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NellieBelle Posted - Aug 14 2014 : 1:52:29 PM
It never ceases to amaze me, how one thing always leads to another. You just master one problem and low and behold it presents another. My husband and I have nice stanchions for our heifers and all was working well with Nellie until, while we were milking she decides to get down on her knees to eat. Every milking! Well, it makes it a bit difficult to milk. So, another problem had to be addressed. We had to make a feed bunk up off the ground about 24" or so, that way she stays on all fours. (I told my husband she was just being grateful for her food.) I never in all the years watching grandpa milk, did I see any of his cows get down on the front knees to eat. His hay and grain were in feed bunks on the ground. ?
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Jan 03 2016 : 3:00:43 PM
Yes, MaryJane!
maryjane Posted - Jan 03 2016 : 2:00:12 PM
And other slithery-type creatures, some of them two-legged.
farmlife Posted - Jan 03 2016 : 12:32:11 PM
Cindy, you make me smile. Hats off to second amendment rights when it comes to snakes.
maryjane Posted - Jan 03 2016 : 12:12:24 PM
Impressive! Kudos (cowdos?) to Lover Boy.
CloversMum Posted - Jan 02 2016 : 1:57:55 PM
I didn't see any snakes around here this past year and I loved it. (yes, they were only garter snakes ... but remember a snake is a snake is a snake in my book) Guess the chickens and critters are doing their job. This year we'll also have the barn cats so hopefully I'll be set. But good for you making the snakes remember your second amendment rights. love it.

I'm thinking these feeders are something I can get my youngest son interested in making. So thank you for the dimensions.
txbikergirl Posted - Jan 02 2016 : 12:44:07 PM
charlene, lover boy used a 2x4 for spacing - so that means 3.5" between slats. the back is a regular 4x8 sheet of plywood cut down to 5' tall - so he could use the rest of the sheet elsewhere.

with all the critters around snakes tend to keep away... but we did get a copperhead up on the driveway this summer hanging out in our construction materials. i am not afraid, just cautious and like to build things to minimize creating any small places. and farm cats and chickens are good for keeping snakes away! what the critters dont get the gun can take care of. in texas we walk around our property armed at all times, its not that it is dangerous around here its just that we take our second amendment rights serious and are intent on making sure snakes understand that ;>
CloversMum Posted - Jan 02 2016 : 10:19:29 AM
Fantastic feed bunks! Just perfect; although, you lost me when you mentioned snakes. How scary! I just don't think I could do it wondering if a snake were going to surprise me and strike. I'm terrified of any snake, doesn't matter size, color, kind, etc. I've not been able to get over it.

What is the spacing between the slats?
txbikergirl Posted - Jan 01 2016 : 2:39:23 PM
lover boy made "mini" feed bunks for us. we needed something in the barn corrals to get the feed off the ground as the cows had enough accidents to make it a pain, but we didn't want anything permanent as our barn corrals are really temporary until we can build our pasture shelter/feeder. we'll keep the barn corrals long-term for birthing or sick cow bays, but it isn't a daily solution forever.

they hold about a half a bale of hay so the cows can free feed all night long in the barn, and in the bottom it catches their waste which we then use for bedding the next night. i put a low black pan in each so that we pile their supplemental feed in that each morning and night (without the pan the dust and some pellets got trapped in the crevices, and now there is less of that as the cows lick the pans clean).

the first one is sally's, the second is elsa's - we made elsa's much lower so that it could accommodate the next little calf as well. they both like them real well and it has eliminated potty issues in the food.

we have a full plywood skirt to the ground due to snake issues around here - i didn't want a 6 inch gap where a snake could hang out and strike. i don't mind gaps on the ground as long as they are 12-20" high, anything less than that around here and you just create hiding places. we have poisonous snakes around here so deterrents are necessary.

NellieBelle Posted - Aug 15 2014 : 06:38:41 AM
We're pretty sure Nellie was just reaching as far as she could to get every last morsel but it's disconcerting when you're trying to milk, up down, up down. Thankful we have that problem mastered. Now, on to the next. Like I said, being on the farm there is an adventure every day.
maryjane Posted - Aug 15 2014 : 05:35:02 AM
I have a cow who did that for the first few months after I brought her home at about one year of age. She did it when I was walking her every day. It was some form of protest. She doesn't do it anymore. And I've had cows do it when I have them in the squeeze chute, even though I have the sides squeezed shut as tight as I think I dare tighten them.

Seems like raising her feed (milking treat) would solve the problem. I did have a great Pyrenees that I had to raise her food up level with her body because when she ate her food down low on the ground, it got stuck in her throat and she'd race around in pain until it dislodged. After a series of expensive x-rays (thinking something was in her throat), I simply raised her feed up. Problem solved.
NellieBelle Posted - Aug 15 2014 : 04:22:49 AM
We've seen her get down on her knees to reach for grass on the other side of the fence in the pasture on occasion, but yes, only after she had freshened and being milked.
kadebg1988 Posted - Aug 14 2014 : 8:38:15 PM
Did she only start doing this after she had freshened and was being milked?