From time to time, producers will send in pictures of the practices they’ve implemented on their farm, that are used at Eden Shale. We always enjoy receiving these and seeing how the producers alter those practices to better fit their farm and operation. The most common pictures we receive are of fenceline feeders and tire waterers, but recently a producer out of Pennsylvania, Mr. Ryan Wells, sent us pictures of his structure, that is similar to our large bale feeder.
The large bale feeder has been the most watched video on our Facebook page, with over 377,500 people reached and over 1,491 video shares. We released the designs and materials to the large bale feeder in August 2019 and since then, producers from over 30 states have downloaded the design files.
After receiving Mr. Wells pictures, we thought it would be a good opportunity to ask a few questions on how he implemented his structure. Mr. Wells was gracious enough to answer questions about his feeding structure and on how he adapted it from the Eden Shale designs.
Name: Ryan Wells
Location: Fredonia, Pennsylvania
Herd Size: 30
Class of Cattle: Cows
Q: How did you first hear about Eden Shale Farm?
Q: What project did you implement on your farm and why?
A: The large bale feeder because Northwest Pennsylvania winters are snowy and muddy. The previous feeding method as driving a tractor into a field, making ruts or manually unrolling bales and feeding them out of the back of the barn. Both methods wasted a lot of hay.
Q: Is this the first project you have implemented from Eden Shale Farm?
Q: Is there anything you changed when implementing this practice? (i.e., layout, design, size, any additions, etc.)
A: I made the building a bit longer and made symmetric trolley spacing for the wheels on both sides. The barn dimensions are 22’ x 56’. The barn cost $23,000, with $3,400 being spent on custom welding.
Q: If you have used this practice, what do you like the most? What would you change?
A: In the future, I would consider a layout where I load the hay from the middle and feed two separate groups of cattle from each end. I would possibly just use gravel for the base.
Q: What would you recommend for other producers that wish to implement this practice?
A: I have not actually fed cattle yet. I just built it and filled it with hay this summer, but it seems like a no brainer!
Have you implemented an Eden Shale Farm practice on your farm? We’d love to see! Send pictures and information to firstname.lastname@example.org.