You can often find them as surplus from old mine sites, quarries, or other locations that deal in large equipment.
Who did you contact to find a large tire?
The majority of our tires have been obtained for free from waste stockpiles. The best way to find one is to call people that you might expect to deal with equipment that uses large tires. They will likely have a stockpile of waste tires.
How do the black balls work to prevent water from freezing?
They provide some additional insulation to the water. The black color absorbs some solar energy. thus slightly increasing their temperature relatives to their surroundings. They also reduce the interaction of the surface of the water with cold air. We have not been able to completely reduce freezing with this product.
Where did you purchase the black balls?
We purchased them from Precision Plastic Ball Company. Unfortunately, they do not plan on making any more unless an extremely large order was placed. Here is their website www.precisionplasticball.com
Are you doing anything else to prevent water from Freezing?
We have experimented with tock tank deicers, heat riser tubes, and a hybrid solar/wind powered heating element/ The stock tank deicer works well if you have access to AC power. The heat riser tube has had limited success. It is our experience that it will not prevent freezing during extreme cold. The hybrid solar/wind powered heating element did not produce enough power to effectively clear the ice from the tank. It may be able to do so if scaled up substantially, however, it becomes price restrictive quickly. Some producers have had success with creating insulated covers with limited access openings for use during freezing conditions.
How are the solar water pumps holding up from a few years ago?
The solar powered pumps have functioned well., with minimal maintenance over the last three years. In late 2018, we had the first motor burn out in one of the pumps. We are currently in the process of pursuing a warranty replacement. Without warranty, replacing burnt out motors will cost a couple hundred dollars.
WHAT brand of pre-Fab metal feed panels did you use?
Our panels came from Farmer's Gate. You can checkout their website at farmersgate.com
What size are the panels?
We used 12 foot panels on the sides. On the ends, we used an 8 foot panel and a gate.
How deep did you make the concrete for the pads around the bales?
The concrete is 6 inches.
On each structure, how many cows can eat at one time?
10 to 12 animals can comfortably feed from the structure at once.
Where can i buy the honeycomb material?
We used NDS Tufftrack TT-24 Paver grid and purchased it from Site Supply in Midway, Ky. Here is their website www.sitefabric.com/