How to save on feed and bedding costs:
- Rose and Rosebud are enjoying an afternoon snack in their new barn! My dad built the barn from logs on our property and extra plywood. We then stained the barn on the outside for weatherproofing and Dad put a metal roof on top. It is approximately 12 feet deep and 24 feet long. It is nearly indestructable.
- My husband spaces freestalls for Jerseys at 42 inches wide (from center of bar to center of bar) and the end rail (another log from the farm) at 6.5 feet from the wall to the inside of the curb. The freestalls are a “lunge” style and cows do not get stuck in them. The bar across the top is to prevent them from going to the bathroom in their stall by making them step back when they stand up. It is out about 12-16 inches depending on herd. You can do all sorts of bedding, but a sandy or dirt base with shavings on top is what we chose for the summertime, and was something cheaply available to us. You can add straw in the winter for warmth in cold climates.
- My dad also made the feeder. The feeder is made of wood and PVC. We wanted something that the cows could stand at and enjoy a variety of feeds without losing much on the ground (see how clean the ground is?!) We couldn’t find a store-bought one that worked, because they are all designed for horses or for round bales. My dad came up with the idea for the PVC, thinking it would “flex” a little and be easy for the cows to eat through and never get hurt. The bottom of the PVC pipes are snugged into a board that has been drilled with holes the size of the PVC. On top, the PVC can be attached by a clamp or by a screw being drilled through the back. Be sure to cap the pipes so they don’t scratch you when you’re putting hay in! NOTE: The feeder can be moved, so the back is another sheet of plywood, NOT the wall. The trough area is about 6 inches deep for the alfalfa flakes to fall into. You could also put your salt block or loose minerals in this area. Scrap wood can make this project very inexpensive.
OUTDOOR HAY FEEDER
Works well for pasture feeding, too (keeps hay off ground and avoids weed seed getting onto ground).