer pipe set as the trough, framed in with a high back, the back set back about 6" on a ledge. On the high back I cut to size some hog panels (6" square heavy rigid wire), hinged at the bottom, loose at the top, attached at the trough side of the 6". Then I could lean the panels toward the slant bars, fill the space between the hinge and the back with flakes of hay, pull the panels back toward the high back and secure them with a bungy cord. The elastic held the hog panel against the high back so there was always pressure on the hay. Cows could get their noses through the 6" squares but only pull out one small mouthful at a time. Any surplus (or alfalfa bits that broke off) landed in the trough. While they did pull back a bit, they still tended to keep their heads inside the bars, and i doubt i wasted more than a handful of hay at any given feeding. This worked when I had 65 head. Took me about 10 minutes twice a day to scoop grain from a cart, toss it down the length of the trough, and add the hay. in the end I stopped undoing the bungy cord, and just used my elbow to move the panel forward and stuck the flakes in between. One older very smart dominant cow would go the length of the feeder (40 feet) moving all the other cows out of the way while she cleaned up all the rich bits left in the trough. Pretty funny. c.
rezzfullacres that looks like it would be to tall for mine to reach in to the bottom when it got low. Did you remove the feet that hold it up in the air. .
We have several shortlegged cows and they do not have any problem eating out of this type ring. The legs only hold it up until the ground gets soft and than the cows tend to sink it in the ground, the other thing is as the better hay gets concentrated to the middle both of our bulls moved the ring so the hay was at the side. We have one cow that will hook the bottom of the ring and move it just for a place to bed her calf. We have 2 of these rings 1 is feeding 13 cows, the other is feeding 2 horses 3 mules and 3 cows and they are all doing fine, but we still do have picking grass arouind..I like this type because a cow/bull with horns can not pull straight back, they need to grab a mouthfull of hay but than they need to go up to get out seems to work at keeping the hay in. We feed 5X5 round bales in our feeders.
Post by Star Creek Dexters on Dec 11, 2011 8:09:19 GMT -5
Gene, what a fabulous idea about using Cedar! We have tons of Juniper on our ranch that has to be cleared, especially now from the drought. We use it for all kinds of things, from fence post to log siding, but I never thought of making hay rings out of it! Can't wait to show my husband your pics! Thanks for the great idea!