Posted 11/30/2012 06:47 (#2724551 - in reply to #2724490) Subject: Re: Hay grinding vs processing
Baldwin City, KS
If I were you, (take w/ a grain of salt, since I don't know you from Adam:) ) I would just keep using your wagon to feed silage and the rings to feed hay. You can always fence off the rings and give the cows just 14 hours per day of access. I've heard this works well, and I think I am going to try it myself this winter on places where I won't be driving the mixer to, but will be feeding some silage. Also, I've seen some of those cone things that guys are putting in the top of the ring that seem to save alot of hay. Might try that. Nothing wrong with feeding free choice hay and just giving the silage through the wagon. Feeding 20-30# of silage in a bunk really seems to help stretch the hay on it's own, and if you are worried about the waste, the above mentioned measures are far more cost and time effective to try first before you buy a mixer or mess with ground hay. And as mentioned, those old wagons will last much longer if all they do is feed a bucket or two of ensilage. Start trying to cram everything through them, and you might get disappointed.
We typically winter cows in three different spots and do a little of everything. I have an old Blair (KR) wagon, old chuck wagon, and a vertical that I bought used for a third of new. It all just depends on what and where you're feeding, plus the amount of time you have to feed. When considering any type of equipment for your cow herd, make sure you divide it out across your cows. Doesn't take much time, fuel, and equipment before you are paying for the privelege to be a cattleman. To me, the beauty of my cattle operation, was always the low overhead and simplicity compared to my row crop deal. Hope to keep it that way, even though hay is expensive and no one wants it wasted. Good luck.