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"Slide-In" Bale Feeder
John Owen, Madison, Ind., didn't want to drive into his feedlot or onto muddy pastures to place big round bales in individual bale feeders. So he used treated wood to make a 3-bale "slide-in" feeder that solves the problem.
  "One end of the bale feeder is placed up against an electric fence that surrounds the feedlot, so I can slide in bales from outside the feedlot without ever getting off the tractor. I never have to open a gate or drive onto muddy ground," says Owen. "I load the bales using the tractor's 3-pt. hitch and push one bale with another until all three bales are in."
  The feeder measures 16 ft. long by 6 ft. wide and has angled wooden sides made from 2 by 4's spaced 2 ft. apart. The 5 by 6-ft. bales that Owen uses slide on a pair of 4 by 6-in. rails, which have wooden planks screwed onto their inside edges at an angle to reduce friction. An H-framed pair of metal legs at each end of the feeder are used to anchor it to the feedlot's concrete pad. The legs are made from 4-in. sq. tubing. Owen welded a square plate onto the bottom of each leg, then anchored the plate to the concrete.
  The bottom of the feeder is lined with leftover metal roofing to keep hay from falling onto the ground. Skirting on both sides of the feeder also catches loose hay.
  "I built it last fall and use it in my small cow calf operation. It works great," says Owen. "We have a pretty destructive bull in our herd of 20 cows, so I screwed metal reinforcing rods onto both sides for extra support. Also, I may put a roof over the feeder to make it weather-proof."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Owen, 3126 N. Graham Rd., Madison, Ind. 47250 (ph 812 273-2025; hardhat421@seidata.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2