feedbunks for grain

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twink
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feedbunks for grain

Postby twink » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:18 pm

Need some help. I have been contemplating fenceline bunks or feed bunks for feeding grain. This would be for 75ish ewes. My idea on feed bunks would be to make a separate pen off of my main corral to have feed bunks lined up in. i would fill them via buckets while keeping the sheep out with a gate to the separate pen to avoid getting trampled. After filling the bunks I would then open the gate for the sheep. If the ewes can get to both sides of the bunk, how many inches do I need to figure per ewe? 24 inches per ewe as in a earlier post? Or would I be happiest with fenceline style bunk? Thanks

denice
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Re: feedbunks for grain

Postby denice » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:57 am

I can't help you with the required space needed although the size of your sheep will make a difference and wool can take up lots of room.

I have a pen in the middle of two pastures and across from another that has my feed bunks. I bucket feed in as you do, use the Border Collies to push sheep off the gate while I open it, step back and call the dogs to me allowing the sheep to enter. Let them eat, push them back out to pasture, close the gate and repeat allowing the next group of sheep in.

This allows me to use one set of feed bunks to serve more sheep. If your sheep are always in one place when you feed fence line bunks are great but if you rotate pastures ect they do not give you flexibility ( Other pastures farther away have their own bunks or I bring the flock up with the border collies and take them back.)

twink
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Location: Inman, KS

Re: feedbunks for grain

Postby twink » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:58 pm

That sounds like that works quite well for you. I just was wondering if others fed like that and if they liked it.???? I currently have not fed like I described, only was brainstorming.... =)

high plainsman
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Re: feedbunks for grain

Postby high plainsman » Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:19 am

I have used both types of set up to feed grain: fence line and stand alone troughs. I currently only feed grain in the stand alone trough in the pen, as I don't have enough available fence line to have a one trough dedicated to forage and other to grain. I have found that trying to use one trough for both, I have to clean out left over stems from the hay before I feed the grain almost each time, and being flat bottomed the extra width of the feed bunk needed for hay, allows the grain,(especially whole corn) to scatter too much.

The smaller round bottom grain troughs are easy to scoop out snow etc before feeding. But then I have to deal with the sheep crowding me and could knock me down if I lose my balance. And the ewes have a habit of getting their nose in the bucket as I am carrying it to the trough and it is almost impossible to get it spread out evenly with them in the way. So using a dog as Denice described is almost a given. Also, if I am using grain to flush the ewes during breeding, I have to be extra cautious to watch out for the rams. They are much more aggressive during breeding season.

If I feed really good quality hay first, some of the ewes are so busy eating that, they don't see the others at first going for the grain. And if I am only feeding a 1/4 to 1/2 pound per head, it doesn't take more than a few moments for the first ones there to scoop up their share and more.

So I would suggest if you are only going to be feeding in a dry lot or pen situation, if you have the fence line space, I would make two separate bunk spaces: one for grain and one for forage. This would make chores a lot easier, especially if you ever need someone not familiar with it to do chores.

twink
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Re: feedbunks for grain

Postby twink » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:12 pm

Yes, good ideas there. I am feeding free choice round bales in the pen. I will be feeding grain during late pregnancy and lactation. if ewes can access both sides of the bunk, what would be a good number to figure on? 20 - 24 inches per ewe in late gestation and full fleece per side?

Don Hausser
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Re: feedbunks for grain

Postby Don Hausser » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:36 am

I have an outside feeder in my barnyard open on one end so I can walk in. It's about 8 inches off the ground with 2x12 sides and a 2x6 above opening.
It's 4ft by 20ft with wooden fence posts every 5ft. It's just right for about 35 ewes. If your not planning on putting large bales in it, I suggest going only 3 feet wide so ewes can clean up every thing in the middle. I feed hay and grain in it and don't get knocked down. I also have an inside 36ft fenceline type feeder for big round bales and grain. No dogs here so this works for me.
Don

twink
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:16 pm
Location: Inman, KS

Re: feedbunks for grain

Postby twink » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:52 pm

Thanks Don, just the info I was needing!!


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