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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a hay ring that is the typical round bale feeder where the bale sits on the ground or on the mound of old hay left in there. It seems like there is a lot of hay wasted with this setup. Anyone have experience with the cradle type feeders where the round bale is placed in the cradle? Our cows are mini Herefords if that makes any difference.
 

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We bought this feeder last year.

Galvanized Cradle Bale Feeder — Tarter Farm and Ranch Equipment | American Made Quality Since 1945

It is designed for horses, I would not recommend this for a herd of beefers. The cradle only weighs about 160 lbs and even our horses will push this thing around the pasture. I would be afraid that even a small herd of beef would destroy it.

If you want to try it anyway I will add this:

We also used to use a ring feeder, the waste was sickening. We get very little waste with this feeder, especially when it gets real cold out, then they will push the feeder out of their way and clean up almost all the hay that fell through onto the ground.


Edit:
just saw that last line about your cows being "mini", this feeder might work well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good to hear the waste is minimal. I was thinking of fastening it to some posts to keep them from pushing it around. Yours is the same one I was looking at Rural King. Our 3 minis are about 6-800 pounds each. I may give it a try. Thank you for the quick reply and sharing your experience.
 

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Moving the feeder

We move the feed ring with every bale and our cows will pick through the leftover hay and pretty much clean it up.

Last year wasn't a good test of that as the mud was so deep that everything was just a mess. Normally however they do a pretty good job and don't leave much behind. If they leave anything significant, it's probably crappy hay. We have some of that from time to time.

Treefarmer
 

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We move the feed ring with every bale and our cows will pick through the leftover hay and pretty much clean it up.

Last year wasn't a good test of that as the mud was so deep that everything was just a mess. Normally however they do a pretty good job and don't leave much behind. If they leave anything significant, it's probably crappy hay. We have some of that from time to time.

Treefarmer
Same here Treefarmer. Last year was a mess. I like Pat’s feeder real well but our bull would definitely tip it over. They push out feeder ring all over. We have to pick it up almost ever time and move it back to high ground. With Pat’s style if I anchored it he’d probably bent the you know what out of it. Lol then I’m the other pastor where we have the calves, they keep climbing inside the ring. Oh well they’ll get big enough that they won’t fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Our calf likes to get up in there sometimes and every once in a while the big ones too. They’re not too rough on feeders and things in the pen so this might be ok.
Last winter was terrible, a constant cycle of rain then bitter cold then more rain week after week. It was difficult to get the rounds to the feeder if it wasn’t really cold to freeze the ground some. We use a round about every 7-10 days during the winter. I put up some squares in the summer too and use those if the weather isn’t cooperating on getting a round into their pen.
 

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I wonder if you attached a pair of 6x6" skids across the existing skids on the feeder. Making the 6x6 skids about a foot longer on either side.

This would add stability so it can't be tipped over easily... It could be moved maybe, but less tip overs ??
 

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Ours has been flipped a few times, once by me and a couple of times by the horses. Doesn’t seem to hurt it, and it’s quite light so it’s not hard to flip back over.


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We move the feed ring with every bale and our cows will pick through the leftover hay and pretty much clean it up.

Last year wasn't a good test of that as the mud was so deep that everything was just a mess. Normally however they do a pretty good job and don't leave much behind. If they leave anything significant, it's probably crappy hay. We have some of that from time to time.

Treefarmer
I tend to agree with Treefarmer. I also move my rings after each bale and have found the calves and cows lowest on the pecking order usually do a decent job cleaning up. I feel that there is always going to be some leftovers. I know my bull would have a field day with that cradle.
 

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Need an unroller, bad.

Normally, I can take a bale to a remote part of the field and push it with the FEL to unroll part of it and then put the rest in the hay feeder. That give more critters a chance to eat the better hay, plus it spreads out the manure, tracking etc. Today, I thought the cows were going to turn the tractor over or I was going to squash a cow trying to get it unrolled. I think I need to look around for an inexpensive unroller. . . if there is such a thing.

Treefarmer
 

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I currently have a hay ring that is the typical round bale feeder where the bale sits on the ground or on the mound of old hay left in there. It seems like there is a lot of hay wasted with this setup. Anyone have experience with the cradle type feeders where the round bale is placed in the cradle? Our cows are mini Herefords if that makes any difference.
.....................

The Lion Club member I helped with our Christmas float just bought one of these this fall.

He had to make one adjustment so sides would tighten to the bales better.

He seems to be happy with purchase.
 
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