If your animals aren't exclusively pasture-fed, it's important to have quality feeding equipment. With the right feeders, you'll eliminate a lot of the mess and costly waste.
Radio interview source: Don Preston, Regional Sales, Behlen Country
Cattle aren't known for their ability to eat without making a mess. Feeding with the proper equipment will eliminate a lot of the mess, and the waste.
Behlen Country Regional Sales Manager Don Preston says grain should be fed in a heavy-duty bunk feeder that can withstand tough outdoor conditions and the wear-and-tear of hungry animals.
"Generally you have either a steel bunk feeder or a poly bunk feeder. You have to look at the gauges of steel," says Preston. "A lot of companies will cheapen it up and make a lighter gauge bunk. They'll look the same as a heavy-duty bunk, but it's how much it weighs that counts. It tells you a lot about how well-built the feeder is by how much steel is in it or how much poly."
Preston also advises looking for a warranty, which can indicate a higher-quality bunk feeder. Make sure the feeder is big enough so all animals can eat comfortably without fighting over position.
The same holds true when buying hay feeders. You don't want boss cow hogging all the hay, and you don't want a lot of waste, either. Square and round bale feeders come in a myriad of sizes and shapes. Preston says there are many to choose from, with different ways to offer hay.
"We've got some new hay smart bale feeders. The round bale hangs into the feeder, and the cattle have to work at getting the hay out, so there's a lot more utilization of the hay. We've done some tests and show that you get 96% utilization of the hay. If you're feeding a lot of hay, it will pay for itself in a year's time in the hay savings," says Preston.
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