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Bulk Feed Question  RSS feed

 
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Howdy Folks,

 We have a small farm in WA...In addition to caring for our lambs, ducks, and chickens, I feed our local Elk and deer population once the snow flies. I bring in 50 bales of hay and put out 50lbs of bulk feed each evening along with about 3/4 of a bale of hay. I'm tired of getting my feed in 50 lb bags and do have a local supplier where I can buy bulk, which brings me to my question. A friend once told me "someone" made a bulk hopper that would fit in a full sized pickup bed that had camper jacks, so you could back under it and load it, drive to the feed supplier and back under there silo, fill the hopper/bin and drive home. Once home you could jack it up and pull the truck out leaving the hopper free standing at which point you can draw off of it as required until it's time to take it back in to be filled. I have scoured the net and can't find such a bulk hauler for a pickup. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing and knows where I can get one?? Thanks, TJ
 
Posts: 122
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
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Not heard of anything like that.  However the local-ish feed supplier for me will sell feed un-bagged in basically a large tote.  I think they said it's around 1000# at a time that way.  Not sure if you buy the tote first time and just reuse it each subsequent time, pay a deposit on the tote and have to return it, or if it's disposable.  Next time I get some chicken feed I'll ask about that.  But, that still leaves you with the problem of getting a half ton of feed out of your truck or trailer if you don't have a fork lift.

Honestly that hopper with camper jacks might be a DIY project if you really want something like that.  Could be a fun project.  Where in WA are you?  Sounds like the east side of the mountains.
 
pollinator
Posts: 785
Location: Victoria BC
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That would be neat. Hope someone finds it...

I get mine in mini-bulk bags. They charge me $10 for it, and I can't reuse it as it's shipped from the mill in the the bag.

Around a ton in the bag, so fine in the back of the pickup and right about max load for the tractor to move it from the truck to the feed shed.

But then it's in the feed shed. Not anywhere near the animals in a moving enclosure out in the field. The time spent carrying buckets of feed adds up... would love to deposit the whole ton in a more convenient spot each time...
 
pollinator
Posts: 144
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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How about a small trailer with a box?
Something like an apple crate, or an IBC... or something you build in place.
The trailer can be hitched/unhitched and relocated easily. You could also move it around the farm with a tractor or ATV.
Plus you'd have a trailer to use for whatever else for the other 9 months of the year.
Only issue is a registration fee, but if you already have another trailer with a plate to share, might not be a concern for you?


As for your original idea, a junk slide-in camper might be a good beginning. You'd have the jacks, and maybe a frame? and some sheet metal to start with...
Often old RV stuff in poor condition is on Craigslist for free, or sometimes even offered to pay you to take away.
 
Dillon Nichols
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I guess part of the question is min order. A mini-bulk *is* the min order for me, so any trailer or old camper would need to be stout enough to hold a payload of around 2500lbs, as they're not real precise when they load the bags. I can assure you I will snag any bargain trailers stout enough in my area, I've got a list of things ton put on them!

Wildlife resistance has been an issue for friends who've gone the old camper route, too.


But, if the OP can grab a few hundred lbs at a time, this could fit real nicely in a freezer or fish tote on a small trailer... just use an auxiliary plywood lid with a bit of overhang, as in my experience the original lids aren't watertight enough.. and ventilate somehow.

A factory built galvanized unit with a chute and legs would still be a lot nicer...
 
pollinator
Posts: 204
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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Hey Thomas, welcome to permies :)

I started work at a farm with a couple hundred sheep&cows recently, and was going to recommend a Hopper Trailer which is what we use. But after searching for an image of the Hopper Trailer I think by dumb luck I might have found what you are searching for, or at least close to it.




Source: http://www.tsfeeders.com/

---

Mind you, I think that tote idea people are recommending sounds like a perfectly viable option, especially if you can modify it a little to work like the hopper in the pic.
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
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Those are almost right... the catch is the missing jacks!

The one not in a truck, is on steel sawhorses... how did it get there? Not without either a piece of heavy equipment, or some interesting redneck engineering!

Obviously you could take a bunch of steel and weld arms extending past the truck sides, then add jacks... but a factory unit would be sized to need less steel and hassle to do the same job... if it exists!

I'm starting to quite like the trailer idea, but my vehicle insurance bill is already pretty stupid.
 
master pollinator
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I am just guessing, but I would think that the one on jacks out in the field, they put there once, then to fill it; they take a tractor with a front end loader and after filling the bucket with grain, drive to the feeder and fill it. Scattered about the fields of the farm, it would keep grain from rotting, but allow for paddock grazing.

Another option for people is to just buy a small 3 ton feed bin and have the local feed company deliver feed to the farm. That saves a lot of hassle and is the cheapest way to buy it. Bulk bins are really not that expensive, but I forget the price.

There are also many, many designs out there as well from the Extension Service, or Mid West Plan service to build bulk bins in many, many forms. I know they had a plywood and dimension lumber bulk bin on stands that held ten tons of feed that could be homemade. Do a search of mid west plan service and I am sure you will find tons of bulk feeders that would work.
 
Thomas Jaussaud
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Thanks everyone for the ideas. Andrew Mayflower, Yes, East slopes of the Cascades, out of Yakima......Group,  I had found the TS feeders pictured below and even found a trailer but the lack of jacks are my problem and with the trailer, they are designed to pull and disperse actuating off of a wheel that contacts the trailer tire. Not quite what I need. My feed goes into two barrel feeders so I would need to have a chute to fill a bucket. I feed 50 lbs a day. I'm not opposed to getting something like the TS pictured and welding jack mounts, was just hoping there was already something already out there......Who wants to go into business Anyway, thanks again for all the "weigh ins"...Oh and I'm limited to a 42 hp diesel tractor with a 2000 lb capacity bucket and clamp on forks for handling.
 
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