New bunks have arrived!
In a couple of weeks the calves will be weaned and will be moved into the backgrounding lot. So we are getting everything ready for them.
There are a few very important things to get done before we bring the calves into the feedlot for the winter. Primarily we have to make sure they have all the necessities and a few added creature comforts.
Each pen is outfitted with windbreaks so that the calves have some shelter if the weather isn’t ideal. Between the shelter from the wind, their fluffy winter coats, and all their friends to huddle up with the calves are well set up to handle the elements. Any weathered or broken boards will be replaced or repaired before winter sets in.
Water is very important, but it can be tricky in the winter with the freezing temperatures. We use insulated water bowls so the herd has access to fresh (and unfrozen) water 24/7.
This year we have to decided to try something different. Instead of using tub ground feed stacks as we have in the past we are using a mixture of feed distributed using a mix wagon. The feed mix will consist of 1/3 hay, 1/3 green feed, 1/3 silage and about 4 pounds of pellets per head.
We purchased some new feed bunks to handle this change in protocol! Our new feed bunks are cement, something we haven’t tried before. In some of our pens we use fence line feed bunks – so the tractor can remain outside of the pen but the feed can be dumped into the bunks along the fence for the calves. In the pens that are a little more difficult to access we use freestanding bunks that calves can eat from both sides of. The difference is that the tractor operator has to drive through the gate into the pen with the cattle then distribute the feed.
Now that the windbreaks and water bowls have been checked and the new feed bunks have been installed the feedlot is ready for our weaned calves to call it home sweet home.