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Bale Feeder Bus Ideal For Longhorns
Coffee shop talk can be productive. Just ask Kevin Nelson, Canton, Minn.
  He'd been trying to come up with a hay feeder for his herd of 60 purebred Longhorn cattle "Most of the feeders I'd looked at wouldn't work with my cows because of their horns. And if the openings were large enough to accommodate their horns, they were big enough that the cattle could walk right through them into the feeder," he says.
  Over a cup of coffee last winter, he and Sverre Dahl, Jr., Hesper, Iowa, hatched a plan to convert an old Ford school bus into a hay feeder.
  "We decided if we cut the sides out of an old school bus, it would be just about right," Nelson continues. "It's high enough so the cattle can't get in. And the calves could crawl under it to get out of the rain and snow."
  Nelson bought the 1985 Ford school bus for $500. The engine was good, but the brakes didn't work.
  With the help of his sons and wife, he removed all the bus seats and then used an air chisel to remove rivets from the sheet metal panels in the sides of the bus. He left the windows intact. The U-shaped supports in the bus body that had held the sheet metal were spaced just right to allow the Longhorns to reach in and eat.
  He cut off the back end of the bus so he can slide round bales into the bus from the back. It holds five bales.
  To make the bales slide in straight into the bus, he made rails out of two 20-ft. long 2 by 6 pine boards spaced about 3 ft. apart at the center of the bus floor.
  He 25 head can eat at once from the bus feeder. There are 11 spaces down each side, and another two or three cattle can eat from the back end.
  Nelson can load the bus at his bale stack and then drive it to the pasture. When it gets muddy around the feeder, he just drives to a new location.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kevin Nelson, Rt. 1, Box 147, Canton, Minn. 55922 (ph 507 467-3746; E-mail: nelsonsk

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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1