A simple method of feeding livestock is to place them on the ground, but this results in a loss of feed for the farmer. Using a livestock feeder is an ideal option. By pouring your grain and feed pellets on the ground for your animals to eat, you could suffer a 30% loss due to wind, rain and livestock walking and lying on it. So, you should consider investing in a feeder to protect the feed from potential loss or damage. Choosing the right feeder for your livestock, sheep, poultry can be difficult if you don't know where to start. Below is some useful information on choosing the right type of feeder for your animals.
Using open feeders is a good starting point for any farmer who wants to feed their livestock. It is an ideal option for sheep and cattle. Feed bins keep the feed off the ground, preventing moisture and mould and providing protection from wind. Open troughs are ideally long and narrow to give the animals enough space and to prevent them from climbing into the trough while eating. The type of feed that is best kept in a trough includes pellets, cereals, manufactured feeds and chopped hay. If you live in a particularly windy area, an open trough offers good protection from the wind.
Hybrid feeders are a combination of a hay bale and a feeder. These feeders have a top section that holds hay and a trough section that allows sheep to easily eat grain and chopped feed. They are a good choice for any farmer or stockbreeder as they offer feeding solutions for any type of feed. They are also robust and can be moved easily. These hybrid feeders offer protection from all elements except rain. It may be wise to move these feeders under cover during the wetter months. Wet feed can become mouldy or even toxic to animals.
The right feeder for your animals
When it comes to choosing a livestock feeder, one of the most important considerations is that it is specifically designed for your animals. What works for one type of animal will not necessarily work for another, which is a key consideration. Choosing a pet-friendly feeder will also prevent food loss, as pets will be able to eat properly without spilling or wasting food.
And for hydration of your livestock, see our section on waterers.