One Extreme to another

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
Dave
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One Extreme to another

Post by Dave » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:30 pm

So to feed my heifers I set a big square bale by the feed bunk and fork in the hay with a pitchfork. It takes about 4 to 5 days for them to eat a bale. Well on Monday the neighbor called wanting to know if I could feed for them while they are in Las Vegas for the NFR. So yesterday I went down for lessons on how much to feed, where, what mix, and how to run the equipment. The equipment at his place is a touch more modern than my pitchfork.

Me and my pitchfork. Actually I think this one was my Dad's from the late 30's a few handles later.
Image


This feeds a lot more calves a lot quicker.
Image



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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by sim.-ang.king » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:42 pm

Think he'll trade ya? ;)
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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by sstterry » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:53 pm

Dave wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:30 pm
This feeds a lot more calves a lot quicker.
Image
Convenience comes at a price!

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by cowgal604 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:33 pm

You’re a good neighbour Dave!

I finally caved and started at least driving a gator to do my chores. But took me 10 years to finally give in.

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Dave » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:40 pm

sstterry wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:53 pm
Dave wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:30 pm
This feeds a lot more calves a lot quicker.
Image
Convenience comes at a price!
Yep, makes me a little nervous driving it. I sure don't want to break anything.
cowgal604 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:33 pm
You’re a good neighbour Dave!
After living for way too many years where neighbors don't even talk to one another it is great to live where they help each other. It only takes about 2 hours to feed about 500 calves.

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Silver » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:03 pm

When I was helping the neighbours process calves the other day I had the opportunity to watch as they loaded their TMR (truck mounted) with a big ole Case loader. Over and over again. It never stopped all day. And I know it was only half the the feeding equation, they have another on the other side of the place that they pull with a tractor, similar to the one in your pic. Feeding around that place is an all day event for several people. Yet when I worked on the same ranch when I was fresh out of high school we had a similar amount of cattle (well, maybe 1000 less head) we just rolled out the bales to the cows and it seemed to be a much simpler exercise. I'm sure these cattle are having there nutritional needs met better than what I was involved with, but it makes me wonder...

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:37 pm

sstterry wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:53 pm
Dave wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:30 pm
This feeds a lot more calves a lot quicker.
Image
Convenience comes at a price!
The price for inconvenience is often higher.
Making Cattle Today Great Again!
Sometimes you do have to throw out the babies with the bath water.

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Dave » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:06 pm

Silver wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:03 pm
When I was helping the neighbours process calves the other day I had the opportunity to watch as they loaded their TMR (truck mounted) with a big ole Case loader. Over and over again. It never stopped all day. And I know it was only half the the feeding equation, they have another on the other side of the place that they pull with a tractor, similar to the one in your pic. Feeding around that place is an all day event for several people. Yet when I worked on the same ranch when I was fresh out of high school we had a similar amount of cattle (well, maybe 1000 less head) we just rolled out the bales to the cows and it seemed to be a much simpler exercise. I'm sure these cattle are having there nutritional needs met better than what I was involved with, but it makes me wonder...
It took a little over 2 hours to feed about 500 calves. Not all the cows and calves are out of the hills yet. And cows
that these calves came from got put back out on some lower elevation range.

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Aaron » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:59 pm

I prefer your system over the neighbors. Yours has a better chance of being profitable and maintaining sanity.
cor durum laborem

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by greggy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:11 am

Get the nice mixer and tractor, then you will be doing labour for someone else to pay for them 😀

I do similar....saves money...makes me look at animals, and, makes me think of ways to do things easier.

Wonder if it would be cheaper to just buy hay racks and put bales out, would be some waste, but would the waste be less than interest and costs for nice machinery ?

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Dave » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:10 pm

Aaron wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:59 pm
I prefer your system over the neighbors. Yours has a better chance of being profitable and maintaining sanity.
I don't want to even attempt to feed his 900 cows using a pitchfork.

He just went to this system. Last winter he was feeding 22 bales a day (big squares). Hay got up to $200 a ton last year. It cost him a bunch of money. His plan is to cut the hay use a bunch. Feed chowed mixed feed he can add lower cost feed that the cows will eat when chopped and mixed with other more palatable feeds. Wheat straw, grass seed straw, corn silage. and a number of by product feeds can be mixed with the alfalfa to cheapen the ration and cows will eat it.

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by greggy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:58 pm

Dave wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:10 pm

I don't want to even attempt to feed his 900 cows using a pitchfork.
Why not ? You have all day to do it, right ? :) :lol2:

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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Nesikep » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:01 pm

My heifers get a 90 lb bale of hay a day.. they need their pettings, they'd be upset if I got bigger and didn't do it in a way where they could get their attention
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by snoopdog » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:53 pm

I have used a gas powered wood chipper and small squares to grind feed, may have been even more labor intensive than the pitchfork, but ya gotta try.
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Re: One Extreme to another

Post by Silver » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:59 pm

I took this pic the other day as I was helping out. It occured to me that when an operation gets to be this size it becomes very industrial. Not saying that's good or bad, but for a small time guy like me it's a whole different scale and a whole other world.

Image

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