Archive for January 2012

Introduction

Baled hay is available in various sizes, including round bales varying from 1.2 m x 1.5 m to 1.8 m x 1.8 m (4 ft x 5 ft to 6 ftx 6 ft), or large rectangular bales. These larger bales are being used to feed horses more than ever before, for several reasons:

  • Harvesting ease — A much larger tonnage of hay can be handled per hour.
  • Labour saving for harvest and storage — Less manual labour is required to handle the hay. It is easier and cheaper to use tractors and mechanical means.
  • Storage — Mechanical handling makes it easy to store large volumes of hay, and storage facilities can be as simple as bale tarps.

Offsetting these are several significant disadvantages that include:

  • The need for a tractor with a front-end loader for storing the bales and transporting bales during the winter feeding period.
  • The need for the feeders to be accessible year round regardless of the weather conditions, e.g., snow or mud.
  • The dustiness of round bales — Dust can be associated with the growth of mould on hay pre-baling and, with too high a moisture level in the bales and/or improper storage (moisture or humidity wicking up from below the bales), post-baling. See the information sheet Using and Feeding Round Bales to Horses on the OMAFRA website.
  • The design of round bale feeders, meant for cattle, which can be dangerous when used with horses.

Requirements of a Good Round-Bale Feeder for Horses

A well-made feeder should incorporate the following design characteristics:

  • A smooth-surfaced, solid-bottom pan that allows rain and snow melt to drain but catches the leaves, which the horses can vacuum up.
  • Partially restricted access to the bale so there is less selection and less wastage. This is achieved by using a design with an inner basket to contain the bale.
  • Sufficient overall height so the horses can’t reach over and pull the hay from the bale.
  • Sufficient chest height so the horses can’t get a foot caught in the feeder when they paw.
  • Easy to move with a tractor.

O`Neill Bale Feeder - Covered Feeder and Support Base. Get your at barnworld.com.

Advantages of Using a Feeder

Considering the substantial effort required to produce high-quality hay, an equal effort should, in turn, be made to minimize the losses from contamination and waste during the feeding process. Too often, a round bale is dumped into a field and, within a few days, the horses tear the bale apart, defecate and urinate on it, tramp it into the ground and use the remainder as expensive bedding. Hay fed on the ground is quickly contaminated with sand and parasites. Without the protection of a bale feeder, 50% of the dry matter content of bales can be lost. In addition, a huge clean-up job awaits you in the spring. The removal of this compacted, wasted hay, manure and ice necessitates a major effort with a tractor with a front-end loader.

Well-constructed hay feeders reduce the waste hay to less than 10%. The inner basket keeps the hay off the ground and prevents the wicking of moisture from the ground. This is a major benefit over feeders that allow the bale to contact the ground.

Disadvantages of Using a Feeder

Feeders should not be accidents waiting to happen. They need to be well constructed and capable of withstanding the rough-housing of horses, including the rubbing of bums and necks. Areas around feeders are high traffic areas. They quickly become soupy, muddy places in the fall and spring of the year, especially in areas with high amounts of rainfall, poor drainage and heavy clay soils. When a feeder remains in the same location for most of the year, provisions should be made to improve the footing around the feeder. Options include moving the feeder regularly, constructing a cement pad extending distances of 3–4.6 m (10–15 ft) around the feeder or using landscape (geotextile) cloth. See the information sheet Management of Mud and Holes Around Gateways and High Density Areas on the OMAFRA website.

Feeder Placement

Feeders should be easily accessible year round. When the snow flies and the drifts build, driving a tractor into a field with a 227-kg- (500-lb-) or-more bale mounted on a front-end loader can be a problem, unless you have 4-wheel drive. By placing the feeder perpendicular to the fence and adjacent to a driveway, which is kept open year round, the bales can be lifted over the fence and dropped directly into the feeder without entering the paddock. A feeder placed perpendicular to the fence divides the horse group in half and reduces the feed competition.

Round-Bale Feeder Construction

The bale feeder described in this Fact-sheet is to be used with 1.2 m x 1.5 m (4 ft x 5 ft) round bales. It is best constructed with 25-mm (1-in) square tubing, welded so that there are no rough edges, corners or welds. The feeder consists of:

  • An inner basket with staves (uprights to hold the hay and bale in place). The distance between inner staves can vary from 140 mm (5.5 in.), if a lot of small, square bales are being used in addition to the round bales, to 305 mm (12 in.). The wider spacing allows a person to crawl into the feeder from the side instead of over the top to remove waste material. However, a larger amount of hay will be pulled from the inner basket, increasing the wastage. The narrower spacing reduces the hay loss when using small, square bales but makes it a little harder for horses to eat a round bale that fits tightly into the basket.
  • A tray that has sides angled upwards. Plastic PVC puck board (of at least 13 mm (1/2-in.) thickness) is attached to the frame of the base. This is much easier for horses to keep clean.
  • An outer frame with staves that support the structure and separate the horses when feeding
  • The measurements are nominal, meaning that they are approximate sizes and are given in on-centre distances (O.C.).

This feeder is built for the typical, mature 15-hand horse and could be increased in size to accommodate draft horses. Quarter horse weanlings have had no problem eating from this bale feeder.

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To get more information on cattle scales, cattle guards, or saddle pads, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on grain weight conversion, hog feeders, and hay feeders, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on bulk feed bins, livestock scales, and radiant under-floor heating, please visit Barn World.

eHow.com

A healthy, happy show pig needs nutritious food regularly. Choose a feed that’s high in energy (corn), low in fiber (cellulose) and supplemented with protein.

The 6 bushel oscillating grower feeder will help you keep hogs healthy and properly fed. Get yours at barnworld.com.

Things You Will Need

  • Feed Bucket Holders
  • Feed Buckets
  • Pig Dusting Powders
  • Pig Finishing Feeds
  • Pig Starter Feeds
  • Straws
  • Animal Water Buckets
  • Wood Shavings

Instructions

1. Ask your veterinarian what type of feed is best for your particular breed of pig.

2. Feed your pig at least once a day, twice a day for maximum weight gain.

3. Give the entire amount of feed your pig will eat at one time. The amount will increase as your pig increases in size and age.

4. Provide your pig with a starter feed if he’s under 125 lbs.

5. Feed finishing feed to pigs over 125 lbs.

6. Check with the feed manufacturer about any antibacterial compounds added to feed. This type of feed will need to be removed from your pig’s diet prior to slaughter for the listed withdrawal time.

7. Remember to provide fresh water at all times. One-half to two-thirds of a pig’s body is made up of water.

Tips & Warnings

Exercise, feed, water and good care will foster a good weight-gain rate, and you may bring home a blue ribbon.

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To get more information on cattle scales, cattle guards, or saddle pads, please visit Barn World.
To get more information on grain weight conversion, hog feeders, and hay feeders, please visit Barn World.
To get more information on bulk feed bins, livestock scales, and radiant under-floor heating, please visit Barn World.

by Bob Coleman | kentuckyhorse.org

While feeding hay to horses is certainly a common practice, what can horse owners do to control waste? It is certainly easy to just throw the hay on the ground and let the horses clean it up. However, this method of feeding can result in significant amounts of wasted feed due to trampling and soiling of the hay.

How can horse owners reduce waste? The simple answer is to use a suitable hay feeder. One feeder that can be used for 2-3 horses at one time is a simple box. The feeder is made with a 2 x 4 lumber frame covered with ¾ inch plywood. The dimensions for this feeder are 4’ wide, 6’ long and 2’ high. If you lay this out carefully, you only need two sheets of 4’ x 8’ plywood. Horse owners can cover the edges of the feeder with something like sheet rock strips to reduce the incidence of wood chewing. Make sure the metal strips have no sharp edges.

The Hay Hopper Round Bale Feeder for Sheep and Goats saves you money by eliminating waste. Get your at barnworld.com.

With this box feeder, be careful to only feed what the horses need for a day. This regular feeding schedule can also aid in controlling waste as the amount of hay in the feeder at one time will not exceed the capacity of the feeder.

Will horses still root out some hay while feeding? Yes, that does happen but in general, using a suitable feeder results in 5-7% waste while no feeder results in 20-35% waste. Hay is expensive and controlling waste results in saving feed and reduced feed costs. With three horses being fed 20 lbs of hay a day, they waste 30%; that is 6 lbs of hay per horse per day. The horse owner will need to either feed more hay to meet requirements and account for the hay being wasted or the horses will lose weight because their requirements are not being met. Common reasons for feeding on the ground are because it is natural for the horse to eat from the ground and they clean it all up before I feed more. While the feeding at a low level may be similar to the natural grazing of the horse, cleaning it all up does not happen as much as we would like it to.

Controlling hay loss because of waste helps reduce feed cost and in no time, the feeder is paid for with those savings.

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To get more information on cattle scales, cattle guards, or saddle pads, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on grain weight conversion, hog feeders, and hay feeders, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on bulk feed bins, livestock scales, and radiant under-floor heating, please visit Barn World.

by Nancy Zacks | thehorse.com

If you’ve ever been in the market for a new saddle pad, you know there are a myriad of types to choose from. Many horse owners search for a product that reduces the pressure on their horse’s back when working under saddle, and a team of Austrian researchers recently set out to determine what material might be best suited for the task.

Of four saddle pad materials (gel, leather, foam, and reindeer fur) tested by the Movement Science Group of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria, reindeer fur provided the best shock absorption at the walk and sitting trot, according to a study.

“Saddle fit involves individual adaptation,” said Christian Peham, head of the Movement Science Group, “It is difficult to make a general recommendation about the best material, but reindeer fur showed the best results.”

The research team tested the four commonly used saddle pad materials by placing a pressure-sensing mat under the pad used beneath a well-fitting saddle. They recorded the forces on the backs of 16 sound horses of different breeds and ages ridden on a treadmill at a walk and a sitting trot. For comparison, the same horses were tested without a saddle pad at the same gaits.

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None of the materials adversely affected saddle fit compared to no pad, the researchers noted, but the reindeer fur pad decreased forces on the back significantly when compared to forces recorded without a pad.

In Happy Trails, veteran horseman and author Les Sellnow uses his firsthand knowledge of training and riding the trail horse to prepare every horse enthusiast for this fast-growing American recreational activity.

Movement dynamics are crucial when evaluating materials, according to Peham. “We saw that soft materials can sometimes harden with higher impact (as in trot). “Faster motion can also affect the ability for the material to relax.”

The current study emphasizes that a well-chosen saddle pad can reduce the pressure on a horse’s back when used with a well-fit saddle. Regardless of the material, “riders should check saddle fit regularly,” said Peham.

The study, “The effects of different saddle pads on forces and pressure distribution beneath a fitting saddle,” was published in the Equine Veterinary Journal. The abstract is available online.

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To get more information on cattle scales, cattle guards, or saddle pads, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on grain weight conversion, hog feeders, and hay feeders, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on bulk feed bins, livestock scales, and radiant under-floor heating, please visit Barn World.

by Marisa Watson | authorpalace.com

Several farm animals can use a round bale feeder. Zoos can also use these if their animals will be eating hay. The right feeder for your situation is important. It will keep the animals from urinating on it but they will still be able to eat. These are not right for every farm though.

Hay Hopper Round Bale Feeder for Cattle & Buffalo. Get yours at barnworld.com.

Whether you have a lot of horses, cows or something else, you may be looking to purchase something that you can feed them in. Some people will feed square bales while others will feed the round ones. There are different sizes, styles and colors of these feeders also.

There are also covered ones available. These are nice if the hay is not going to be eaten up right away. If it gets wet, it can mold. This keeps the hay from going bad. Most times when a round bale is being used, there is more than one animal eating off of it.

You can also make a feeder. They can be made out of wood. The ones that are easy to find and bought are the galvanized steel ones. These are painted in several colors also. The paint will not harm the animal either. Many stores that sell farm supplies will sell this type. There are ones that may cost more than others. Some of them can be broke apart into two pieces for easy transporting also.

One advantage to having one of these is that it keeps the smaller animals from getting trampled. One animal can be on one side while the other one can be on the other side. It can avoid the fighting over the food.

They are easily moved if you need to also. They can be rolled if need be. This is very convenient if you are changing pastures or moving places that you are feeding. Round bales are easily placed in them too.

A lot of people move them with tractors. The easiest way is to drop the bale over the top of it. It does not have a way that it has to be set specifically either. If the animal can eat it, it is in there good enough.

There are many advantages to using a round bale feeder. Compared to the price of the hay that is being wasted without using one of these, the price of the feeder is small. These are not only easier to use but they can save you money also.

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To get more information on cattle scales, cattle guards, or saddle pads, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on grain weight conversion, hog feeders, and hay feeders, please visit Barn World.

To get more information on bulk feed bins, livestock scales, and radiant under-floor heating, please visit Barn World.