Building a small farm or homestead today is an expensive process, especially when it is necessary to make improvements and purchase or raise your large livestock, such as cattle. Sometimes called a residence farm, these small operations depend on continued income from full- or part-time employment off the farm in order to keep the household and farm afloat.
In fact, according to information published by the United States Department of Agriculture, residence farming operations far outnumber those where the farm is able to provide all the income needs for the family. If you are operating as a residential farm and looking for ways to save time and streamline your labor while still providing proper care for your livestock, here are some ideas to consider.
The ability to monitor your farm via your cell phone from your work location can help you watch for emergency situations during the hours you must be away from the farm. Inexpensive wireless cameras can be installed overlooking areas where your animals gather for food and water. With a quick glance at an app on your phone, you will be able to view your livestock, perform headcounts, or look for problems, such as an animal in distress, that may need to be addressed quickly.
Farms that raise calves as beef or future breeding animals need to be able to ensure that sufficient hay is always available for their growing animals. One of the cow's four stomachs, called the rumen, requires long-stem fiber in order to remain healthy. Farmers who cannot be present to add more small bales of hay to cattle feeding bunks throughout the day can still provide sufficient hay for their animals by choosing to feed large round or square bales. These bales can be fed in special feeders that allow access but prevent the calves from soiling or wasting the hay.
Weaned calves grow best when they receive a supplemental feed that contains protein, as well as carbs and minerals to support fast growth. However, allowing calves to access large amounts of rich feed without restriction can lead to bloat and other serious digestive problems. A safer, more efficient way to provide calves with a consistently healthful amount of supplemental feed is to offer it in large automatic animal feeders that protect the feed from weather and dispense it automatically at the rate you select throughout the day.
To learn more about using large animal automatic feeders on your farm, take time to discuss your feeding needs with a reputable agricultural equipment and supply dealer in your area. Reach out to a company such as eezkeeper.com today.