2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Working Trailer Designed For Rotational Grazing
Abney and his family run a 45-acre farm dedicated to pastureland that he’s developed through the assistance of conservation cost sharing programs and EQIP, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Abney’s rotational grazing system is highly efficient, including a one-of-a-kind combination watering system/mineral trailer/tool cart that he built himself.
Abney built the device on a small trailer that he bought at a bargain price off Craigslist. “I think the original trailer was probably used at an airport, and it had been modified and lowered to the ground to haul something very heavy,” Abney says. “I made a few changes to it myself, took it to the field to make sure it worked, then modified it again so our herd bull was able to use it just like the cows.”
Abney’s 4 by 10-ft. trailer carries a 300-gal. water tank that allows animals to drink on all sides. His registered Belted Galloway bull has such a large head that he had to make a special trough for him. The waterer/trailer includes a large toolbox with 2 compartments that hold 10 bags of mineral. The back of the trailer has a mineral feeder that holds 2 bags. As cattle lick the minerals, their necks rub against a small hood that wicks fly spray onto their necks. It’s a self-application system that saves Abney time and increases cattle comfort.
Abney pulls the trailer with a small tractor and positions it in a lane where cattle from 2 pastures can reach it at the same time.
“The hardest part of rotational grazing is keeping water in front of the cattle at all times,” says Abney. “This trailer allows me to do that because I have an in-ground water supply that’s never more than 175 ft. away.” He connects a hose to the float so the water tank is always full.
Abney is expanding his rotation acres and hopes to double the number of cattle he has on pasture in 2016. He says the trailer works so well that he may have to make another one just like it for use in other pastures near his farm.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Doug Abney, 4960 West 150 North, Bargersville, Ind. 46106 (ph 317 409-6857; www.redbarnmeatsllc.com).
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