Do I need a hay ring? YES!!! Everyone has done the research that shows you will lose as much as 55% of the round bale with out doing any type of containment on it. I watched and / or read about one that lost as little as 5% +/- with this fancy high dollar hay feeder. I’m not gonna reinvent the wheel here, but some math needs to be put out there I believe.
Just a plain hay ring cuts this drastically and if you put something on the inside bottom to catch the hay (like we show you in the video) I would guess you are losing less than 25% now. You could also buy one that already has a catch or containment solid ring around the bottom.
Here is a scenario that is similar to what we look at here on our little farm every year.
30 round bales X $50 ea. = $1,500
If you loose 50% that is 15 bales or $750 just wasted. Gone. Bye-Bye. Hay ring 25% or less. Now you are only losing 7.5 bales or $375.
In the scenario above we could say you are losing, but honestly you are GAINING 7.5 bales or saving $375. Now we can buy approximately 23 bales instead of 30 or have 7 extra bales hopefully by the end of hay season. Just by investing one time in a simple hay ring we have cut our yearly cost of hay by over $300. Having a basic hay ring will pay for itself in the first year in most cases and in ours it will pay for itself twice in the first year.
Now it gets better. What about your time, fuel, transportation, etc for feeding those 7.5 bales. Now you don’t have that cost either. You now have easily saved over $400 when considering the above scenario.
San Antonio Parade. San Antonio Western Heritage and Cattle Drive.
Every year before the rodeo in San Antonio, Texas there is a parade. Lots of wagons, horses, and a real life cattle drive. We decided to get our chores done a bit early. Then took the family once again on a little Texas Adventure.
The cattle drive consisted of horses, sheep, wagons, and Long Horns that had some serious clown stabbers. There was about a half a dozen Longhorns saddled up with their riders on board. These cowpokes rode the bovine all the way through the San Antonio parade.
The San Antonio parade started around the Santa Rosa Hospital area and stretched all the way down Houston street where it finished at the ALAMO!!! There was a slight detour this year due to construction, but this did not stop the main event of them longhorns coming through downtown.
Parade of course was free, but the best part was the free biscuits and gravy. Rather than fast food it came off the chuck wagons set up out in front of the ALAMO. Great way to get everyone in the rodeo spirit. There was vendors that served free juice, milk, coffee, water and most of all activities for the kids.
Just don’t understand why people travel to other countries much less outside the Great United State of TEXAS to have fun and relax when we have it all right here. Ocean, mountains, islands, forest, desert, prairie etc. all in one state. No need to go crazy when most places of adventure are just a short drive away.
These wonderful little bull calves will be castrated and sent to freezer camp, market or to and individual wanting to finish them out for themselves. Always fun hard work raising your own food. Remember raising your own food is awesome. It lets your kids know where your food comes from and you know what is in your food. You will save money raising your own food and by saving money you are making money. Sometimes we will donate and give to family and friends in need of a bit of groceries also.
Here comes most of the herd. Some slow pokes didnt make the video. We enjoy watching the cows as much as the rest of the animals we have here on the farm. Our herd is grass fed and gets left over produce just like the rest of the animals. We try to make sure all of our animals live a peaceful life. Our herd is a mix of hereford, brahman, brindle or tiger stripe, pinch of longhorn (we are in TEXAS you gotta have at least a pinch of longhorn), jersey, holstein, but most of all black brangus and black angus.
Having an ex-dairy cow turning it to a nurse cow is a great way to earn a little extra cash and put a little meat in your freezer or a customers freezer. We have given this ex-dairy cow the best retirement we could and in return she helps us raise some steer calves for the freezer or the local sale barn. We have customers that want a steer butchered so we will haul it to the local butcher for a fee of course. If we cant use the meat in our freezer or at the time nobody wants any farm raised freezer beef we just haul them to the local sale barn because we only have so much room here.
Now with our new to us retired dairy cow we need a milking stall. Well with the purchase of the dairy cow kind of being a impulse buy we didnt have any sort of milking stall. So until we can build a decent one we need something we can use.
We took some wooden pallets we had and just threw them together to make a temporary milking stall as you can see below. With out using a measuring tape or not having any plans we did ok for a temporary stall. This will give us an idea of what things we want to change before building the permanent milking stall.
You can see in the last two pictures that she is making a wonderful nurse cow.
One of the ways we get feed for our animals is to pick up left over produce or what some call compost. There is always all kind of goodies for the animals. We feed this to all of our animals, but do have to be careful depending on what we are giving to which animal. This is a great way to cut feed cost, mingle with great people, spread the word about local farming, and just get a quick break from the farm.
Full load of goodies for the animals. The hog will be eating high on the hog tonight.
Loading the goodies in the tractor to distribute to all the animals. Our tractor has to be on of the most useful tools we have. Its like having 20 more people working for us. The Mahindra 4wd 4025 model is what we have and we love it.
We always have to be thankful for our kids because they always lend us a helping hand. Kids love animals and what better reward for them, but to spend time feeding and watering animals. there is always entertainment watching the chickens peck.
Here is a few of our AGH piggies chowin down on the wholesome goodies. These guys are so easy goin. They love these wonderful treats they get a few times a week.