Source: GoBob Pipe & Steel
New and improved hay feeder and bunk designs are going a long way toward maximizing on-hand stocks of hay so they can last through the winter.
This includes the recent availability of square hay bale feeders (previous options were limited to smaller round bales) designed to conserve up to 33 percent of existing hay resources, new heavy steel feed bunks that are an economical alternative to plastic and concrete and even new shipping techniques designed to drive down freight costs, which are passed on to the farmer.
“Conserver” hay feeders force cattle to place their heads through metal bars to get at the hay. Flared out bottoms then prevent feed from escaping. Any feed the cows drop falls right back into the feeder where it can be eaten later.
The success of the hay conserving bale feeder has led to the recent development and release of new options that accommodate the large square bales popular throughout the Northwest. Large square bales are also popular for feeding dairy cattle in places such as Wisconsin, California and southern Missouri.
“Until recently, there have been no hay conserver feeders available on the market that accommodated the large square bales,” says Bob Studebaker, president of GoBob Pipe and Steel, the supplier that first introduced “Hay Conserver” feeders about six years ago and has subsequently shipped over 9,000 feeders across the United States. “The square feeders are based on the same principles, so a farmer can save roughly a third of his existing hay resources as well as the time, trouble and cost of locating and transporting additional hay.”