Years ago, the guys started working on building a bale feeder. They bought a flatbed trailer and started designing.
Now, you know how we feed the cows EVERY DAY in the winter. It takes two guys… One to drive the tractor and one to pitch the hay off the trailer with a pitchfork. It’s a good aerobic activity! When I did it… the driver just had to keep going around and around and around because my pitchfork muscles were fairly weak! Yes, we had a bale feeder that Johnny used, but it ground the hay. There was a lot of loss in the snow and mud plus you had to keep running back to the haystack for more bales.
The guys were going to build a better feeder!
(But what about round bales, some of you may be asking? They’re easy to feed with just a pickup! True, but Vernon’s never been a fan. He likes the big square bales with the tighter compression to keep moisture out. Plus you can stack square bales, so there’s no loss with dirt/mud except for the bottom bales)
Anyway… I finally videoed the result of hours of welding and planning and disassembling and reassembling and research (how big of a hydraulic motor do we need???) and, well, lots of thinking! Things continue to be tweaked. Even today, Vernon was down there “tying” the two flakers together with a chain so that when one turns, so does the other.
This winter has been nice, and frozen bales aren’t a problem. Usually, if they’re iced up too bad, we have to take an axe to them to break the flakes apart. (Please know that I’m saying “we” without meaning “I”. I use an axe only on wood!) But having power to the flakers will help with iced up bales.
It’s great that we can haul 6 bales at once, which saves trips back to the stackyard, which saves rutting the roads, plus time.
Vernon already has in mind some modifications for the “next” one…
If you’ve read this and are VERY CONFUSED, go watch the video, and then come back and reread! Still confused? Ask questions… I love questions!
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