Need Ideas: Mobile Loose Mineral Feeder

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Copperhead, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Copperhead

    Copperhead Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for some ideas for a Mobile/Portable way to feed loose mineral to beef cattle. I'm intensively managing the 9 cows grazing a 20 acre hillside. The hillside is partitioned into 12 individual paddocks with a 30ft alley around the perimeter. Their water is the creek at the bottom of the hill, their shade is the trees on the ridge. The elevation changes about 400 ft from the creek to the ridge.

    I would like to place the minerals at the entrance of the open paddock to lesson the environmental impact (muddy dead zones!) and point the cattle in the direction of their supper. Right now, I am using the 50lb trace mineral blocks, but I know my cattle need better, especially when they calve.

    Finally, I am trying to avoid spending $300 on a plastic 3-partition covered mineral feeder for just the 9 cows. Seems kinda steep!

    Can you help? Pictures are worth thousands of words!

    Copperhead
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  3. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    this is what I use....has a bolt on one side to hook chain on to pull around...take a 24 in truck tire and long J hook bolts

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  4. ramiller5675

    ramiller5675 Well-Known Member

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  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Why not build a few of these? Slightly Larger version of course for 9 head. Put one in every other paddock, not portable, but permanent...Or just one in a common location. This is all my cattle and goats use, stick their tounges in and enjoy.

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  6. unregistered41671

    unregistered41671 Guest

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    Build it from wood. Build a box (rectangle) and put 4 long posts on the corners. Tin roof on top. Nail a 2x8 to each side on the bottom of the posts and cut them at an angle on the ends to make it towable. Put a partition in the middle. One side for loose salt and the other for loose mineral. We used to build ours 4' wide and 8' long. It will last for many years and does not turn over easily. Wish I had a pic. Sorry.
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I built this one some time back but am not overly fond of it. too time consuming if you need to move it.

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  8. unregistered41671

    unregistered41671 Guest

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    We built ours with a pitched roof. The roof was much smaller and was not hard to move.
     
  9. Copperhead

    Copperhead Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your great ideas! I forgot to mention, when it comes to moving the mineral feeder around and UP the hill, I'm the tractor :eek:

    At this time, I'm leaning towards the plastic barrel with the tire. At least when its empty, I can roll it where I need it. Maybe I'll even make 2 of them and have one at the top, and one at the bottom . . . Hmmm.

    The 2 tires intrigue me. They would definitely last a lifetime!

    I had forgotten how useful the PVC feeder could be. Especially in a barn or shelter over the winter -- thinking about the goats here!

    Thanks again!

    Copperhead
     
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  10. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    the plastic barrel with the tire. do not roll very good the tire end out runs the barrel end but they are cheap $10 for barrel and bolts tires were free
     
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  11. PaulNKS

    PaulNKS Full-time Homesteader

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    I just use a couple big tubs.... old protein tubs work great.
     
  12. arnie

    arnie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get an old lawn mower frame r remove the motor drill a couple holes in a plastic barrell with a head size hole in the side have a couple small holes in the bottom for water to drain but not your minerals and bolt them together tis is easy to push around for you and the cows so tie it to a post or tree :) :) :) :) life does'nt have to be complicated
     
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  13. Copperhead

    Copperhead Well-Known Member

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    Arnie

    I had to read your post a couple of times to "get it". Now, I see a blue barrel on top a lawnmower, that I push across the yard. You're right, lift doesn't have to be complicated. Thanks!
     
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  14. cedarvalley

    cedarvalley Well-Known Member

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    I like this idea, if you have a two wheel dolly you could move this around very easily since you said your the tractor.
     
  15. wvdexters

    wvdexters Well-Known Member

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    This is a great post. Thanks guys. This is exactly what I needed. I just changed over to using loose minerals instead of just blocks and have been looking for a good/inexpensive way to feed them free choice. These are great ideas.
     
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  16. boland398

    boland398 Member

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  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    My more more recent mineral/salt feeder and when necessary insecticide applicator. No rust, no broken plastic, able to drag, stays upright, no cuts, no costs of any significance, lasts a long time, holds 100+ lbs., holds wick/sock, and cheap. I now have a wick/sock at each opening. Weather is too bad to go get a current pic. PS top tire is one of the truck tires that is double wide. Bottom tire is a typical tractor/trailer tire. Bolt tires together using stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers.

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  18. boland398

    boland398 Member

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    Does the tire sides do an adequate job of preventing rain water from getting on the minerals?
     
  19. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    There is not enough overhang to stop the rain completely from getting into the trough created by the storage tire. However, I use enough minerals and salt that the animals do consume what minerals and salt that do get wet between fillings with ~100 mature animals using the feeder. I drag the feeder from area to area and the bottom tire does collect a lot of dirt and manure so it is bottom heavy and very rarely is the feeder overturned. I only recall it being overturned twice in the last year plus. The overturn was my fault due to letting the feeder get too low in supplement. This is the only trouble free feeder I have had and it was the cheapest of all.
     
  20. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    This type of mineral feeder is not very expensive and will keep out the rain/snow. We found a good loose mineral mix at MFA and we use the weathervane style for minerals. We have found used ones at reasonable prices at farm auctions. :)

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