How not to build temporary windbreaks - Page 2 - The Combine Forum
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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After this 40 below sh!t and nothing starting I was forced to let the cows into the yard to eat what was sitting on the high boy. I didn't want to let them I to the stacked stuff just because hay is precious this year. One thing I did notice is they cleaned everything up and the calves hid under the highboy and picked up and droppings. When everyone had their fill they were quite content to lay around the truck and trailer. I am thinking of getting another cheap high boy and putting plywood on one side that can be easily removed. Feeder and shelter in one.
You are probably on to something. It would be a lot less waste than bale grazing, and not much more work. Maybe not so great in the mud when the hay falls into it, but at least it is easy to move to dry ground next time.

My wagon is 8 bales long, and only has pipes for cross bars, no ends, so the cows can eat their way all the way in. I use it to feed, hauling them out to dump into hay feeders. I do occasionally leave some very damaged bales on the wagon and let them eat directly off, and it works well. But not enough stalls for a large herd, would need lots of them or else the shy cows would starve.

Had a small disaster this week that ties both of these issues together...
I'm feeding with the track hoe, dumping silage directly into hay feeders across a panel fence from the silage pile. Then along one side of the pile I have a row of hay feeders for feeding straw, also with the track hoe. Works really slick, can feed 10 straw bales and fill 10 hay feeders with silage in a just a few minutes. About once a week I bring a load of 30 bales along side and unload 10 into feeders and the remainder into stockpile. Was swinging a straw bale from the wagon overtop of some portable windbreaks aiming for a straw feeder when the hoe blew a hydraulic line on the boom. The boom dropped really fast, right on top of two portable windbreaks( which were also serving as fence to keep cows out of the silage), and the end of one panel(also vital). Missed all the cows, a split second later it would have been much worse, missed the feeders and the wagon. But then I had a giant hole in the fence, with a really tasty strawbale plugging part of it, inoperable track hoe, and much too cold for my fingers to fix it. Oil everywhere. It was the last bale, so at least the cows were fed.

Still had about ~15 bales on the wagon, some still on top(2 wide), but it was too dark to take it down the road, so I hid it behind a brush pile till next time. Had a surprise calf the next morning(Auction purchase), and she went half way to the wagon to calve, windier, colder and no bedding there, so that is only natural, took some straw over by hand, which attracted a bunch more cows, ( straw is much tastier out in the wind and snow, then in the feeder it came from), and from there, inspite of the inclimate weather, a few decided to go and rub on the brush pile and happened upon the hidden wagon. So I had to start a tractor and go move the wagon before they undermined the bottom rows enough to collapse them all on top of themselves.

The blown line was a 4 bolt flange at the bottom of the boom cylinders, and it broke all 4 bolts, fresh breaks. Combination of cold weather, and 30,000 hours of fatigue I suppose. Lots of fun drilling out and extracting the broken ones too.

On a positive note, for most of the winter, we had absolutely no wind, or cold, and didn't need any windbreaks, so at least lately, with the advent of winter, all the effort of making windbreaks is justified. I did build a few more pipe frame windbreaks too.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Some guys have trailer mounted wind breaks 30' long drag a few of them on wheat pasture or other open pastures , 30'x8'' irrigation pipe works good too . trick is to make'em stout an tough to withstand many years of abuse . Here we have NO trees to block the wind and it is always windy .
How ironic, here where there are(were, before I came along), trees everywhere, and hardly any wind. It has been pointed out to me that I took out all the trees, then went to all this work to make windbreaks... But that was the point, to start with, not point in having all the manure end up feeding the trees, I want it feeding the crop/pasture, hence the portable windbreaks.

If anyone is building some, I do recommend that you don't run the skids cross wise, that how I built all of these, so that I can pick them up with the bale forks, and stack a few at a time to carry them. But if they aren't frozen down or buried, they tend to go on sailing adventures across the fields occasionally. Which is quite a sight to see. Found one on top of a week old calf once, it had only moved a few feet, and must not have been very long, since the calf survived.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 10:25 AM
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If you need to find shelter where I winter our cattle it’s usually only a matter of moving a few hundred feet.

My dad picked this spot out 70 years ago to raise cattle while combining between the Oklahoma panhandle and Manitoba. I guess I owe a debt of gratitude....
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 11:43 AM
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Barn
I have cows, I have pigs. While cows can be rel bitches the appear to be angels next to the group of pigs I have in one barn right now. They have seem to taken great joy in disassembling the building. I've had to tighten feeders back down and replace wall brackets for sort pens and the new thing is total removal of alleyway gates. This mornong marked the fourth time in two weeks. I'm at a loss as to how they are managing to accomplish this. I've replaced bolts and added washers to the over centering flippers that were slightly off enough to allow lifting of the gate, once a pig makes the alleyway its a matter of minutes and he is pushing up all the other flippers allowing for total escape of more pigs. When the jail break is completed for all pens I can only assume that the next phase of total gate removal begins, which at that point allows them to remove the gates from the alley area to the back of the pen if you are lucky, if not they put the gates in the crapping area just to make a point.

Fortunately these assholes should only be around for 2-2.5 weeks.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Beerwiser View Post
After this 40 below sh!t and nothing starting I was forced to let the cows into the yard to eat what was sitting on the high boy. I didn't want to let them I to the stacked stuff just because hay is precious this year. One thing I did notice is they cleaned everything up and the calves hid under the highboy and picked up and droppings. When everyone had their fill they were quite content to lay around the truck and trailer. I am thinking of getting another cheap high boy and putting plywood on one side that can be easily removed. Feeder and shelter in one.
Two things to watch out for doing this, first, they can get hung up in the twines, especially if they are froze onto the top of the bales. Good idea to cut them in the middle of bottom, after they have chewed out some of the bottom of the bales, any earlier they waste a lot. I have found them literally tied up, others have found them already hanging. Also, make sure the top bales are stable even after they have eaten out what they can of the bottom ones. Wasn't on a trailer, but a friend who used bales piled for a temp windbreak lost a cow who either broke her back or neck when one of the top bales fell on top of her.

I have to admit I'm a bit surprised to hear whats going in your world currently, figured after what you went thru unexpectedly this time last winter you would have planned things to be different for this spring...best of luck regardless.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 06:32 PM
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I have cows, I have pigs. While cows can be rel bitches the appear to be angels next to the group of pigs I have in one barn right now. They have seem to taken great joy in disassembling the building. I've had to tighten feeders back down and replace wall brackets for sort pens and the new thing is total removal of alleyway gates. This mornong marked the fourth time in two weeks. I'm at a loss as to how they are managing to accomplish this. I've replaced bolts and added washers to the over centering flippers that were slightly off enough to allow lifting of the gate, once a pig makes the alleyway its a matter of minutes and he is pushing up all the other flippers allowing for total escape of more pigs. When the jail break is completed for all pens I can only assume that the next phase of total gate removal begins, which at that point allows them to remove the gates from the alley area to the back of the pen if you are lucky, if not they put the gates in the crapping area just to make a point.

Fortunately these assholes should only be around for 2-2.5 weeks.

Pigs are supposedly one of the smartest animals there is. You do know they are plotting to take you over and drive you crazy in the process, right? What might set them straight is to fry up a pan of bacon and just walk through the barn, you don't need to say a word, just look them in the eyes as you walk by.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 07:45 PM
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Pigs are supposedly one of the smartest animals there is. You do know they are plotting to take you over and drive you crazy in the process, right? What might set them straight is to fry up a pan of bacon and just walk through the barn, you don't need to say a word, just look them in the eyes as you walk by.
Oh no, not this group. Normal pigs maybe but these guys are pure evil. I have never been abused like this either. Walk through the pen, get chewed on. Marking a load last week a pig rubbed up beside me on the right while another performed a full frontal attack slamming into my left knee knocking me on the ground allowing for a completely different pig from behind to bite my leg, coincidence? No, this was an orchestrated effort to take me out. Load out has become war. They are not bunching in the alley, they spin around and jump on the panel and bite. I now have a cut finger and bruised forearm from this.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:04 PM
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I have to admit I'm a bit surprised to hear whats going in your world currently, figured after what you went thru unexpectedly this time last winter you would have planned things to be different for this spring...best of luck regardless.
I have planned differently. Cows are just starting to calve (compared to last year)as well as bought portable wind breaks and a couple of calf shelters. It has made this year night and day compared to last along with slightly longer days. April May calving would be idea, but since I have no place to work on equipment in the winter those months are reserved. I am giving serious consideration to fall calving too as I do need new bulls. The feeding off the highboy was a one off due to the cold and the processor going down. It just happened to be in the yard. No worry about the bales coming down on a cow since they are only a single high on a tri haul deck. I dont think I would use it for regular feeding, but works great in a pinch and was surprised at how little waste. I also miss the processor too much. The biggest plus of the highboy is price. 48' for around 1k at richie. Few sheets of plywood and possible something up top for some more windbreak is cheaper then what I paid for just one of the 20' shelter and I get more out of it.
Anyone have any thoughts on the fall calving aspect? Pros/cons not including your personal commitments like harvest? All my pasture is cross fenced into 40 ac sections and I was thinking of keeping the closest one for calving time in the grazing rotation.

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