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New Cattle Buffet Forage Feeding System
"It saves a tremendous amount of time and labor compared to conventional feeding methods," says Harold Schilling, Colesburg, Iowa, about his new "Cattle Buffet" feeder that forms an adjustable "feed trough" around tubes of bagged silage, big round bales, square bales, or stacks.
The 4-wheeled rectangular feeder, built from 2 by 4-in. steel tubing, is 18 ft. long and 14 ft. wide fully extended. Its sides can be "telescoped" inward as cattle feed until the feeder is only 6 ft. wide, small enough so cattle can reach all the feed. Once the feed is gone you simply move the feeder to the next section of forage.
"In addition to time and labor, it has saved us a lot of wear and tear on machinery," says Schilling, who came up with the new cattle feeding idea last winter for his 70-cow beef herd and is now manufacturing it. "In the past we loaded silage into wagons every day with a skid steer loader, and then hauled the load out to pasture. It meant countless hours of labor and a lot of wasted feed."
The feeder accomodates 36 head of cattle at one time. Tubes of bagged silage, or stacks of bales, should be spaced about 34 to 36 ft. apart. This lets you string an electric fence around each bag and gives cows enough room to move around the feeder.
To set it up, you back the feeder as far as possible around a section of forage, swing out the two rear end gates and connect them to the hot wire running around the rest of the bag. A front-end jack equipped with 6-in. prongs is lowered to stabilize the feeder. Then you cut down the sides of the silage bag about 4-ft. above the ground, fold back the top portion, and hook the bottom half of the bag to pins spaced 16 in. apart on the feeder, forming a feed trough. The sides can be moved toward the silage in 16-in. increments as cows eat up the feed. You simply turn the wheels 90? from traveling position to sliding-in position. Then you use a special adjusting wrench to slide the sides in. They ride on ball bearing rollers for ease of adjustment. Once all the feed is gone you extend the sides back to their full width and back the feeder around another section of forage.
"To feed six large round bales, simply position them side by side in two rows of three," says Schilling.
Sells for $3,575.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold and Alice Schilling, Schilling Systems, RR 1, Box 198, Colesburg, Iowa 52035 (ph 319 856-2595).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #5