The main herd across the river are rarely inside the barn for any reason. This includes feeding. For the wet wintertime, we use three metal feeders placed on a path of rock.
One of the fall tasks include re-rocking the area around the feeders so the mud is kept at a minimum. This year the feeders had to be pulled out of the area so the bulldozer could level the space. Several truckloads of rock were brought in and the bulldozer smoother the area flat.
During the cold winter, the grass is not growing and we use the feeders for hay twice a day for the herd.
The process of moving the feeders in and securing them tightly to the ground took several days. If not secured, the larger animals use the feeders as scratching posts and can move them completely off the path.
The cows graze and lounge around the pasture area and hillside between feedings, but when they hear the gator moving toward the feeders, they all come running for the sweet grass hay.
The feeders keep the grass field from getting too muddy during the wet weather. It also keeps the grass hay contained so that is not wasted by being tromped on by their big feet.
We use three feeders so the younger animals will not be pushed away from the feed by the more aggressive, larger animals.