Mineral Feeder

Mineral Feeder

When having livestock there can be hard times our poor pastures. These times can be eased with a mineral feeder. Rather it is for cattle, sheep, goats, deer, or other wildlife this homemade mineral feeder is an easy do it yourself project.

The unit we built held an easy 50 pounds of mineral. We used an old 22″ semi truck tire, old lumber, and an old 30 gallon barrel. This supplement feeder would actually work better with a 24″ tractor truck trailer tire and a 55 gal plastic drum, but we used what we had. Function over looks always wins on the homestead.

Most people recommend putting the mineral feeder in the poorest part of your property. When there isn’t much grazing the animals still get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrition they need. To a extent of course. We usually put all of our stuff close together and where it is easy for us to notice if the animals are using it or not. This helps us gauge what is going on out in the grazing paddocks.

Sometimes you may need more than one mineral feeder per pasture. It all depends on how many animals and how many are dominant. When the alpha(s) show up the other animals dont get to eat. This is due to the more dominant animals pushing the other out of the way. This could also cause over consumption of the weaker livestock or wildlife. The weaker could be so poor that when they finally get a turn the over consume costing you more money. Depending on conditions you may be at a ratio of 20-30 head per mineral feeder. This will be a trial and error study you will have to do in order to determine what exactly fits your situation.

Below is a video of our build along with a couple in use pictures below.

 

Historic Land Preservation

Historic Land Preservation

Our first touch of a little Historic Land Preservation on a job site a few days ago. The client was really an awesome character. I wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted. When we met and swapped a couple of stories along with his instructions of what he wanted we came to the conclusion it was going to be a good relationship.

There is a few old building on the property. We had to be cautious as we found out that the Historic Society of San Antonio is going to be preserving at least one. If my memory serves me correctly the first building is a church and the most precious. The second building was an old dance hall. I talked to one of the locals and he mentioned that there was some outlaw that was known for going into this honky tonk.

All of our team members that participated in this task really enjoyed themselves. I would say my favorite part of the job is when the client showed up at three quarters of the way through the job. He got out of his vehicle with his entire face lit up like a Christmas tree. I asked what was a matter. He said I don’t believe it looked this good when I was a kid. This is when we knew the customer was very satisfied with what we had done.

We really enjoyed clearing and cleaning up the property for the client.  Although not a flat out historic land preservation deal it was the closest I had ever been to doing one.  Below is are pictures and a video of what we did. We will be back out there soon to remove more debris so stay tuned.

Quick thanks to D.P. for the opportunity to work with you.

 

 

Tractor Grapple

Tractor Grapple

Decisions on a tractor grapple. Do I need a grapple? Which one should I get? Bucket, Root, Rake, Rock etc. So many to choose from.

Why I need a grapple. Tractor grapples or skid steer grapples are just different animals compared to the typical front end loader bucket that you have on your machine.  Choosing grapples and deciding why you need a tractor grapple is important. Theses are things to consider before you make your purchase.

If you have ever cleared trees off your property or someone else’s land you will know gathering, sorting, and piling is a task not to be taken lightly. You maybe able to push a pile with your current bucket, but it is not easy. Sometimes the pile will snag on another root, tree, or stump shifting the entire operation the wrong way. With a tractor grapple you can pick up large piles or logs while they stick out each end which will not happen with a plain bucket.

The typical tractor or skid steer bucket is nice for digging and moving materials such as dirt. They are usually wide open on top and can hold a fair amount of material. It will not  hold brush, stumps, or grab debris like a wicked grapple. Buckets will sometimes hold things along with lots of unnecessary dirt. Grapples hold the brush and debris letting all the dirt slip through the tines.

Scrap grapples have a solid bottom. Rock grapples have their tines close together. Rake grapple really do not have a bottom. Root grapples we believe is the best of all worlds. Although it may not hold small rocks or just skid along the ground or hard surfaces with a flat bottom it can manage to do most of the grabbing and holding of debris as necessary.

3rd Function Hack

3rd Function Hack

As much as we would love to have a 3rd function valve on our tractor we do not. Rather then spending the money we figure we could just add lines from the front to the rear remotes. Now we have a 3rd function hack. Now we can use grapples and other equipment that requires hydraulic fluid up front.

This was really simple to do. At the time of writing this we only spent approximately $170. This included the hydraulic lines which measured forty four feet and all the quick couplers. Most new 3rd function valves start at $400 and at times can be over a $1,000. In most cases after you buy the valve you still have to buy the hydraulic lines and fittings.

This is why we decided to do what we call a 3rd function hack. Relatively simple. In our situation we had the lines done at a Jet Hose and Packing. Rather then spending money on labor or guessing where to mount a third function valve all we did was just run two lines. Since the hoses was built in a couple of hours it was possible for us to install and have the hydraulic lines ready for use the same day.

Now in the future we may very well give up our 3rd function hack. Then we can actually install an auxiliary 3rd function valve and/or other remotes of some sort to be more productive. Until that time comes this is all we need to be satisfied and provide one more option for our customers when it comes to what we can do for them.

Finally it is up to you rather to just choose function over looks with a 3rd function hack or spend a lot more money for the real deal.