A lot of today’s ranchers have modernized the way they feed their cows by using a hydraulic bale bed. My husband refers to ours sometimes as a “tractor” because the system replaces feeding cows with a tractor and is considered valuable equipment on our outfit. Our bale bed feeder is a DewEze.
What’s handy, and likely what makes bale bed feeders popular, is the convenience, and versatility with which cows can be fed. The process of feeding goes really fast because the hay gets unrolled in a matter of minutes. This bale happens to be only a partial bale but the cows don’t seem to care.
Being on mounted on a pickup gives a person quicker mobility in feeding, loading, going back to the stack yard for another bale.
Another reason bale beds are popular is that pickups are much easier to start than a lot of tractors, although our bale bed pickup is a diesel so we do plug it in in the shop in the winter. We have stack yards in another pasture five miles away so having a way to transport bales on a pickup makes it way faster and it’s convenient to grab a bale from another location whenever we need.
With a bale bed, anybody can feed cows. There’s only a couple of buttons to operate,
a little twine to cut,
and some driving ahead to do in order to feed cows.
Over Christmas break our kids helped us feed cows and while my husband and son took care of our bull chores, my 13 year old daughter and I fed cows. I let her do the entire cow feeding chores with our bale bed and just gave her a little guidance in what to do next and help in lining up to load a bale. It’s nice to know we could easily put our kids in charge if my husband and I ever had an emergency.
A lot of ranchers around here have switched to feeding cows with bale bed pickups because it frees up their time and makes chores go a LOT faster! Anytime we can get through chores quicker it’s a good thing.