Bunk or rack for hay

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by GoldenMom, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    Hi all, I don't normally post over here, but I thought you could help me with a dilema. I'm in the process of "remodeling" my barn interior (or will be as soon as the Christmas bonus check comes!) and the next project is a couple of stalls. One for my as of yet non-existant milk cow (she has to have some place to live before I get her!) and one for my nearly 15 year old quarter horse. They will be approx 12X12 feet with a removable wall between them and will be open for the horse and cow to come and go as they please most of the time.

    Now for my real question. I currently feed, and will most likely continue to feed, small bales of hay. I have a couple of swing out hay racks with grain dishes that came with my place. I was really excited when I saw them, but the reality is that the rack is too small and seems to be positioned really high up (and has to be for the grain dish to be in a reasonable position). What is the best way to feed hay-in an elevated rack, a large tub, or a bunk? In the past I've used a small bunk for my horse and the only draw back is that the critter can pull all the hay out of the bunk and onto the floor (that could be remedied by putting some hinged slats over the bunk to keep the hay in). I think I remember hearing that elevated rack aren't really all that good because all the dust/hay fines fall in the critter's nose and eyes when they eat from a rack. What's everybody's opinion as to the best way to feed small bales of hay to as of yet non-existant cows?
     
  2. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    WA
    I have a free-standing rack that my husband built. The upper portion is shaped like a "V" with poles or rods about 8 inches apart, so the cow can reach up and pull the hay out. It is about 5 feet high or so. Underneath is a 'catch pan' made from a plastic 50 gallon barrel that he cut in half. He drilled holes in the bottom of the catch pan to let rainwater drain out. This is on some long boards like sled runners so we can drag it around as the area around it gets chewed up by the cow's hooves and wet with poo and pee.
    We also feed small bales, this set-up holds a full bale, I usually put alfalfa in the bottom so they don't pull it all over the place and let the leaves fall. I haven't had any prob;em with eye problems, they don't have to reach up real high.

    There's also some real nice home-made hay racks on the Cattletoday message board, perhaps do asearch if you'r like to see them. I remember a good one by the author 'Susiedavid'

    Regards,
    Susie

    Does this make sense? I can get a picture if yu'd like.

    Does this make sense?
     

  3. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    North Central Idaho, Zone 5
    Yes, Crowing Hen, please do post a picture...Thanks. I'm having a real challenge feeding my Ginger her hay. She prefers to pick it up and shake it, spreading it all around, and eats it from the ground, trampling it, so that lots is wasted.. She likes to lay down in it, too, tho'.
     
  4. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    WA
    I'll try to get a picture tomorrow for you :0) There is still some waste, and my cows lay in it also... I think there is just going to be a certain amount of waste, but having a rack is way better than feeding them on the ground!

    Susie
     
  5. GAchickenguy

    GAchickenguy KS boy stuck in GA

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    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Pike County, Georgia
    We used to feed our cows from a 16 ft long rack that was beside the barn where we could just throw hay in it from the other side where are hay storage area was but then we had to many cases of pink eye in the winter and started talking to the vet and he said it was the hay. When they reached up to get the hay of course some small pieces would fall down in there face and eyes. Once we changed to bunk feeding in the same spot there has been no more outbreaks of pink eye.