Fenceline feed bunks - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Fenceline feed bunks

Looking for some pros and cons to feedbunks. And at the same time maybe someone has a idea how to self load loose material into a bale processor.

Got to thinking the other day as I was grinding feed. Been putting a mix of different hay and some straw through my BP into a pile and feeding that to my cows to ration them. Every year I do it to some extent depending on my quality of hay for the year and such. This year I'm tight on feed so been using a pretty good mix of stuff. But I've noticed they've been picking through it pretty good. Seems like a lot of waste to me.

So I started thinking of grinding as I usually do, then if I could make something that attaches to the BP so I can load what I've already mixed from my pile. Figured I could mix it and cut it up finer doing it the second time and also window it into bunks to save myself from going in and out of pens every day, I'm a one man operation most of the time so lots of in and out of the tractor and moving cows back into pens once they're out.

Any tips tricks or advice? Currently just grind into a pile then fill big feeders for them to rummage through.

(Ps, sorry most of my posts seem to be nonsense rambling, trying to get my millions of thoughts out in organized sentences is tough sometimes)

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 08:56 PM
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I'm not sure running it through the second time will process it much better. Maybe some fence line bunks and a mixer wagon? If they are picking through it then you're feeding too much, make them clean it up.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 09:24 PM
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A bale shredder won't like loose material going thru for a second pass, can't see it feeding the rotor properly.
As most mixers can't handle longer material, you need to find a forage box with live floor and the beaters with a discharge conveyor. I have two like that, an Allis forage box and a Deere 125 Chuckwagon. Do lots just as you describe some years with either the shredder or tub grinder and then just load it with silage forks and either feed it on its own or sometimes mix with silage. One drawback to those style of boxes, they aren't the greatest for mixing grain into things, even wet silage, so best to not try to add such as they don't really mix it in well enough that you don't end up with amounts of pure grain being discharged.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 09:32 PM
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Alternative to a forage box, was some older manure spreaders could be had with bolt on feeding attachments for silage. Might be able to find one of those. IH, Farmhand and Deere all had them into late 70s.
Even one of them Schwartz or Jiffy silage wagons would work too, all were the same principle but the ones with a conveyor worked better than the ones with the discharge augers.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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I had originally started thinking of a mixer wagon or something along those lines. The biggest issue I have with that, and maybe this is just me being pickey, is I don't want to run two tractors to feed and load every couple days. Like I said I'm one person so there would be a lot of tractor idle time. Just seems like I'd be burning extra fuel and hours on a tractor for not much gain. Hence trying to use my BP.

Do cows pick through those feed bunks any more or less than a bulk feeder? Is a bottomless or trough style feeder better, pros and cons of both?

I wouldn't be adding grain in the mix. Usually just pail feed some creep to them.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 09:48 PM
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You don't need two tractors with that style of wagon...its why I use them myself to feed silage as well. A wagon that needs a dedicated tractor to turn it while loading is useless to me.

I use fenceline bunks, large troughs and inside out tires...yes they will pick and sort, especially if there is lots of longer material but waste is way down.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 10:50 PM
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A good TMR mixer is its worth in gold. In years that the qaulity of hay or straw is crappy, you can make it alot more edible, with less waste if you use one. A mixer with a selfloading chute at the back will help a single operator. Just prosecc straw and hay into piles and back up into piles when it is mixing time with mixer and load away.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 11:18 PM
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A good TMR mixer is its worth in gold. In years that the qaulity of hay or straw is crappy, you can make it alot more edible, with less waste if you use one. A mixer with a selfloading chute at the back will help a single operator. Just prosecc straw and hay into piles and back up into piles when it is mixing time with mixer and load away.
Yep like any machine, they work great for some applications but not necessarily all. It depends on what kind of operation you are running and how is best and most economical for that operation. If I was running dairy or feedlot, yes it would fit well, but for cow calf not so much. And they are very pricey. I can achieve the same results as you can utilizing machines I use in other ways, and my investment is a lot less.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 11:42 PM
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We use concrete bunks for the animals we are backgrounding. Have only been using them for grain. Biggest drawback I see is having to shovel them out every time there is a significant snowfall.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 11:53 PM
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We use concrete bunks for the animals we are backgrounding. Have only been using them for grain. Biggest drawback I see is having to shovel them out every time there is a significant snowfall.
yep snow is a bugger and makes for exercise with troughs and bunks. That one thing I really like about the inside out tractor tires, I simply push them with the left front tire on the tractor (2wd) or use the forks, and when you push on the back side, that makes it raise up allowing everything inside to empty out and as it slides forward it plows the snow away so when you crank the wheel to the right and release the tire, its all clean and no snow inside. Do the same when there is frozen lumps and such in them as well.

Seen at a sale for a large local feedlot last spring, they had an gizmo that fit on the bale forks of a tractor and had a hyd motor running a paddle wheel with belting paddles for cleaning their fenceline and freestanding bunks. Not sure how it worked, but it did appear to have gotten a lot of use.


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