On April 6th Eden Shale hosted the Fenceline Feeding System Field Day on what turned out to be a miserable weather day. It rained all day and there was 20-30 mile per hour wind gust making the wet 40-degree day feel much colder. That however, did not stop the 90 producers in attendance from putting on a rain jacket and learning about this winter feeding system.
Dr. Steve Higgins discussed the layout and design of each feeder and the importance of proper site selection. Producers were able to walk around the feeders and see how they are constructed and watch as the cattle were actively eating hay from them during the field day. The producers in attendance had a lot of questions and seemed very interested in installing a similar system on their own farms.
Some even found shelter under the gooseneck to get out of the weather.
Once back at the barn, Dr. Matt Springer, a wildlife extension specialist with UK, gave a presentation about how to properly manage black buzzard populations around cattle herds. He hung up a manmade decoy buzzard that was constructed out of rubber mat. These decoys have been shown effective in eliminating birds from an area. The decoys can be constructed using only $25 worth of materials. The schematic for making your own decoy will be posted here on the blog once it is finalized.
After lunch the group toured other parts of the farm to see multiple winter feeding options and several tire waterer installations. Producers were taking both pictures and measurements of the feeders and the tire waterers. Multiple farmers claimed to have areas where these types of systems would benefit their operation, and they were going to implement some of the things they had seen at Eden Shale Farm.
Despite the weather, we had a very successful field day and I want to thank all the producers who braved the elements to come join us. We will be having a follow up field day on May 9th to discuss the results of feeding hay in these feeders for an entire season. That day will cover how much hay we fed in each feeder, how much hay waste each feeder had, which feeder the cows preferred, and which feeders need maintenance after the first season. That field day will start at 3:00pm.