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Hay Panels Collapse As They Empty
Tired of replacing big bale rings busted up by his big bull and cows, Kelvin Stastny made his own. He wanted something easy to fill and heavy-duty. He built 4 panels out of 1 1/2-in., 1/4-in. thick angle iron and 1-in. wide, 1/4-in. thick steel with reinforced stress points. He hinged them together with lengths of chain.

    “I’ve got an 1,800-lb. Angus bull, and he gets ornery,” says Stastny. “With him on one side and a group of 1,000-lb. cows on the other, I was replacing hay rings every couple months.”

    When he filled his new feeder panels the first time, it surprised even him. Not only did it stand up to the big bull and the cows, they were able to empty it easier than with a conventional ring. As they ate up the hay, it scissored together instead of being pushed around the lot.

    “It is easy to straighten out a collapsed set of panels with a bucket or take off the chains and do it by hand,” says Stastny. “Filling it is easy as well, whether you open one panel and drive through or dump the bale in over the top.”

    The prototype has stood up well for more than 7 months. With the drought in Stastny’s area of Texas, it gets used every day. It has worked so well that he has begun making them to sell as Big Daddy Hay Panels.

    Over the years, Stastny watched Longhorns and other horned cattle get hung up in conventional hay rings. He designed his panels with larger openings than hay rings and an open-to-the-top V on every panel.

    “I figured if there was a way for the cattle to get their heads in with less restriction, it would save a lot of wear and tear,” says Stastny.

    The bottom of the V is only 2 ft. high so an animal can almost reach the ground. The V centered in each panel also makes it easy for a person to climb in or toss in small square bales.

    Stastny kept costs down with the simple design, using only 38 ft. of angle iron per 4-ft. by 7-ft. panel. Each panel is handmade and hand welded. He has the panels priced at $450 for a set of 4 or $125 for a single panel.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Big Daddy Hay Panels, P.O. Box 931, Yorktown, Texas 78164 (ph 361 564-5575; spedgetexas06@yahoo.com; www.bdhaypanels.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6