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.
We got hungry and was running low on groceries so it was time to fill the void. We butchered a steer that we raised. He was about 14 months old. Our neighbors came over also yesterday to help. We estimate we got 300lbs of meat out of the fella. Nothing like raising your own animal and sending it to freezer camp in your own freezer. You know everything that went into the animal and you can cut it up like you want. We dont have fancy saws to make all the pretty cuts so we just send most of the meat through the grinder after boning it all out.
Now we are saving some money and when your saving money your making money. We estimate at the time of this post we will save $225+ a month at the grocery store and $40+ a month at the feed store.
Now to start raising another one for next year and hopefully be butchering some pigs soon to help fill the freezer.
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.
Well we ended up with a retired Jersey dairy cow and her bull calf. We will use her as a nurse cow to feed any young calves we may purchase along the way or any orphan calves we may have from our current cows. Her secondary job is to provide milk for whatever comes along like ice cream, butter, or just feed for the other farm animals. She is settling in to her new environment really well. We are so proud to have her here on the farm. Her bull calf will be a temporary addition just like the other two we recently purchased. His name is Steak.