A good quality cattle feeder can go a long way to making the work on your farm a lot easier. As well as reducing the amount of time and effort that goes in to feeding your herd, cattle feeders also help ensure a more efficient use of food.
1. Feeding your cattle manually
If you’re yet to try out a cattle feeder, you’re probably still feeding your cattle manually. This will involve transporting the feed using your tractor or other vehicle and putting it on the ground inside the cattle pen or in a trough. Without the right equipment, this whole process can take a long time. Additionally, it can lead to food being wasted, for example if the cattle trample some of it into the ground while eating.
2. Purchasing a cattle feeder
You can overcome these challenges by investing in a cattle feeder. Whether you have a small herd that you keep as a hobby, or run more extensive operations, you’ll be able to find a feeder to suit your needs. Some feeders can be fixed in place so that large numbers of cattle can eat from it at the same tie. These feeders are typically able to hold hay or grain, giving you the choice of what to feed your animals.
3. Sturdily built
Cattle feeders are typically constructed from metal, such as steel, and painted for protection. This means they are capable of withstanding outdoor conditions and will not be damaged by your animals. As a result, you can be confident that your investment in a cattle feeder will be worthwhile, since you’ll be getting a durable product that you can use for years to come.
4. Transporting feed
Moving hay or grain from your shed or barn to your cattle yard can be a tough job without the right equipment. Many companies who sell cattle feeders also offer hay wagons to make it easier for you to transport feed around the farm.
Some cattle feeders are also designed with wheels attached, allowing you to tow them with your tractor or other vehicle into position. By making it easier for you to get food to your cattle when they need it, hay wagons and feeders play a critical part in ensuring your livestock stay healthy and happy.
5. Bale rings and carriers
If you feed your cattle bales of hay, you may want to consider buying a bale carrier or bale ring. These are special pieces of equipment for transporting bales and feeding them to your cows. Bale carriers can be attached to the back of your vehicle, meaning you can move your bales around just as easily as a wagon of hay.
The bale is fixed firmly into place, ensuring that it won’t roll off as you drive. The purpose of a bale ring is to protect the bale from being trampled into the ground by the animals as they eat from it. In addition, the gaps in the ring help to ensure that your cattle eat the bale from all sides.
6. Researching your options
Manufacturers of cattle feeders and related products usually have a broad selection of items available on their websites. This reflects the wide range of farms they seek to supply, from small agricultural operations with perhaps five to ten cows, to large-scale cattle ranchers looking after hundreds or thousands of animals.
The variety of products vary in price considerably, depending on the features you require and the size of the feeder. You should review the product descriptions to determine which feeder is best suited to you. If you’re unsure, many companies will be able to advise you if you contact them with a request for assistance.