Monday, December 14, 2015

Big Bale Feeders

For those that are breaking out their round bales for winter feeding, here are a few tips when it comes to using Premier's Big Bale Feeders.

  • We find 4 ft diameter bales to be optimal. 5ft and larger bales leave a core in the center of the feeder (sheep can't reach that far). This core needs to be knocked down by the shepherd. We find the added materials (twine, net, wrap) needed to make smaller bales are offset by the convenience and ease of handling. 
  • Remember, these are meant for polled (hornless) sheep and goats. We advise against their use with horned animals and livestock larger than sheep/goats. 
  • Do not attempt to lift the panels out of frozen soil with a tractor. This is an excellent way to break welds and bend rods. 
  • No more than 8 ewes per panel. Overcrowding leads to injuries. 
  • Don't turn out starving livestock with the feeders. Hungry sheep are aggressive sheep. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A quick poultry feeder hint

Large cone feeders, finely ground poultry feeds and humid environments do not mix. 
Here's why: 
  1. Fine feeds are easily compacted when pressure is applied
  2. A full feeder puts pressure on the feed at the bottom—this compacts the feed. 
  3. Moisture in the air further aids the binding/compaction of fine feeds. When dried, the result is the chicken feed equivalent of concrete.  
What to do? 
  • Feed coarsely ground feeds in humid seasons (be sure to provide supplemental grit). 
  • If continuing with finely ground feeds, use smaller feeders (for less pressure). 
  • If the feeder can be adjusted, set the feed flow for a faster rate. This will allow fine feed to flow easier when humid.