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Make Your Own Mineral Feeder
If you’ve got an old truck tire and a 55-gal. drum, you can make an excellent mineral feeder using plans from North Carolina State University (NCSU).
  “I got the idea from Frank Simpson, a retired NCSU extension agent,” says Matt Poore, the NCSU animal scientist who put the plans together. “I modified the design considerably over about 5 years of working with it, such as going to a round opening instead of a square one.”
  Poore suggests using a tire from a 24 or 24 1/2-in. dia. wheel. Before setting the 55-gal. drum inside the tire, modifications need to be made.
  For animal access to the mineral, cut a 16 to 18-in. dia. hole in the barrel about 8 to 12 in. from the bottom and set it in the tire. Drill 4 holes in the barrel for 4 to 6-in. lengths of threaded rod or similar length bolts and extend them partway through the barrel.
  “Use a nut and washer on the outside of the barrel and a nut and washer on the inside to secure the rods in place. Then thread the rod through the outside nuts until they almost touch the backside of the tire and tighten them down,” says Poore. “These will secure the barrel to the tire, yet if they aren’t extended all the way to the backside, it will allow some wobble for reduced wear.”
  He suggests using a chain to pull the finished unit into place. Wooden runners can be bolted to the tire, or holes can be drilled in the tire and a length of chain threaded through the holes and the chain ends connected.
  Poore estimates the feeder should hold about 100 lbs. of mineral, enough to supplement around 35 to 40 cows. An ATV or pickup can easily pull the feeder from pasture to pasture.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dr. Matthew Poore, Polk Hall 109, Box 7621, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. 27695 (Matt_Poore@ncsu.edu; www.cefs.ncsu.edu/whatwedo/researchunits/amazing-grazing-barrel-mineral-feeder-design-may-2013.pdf).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1