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Flex Augers - which one ??

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  • Flex Augers - which one ??

    Last edited by RON11; 05-03-2019, 09:57 AM.

  • #2
    Ron, I tried posting last evening and it disappeared into the persistent clouds covering Wisconsin. I've used flex augurs for moving feeds into odd areas where a regular augur didn't fit. I got then thru Central Silo. The worked good, and not very expensive but I never heard of any flex augurs being used for actual feeding of the grain Years ago a few people had computerized feeding setups in front of the cows in regular tie stall barns, but I know that's not what you're asking about

    I drove past your farm a couple days ago. It looked so neat and the pastures are so green. Where are the cows??? Pastures and fields sure are wet and so growing.

    Seems like this site has died and FJ is waiting for enough people to post and be honorary pall bearers


    • #3
      Where are the cows ? Yeah , they were tucked in their nice dry beds IN THE BARN. I do put the milk herd out for about a hour each afternoon while I scrape , bed stalls and put out the evening TMR. A couple of days ago I really got tempted to see them out on open grass so ......I opened the south gate. They absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. Raced in big circles , kicked up their heels , the whole works. I new it was too wet but the cows have 4 wheel drive and any churning and pugging of the sod would heal soon enough. I just keep telling myself "No matter what happens today I'll still have grass growing up the whazoo by the start of June !"

      I will admit it was a bit scary though because when you see a herd of cows thinking they just busted out of jail sprinting full speed across a field and headed for the hundred foot stretch that only has one strand of smooth wire you really wonder if they'll pull up or just jump over. For those who didn't know - that single strand of smooth wire and 20 feet of lawn are the only thing that separates them from the interstate highway !!....I ran outside and stood next to that stretch of fence for 5 or 10 minutes till the jailbreak was over and things were calmed down. The reed canary grass in that valley near the creek was the only chance the cows had for even a lick of grass. A lick is about all they got too. Unfortunately in a lot of areas they sank in about 8 inches. Again - not a real concern. That sod is ancient and will heal up in a couple of weeks.

      That day (May 1) was the only day they have gotten freedom. There just isn't any grass the cows could eat. What little they could maybe get would NOT be enough to cover the wear and tear on the lanes and the pugging of the pastures. Add to that the areas around the water tanks are wet and soft. No matter how much water is in a spring pasture they will still go to the tanks and churrn those areas into muddy sinkholes. Just not worth it yet. The big payoff of course is that there are enzymes in grass leaves and very high nutrition levels in grass overall that can make insanely large amounts of milk with about a dollars worth of grain. The enzymes are only found in live growing grasses. They don't survive drying or fermentation (silage). That is my , now OUR , secret though. If everybody knew this then everybody would be producing ridiculously cheap (therefore ridiculously profitable) milk. Since this sight has all but died our secret is safe.

      Checked my records - last year cows started getting pastures on May 6. That means an hour a day (exercise time) at first. Increasing gradually as grass increases. 12 hours in - 12 hours out was probably started on May 12 ? Full time grazing started on May 17 last year. May 6 is this coming Monday. We might be seeing a copy of last year IF it stays warm and dry till then (Monday) . Nobody is more hopeful than me. Except for the cows - I bet they are more hopeful than I. haha
      Last edited by RON11; 05-04-2019, 10:24 AM.


      • #4
        Oh , about the flex auger. I've been researching it online and it's gonna happen. Got to think about how it will me mounted above the grain troughs and how high. I need to think about if and how I'm going to cover it too since it has to work even when it rains all day and then goes into a deep freeze. You know it's gonna happen. Can't be out there trying to get augers freed up ! Decided to go with the little bins that come with the system. An old farmer had trouble with cattle messing with the bins terribly. He made a system with two augers running in PVC pipes with connecting drop pipes. The top auger would move gain through the to pipe filling a series of drop pipes. The bottom pipe had an auger that would move the grain sideways to drop holes 6 inches over from each drop pipe.. Top pipe fills drop pipes , bottom auger moves grain over to drop holes to empty drop pipes. Basically this was all cut and glued like a PVC ladder on it's side. Cattle cant grab strings to empty more grain and they don't bang on bins hoping to get grain to "fall from heaven !" I thought it was so clever. BUT I would need to run 3 augers. A longer one than the one on the feed bin now , plus 2 on his system. Top one filling verticle pipes and a second auger emptying verticle pipes. So clever but for my small system 1 auger beats 3 any day.

        Going to go with regular bought flex auger and drop bins. The price seemed pretty cheap to me. I may be able to combine support structure , cattle proofing and weather proofing for a simple , easy, dependable and weatherproof system that even a daughter can run. We have a huge batch of heifer calves started and still increasing (25 and counting) so we need to automate. By automate I mean go from the 1930's to at least the 1980's ! I don't want to rush things ! haha
        Last edited by RON11; 05-04-2019, 11:00 AM.


        • #5
          Ron, that brings back memories of letting out the cows each spring. fun to watch them run like he-ll and hope they stop for the wires. tho sometimes I wished they would just keep running. but are luck theyed come back. ours stayed in the freestall barn all winter. you could tell tho when they were starting to get itchy o get out and run


          • #6
            My wife says I'm ON, but this site is more confusing than a mother-in-law! Ron, if you want some free flex augers, come and get them. They were shut off when we took grain outta the parlor in the early 90's .Weather wise, we are in grass heaven this year. There are damp spots in the wetter fields, but we had to harvest, chop for silage, some cover crop ryegrass, just too tall to spray down. Will be spraying 2 foot tall wheat today. Will be glad to be using a pull type sprayer with a FWD tractor, a tad sticky out there in that field.. Some new seedings are greened up, corn being planted, no rain in the past 10 days, none projected the next 7. Too much to do, but beats sitting around checking windshield wipers.


            • #7
              Thanks for the offer Percy but I'm probably going to have to decline. I'm not sure where you are at BUT with crops like that you must be on the other side of the world !! We just got the frost out of the ground about 2 weeks ago.

              When I said in my previous post on May 1 the cows could hardly get a lick of grass I was being quite literal. When I was standing next to the lawn fence wire I saw cows trying to bite at grass 1 inch tall and usually came up empty. The times they did get a tiny bit of grass was matched by times they came up with grass , roots and mud only to have to spit it all out. The last couple of days have been really sunny and warm. As you know that can get the grass growing an inch or more per day. Yesterday was the first real grazing for the cows. A decent percentage of grasses were 3 inches tall. Cows are going out to grass only about 1 hour per day. That hour they had to go out for exercise anyway.

              I am fully aware I am doing the grass no favor by grazing this early but there will be too much grass by June AND (barring any weather disaster) there will be excess grass on the farm as a whole by the end of the year. Under that situation any damage or lost grass production is not a concern to me. Better to get more milk and stagger the maturities of the 23 paddocks so the cows will have younger growing paddocks 23 days from now.

              (I know Percy probably know more about grazing than I ever will. I'm sharing more for any younger farmers who are curious or are grazing animals of their own )


              • #8
                Where am I? Good question. If you google 98247 zip code, that will get me pretty close..10 miles from the Canadian border, 15 miles from the Ocean. This neighborhood of ours has gone crazy mad over land. 3 big dairies that want to get bigger, an organic neighbor who wants to farm it all, blueberry and raspberry farms, many who have roots in the Canadian East Indian culture, + 2 seed potato farmers who compete 'really well' ! Water rights are essential. The rumor is out that my 125 acres is for sale; the bidding starts at $30,000/acre, +3 houses and buildings. That's just a rumor, but 1 gentleman won't commit until next year, rumor has it. This is God's country, but there are a lot of devilish details to operate in salmon and killer whale watersheds.


                • #9
                  Wow !