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In summer, flocks of sheep graze in meadows and glades, where juicy forbs reign. In autumn and winter, it’s time to feed the small livestock with stored hay, silage, compound feed, root crops and grain crops. To make food dosed and comfortable, summer residents put feeders for sheep. There are several types and designs of fixtures.
Description and types of sheep feeders
According to the installation method, the fixtures are divided into 3 types. It:
- Capital structures. They are mounted in a designated area of a sheepfold or in a pasture. The stationary feeder superstructure is rigidly attached to the base.
- Mobile devices. They are used to feed flocks that have been driven to distant grazing. There, the cattle are regularly moved from one place to another. Portable structures are quickly dismantled and transported behind the herd.
- Universal devices. Combine the parameters of stationary and portable feeders. They can be securely attached to the floors of the sheepfold or grazing ground. When moving the flock to the next place or to a new room, the structure is dismantled and carried behind the animals.
The structure of the trough depends on the type of food used. There are two types of devices:
- nurseries, playpens, reptukhi for fresh and dry grass (hay);
- containers, bunkers for grain, silage (chopped succulent vegetation), melons and root crops.
- concrete gutters;
- boards, wooden beams;
- sheet, profiled and pipe metal.
Types of feeders:
Where to buy a ready-made version?
It is difficult to purchase a ready-made feeder for sheep and rams in online stores. There are few options. So, on some farm portals (for example, "Agroserver") mounted plastic bunkers are sold, equipped with a cover of 0.33 × 0.28 m. However, a cursory examination is enough to understand that they are unreliable and fragile.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Aggregator Avito publishes many advertisements for the sale of quality plastic containers and steel cribs. However, their price is relatively high.
A good option is to purchase a feeder or reptuh (mesh bag made of cloth, rope) for less money at a farm store. There is not much choice in it, but products can be returned or exchanged.
How to make a do-it-yourself feeder
Now there is a shortage of quality ready-made feeders. Therefore, the best option is to do it yourself.
For a lumber feeder you will need:
|Support posts||4 bars 125 cm long and 6 × 6 section|
|Bottom jumpers||2 planks 200 cm long and 5 × 5 section|
|Top strapping||2 slats 200 cm long and 5 × 5 section|
|Lathing||14 planks 60 cm long and 4 × 4|
|Fasteners||Adequate numbers of nails and self-tapping screws|
|Tools||Jigsaw, screwdriver, hammer, tape measure, marker|
The simplest version of a lumber hay nursery:
|4 bars with a length of 1.25 m and a section of 6 × 6 cm are sawn off. They are knocked off in pairs crosswise. The resulting racks look like the letter X.|
|Supports are placed vertically on two ends and opposite each other. On both sides of the center of the crosses, the crossbars are screwed with self-tapping screws. The material for them is 2 m long bars with a cross section of 5 × 5 cm.|
|The same jumpers, which give the structure rigidity, are screwed on top of the supports.|
|For the lathing, slats with a length of 60 cm and a section of 4 × 4 are taken. They are nailed vertically to the upper and lower lintels, in 0.25 m increments.|
Some farmers and summer residents use a witty life hack. They use a playpen made of wood, plastic, aluminum as a feeder. It rises 50 cm above the ground or the floor of the sheepfold. When the lathing of the wooden arena is too frequent, every second rail is dismantled. In this case, the sheep will be able to easily stick their head to the feed.
If the old arena is not there, its likeness can be knocked down from lumber or welded from pipes.
The bunker is a stationary trough with an inclined platform. It makes it possible to give the animals a certain feeding on a weekly basis. The structure is hung on one of the walls of the sheepfold. That plays the role of the back wall of the structure. Facade of the fixture is lattice. Its slats are mounted at intervals slightly larger than the size of an adult sheep's head.
In the inner space of the trough, a wooden or metal ramp is placed. On it, the food will slide to the crate.
How to make a combined feeder:
For the installation of metal nurseries, 2 sections of a tubular fence-picket fence are needed. These workpieces are welded to each other at an angle of 90º using electric welding. The resulting V is placed with the base on a large steel trough. Then it sticks to it in several places by welding.
The resulting device is durable, practical and very effective when feeding sheep with dry and fresh grasses.
The only drawback of the design is that it is made of a relatively expensive material.
The trough-shaped device for silage, grain, salt is made from supporting vertical bars. The bottom of the boards, lathing or walls and a groove are nailed to them. The gaps between the railings of the fence are 0.1 m. The bars are stuffed with an internal slope.
The depth of the groove is 0.12 m, the width at the top is 0.15 m, and at the bottom is 0.13. To prevent the sheep from scattering loose feed and salt, planks are nailed in the upper part of the trough with a step of 25 cm.
Drinking bowl manufacturing
Sheep need not only food, but also water. Therefore, they need to be watered periodically. The simplest adaptation for this:
For drinking lambs, plastic eggplants equipped with a nipple-nipple on the neck are ideal. They can be found at any pet store.
To water all the babies at the same time, you can take a narrow trough-shaped feeder and make round holes in both of its walls. Insert bottles into them and secure them. So you can not only water the lambs, but also feed the milk of very small animals.
How to make an autodrinker:
Inexperienced summer residents and farmers make a number of mistakes when feeding and watering small livestock. Here are the most common ones:
- There are no drinkers near the feeders. Some livestock breeders are convinced that in winter, livestock does not need to be provided with moisture, because they eat snow. This is the wrong approach. Frozen and thus purified water contains very few microelements necessary for sheep.
- There is no drainage near the drinkers. Liquid is spilled from them, sometimes the sheep turn over the devices altogether. Shepherd's unpaved floors cannot absorb moisture to the full. Slush forms on them, which the sheep mix with their feces. This liquid mud is an ideal medium for pathogens and putrefactive microorganisms.
- There is no proper care for the feeders. A lot of stuck feed remains in dirty implements. It begins to decompose, and harmful microbes grow in it. From this, animals have problems with digestion or they start to get sick.