2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Used Tote Makes Handy Mineral Feeder
“I love to repurpose, and chemical totes work great for this,” she says. The totes are plentiful near their Lewistown, Mont., ranch, and they had the running gear and wheels from an old unused auger.
Mel cut openings in 3 sides of the tote with a reciprocating saw to remove the metal tubes and plastic walls. Using scraps of angle iron, he welded several supports across the running gear to support the tote. With a modified hitch, Becky can move it anywhere with a 4-wheeler.
“I put 100 lbs. of salt and 100 lbs. of mineral in it,” she says, noting she monitors it closely. With a large herd it’s important to never let the salt and mineral run out to prevent cattle from fighting to get their heads through one of the three openings.
Cattle are strong enough to move the feeder, so she steadies it with a jack, and sometimes chocks the wheels with blocks.
“I try to place the mineral feeder where I want the cows to trample out things like buck brush,” she adds. She positions the closed end of the tote on the side of prevailing winds to prevent rain from getting inside. If water does get in, the open valve at the bottom of the tote drains it.
Besides using the feeder for nutrients for their cattle, the Jacksons also hang fly bullets with insecticide in the openings that rub on the sides of the cows’ necks.
In its third year, the feeder is holding up well and Becky appreciates not having to lift salt troughs when moving the cattle.
“The biggest thing is that this is on wheels. I just hook on with the 4-wheeler and it’s so convenient,” she says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Becky and Mel Jackson, Lewistown, Mont. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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