How to Plan a Cattle Feed Bunk

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How to Plan a Cattle Feed Bunk

30 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Concrete feed bunks streamline the way cattle are fed. These bunks are basically troughs that your cattle feed from that run along areas of your farm's land or its buildings. They are a useful food receptacle and make it easier for members of a herd to get the right amount of feed at the right times.

Deciding to install a feed bunk does take some thought, however. You need to make sure that you build the right size of bunk for your livestock's needs.

What do you need to think about before you get a specialist in to build your bunk?

How Long Should the Bunk Be?

A feed bunk needs to be long enough so that all your cattle can comfortably eat at the bunk at the same time. If it is too short, then some of your cows may not be able to get at the food; others may eat it all before they can find a space to get in.

On the other hand, you don't want a feed bunk that is too long. For a start, you'll waste money on construction costs. Plus, feed may get left in parts of the bunk for too long. Your cattle may eat too much, or if they leave feed untouched, you'll eventually have to clean it out, which will take up valuable time you could spend on other jobs.

How Wide Should the Bunk Be?

Feed bunk width also takes planning. Ideally, a trough needs to be wide enough to hold enough feed for your livestock at once. You don't want to have to constantly refill the trough to top it up if it isn't wide enough to hold enough for your herd.

On the other hand, a feed bunk shouldn't be too wide. If your cattle can't easily reach their feed, then they'll stretch across to get to stuff that sits at the back of the trough. If too much feed sits at the back, they may not have enough to eat.

Plus, if they try to get to the back of the trough, they may even end up in it. This could cause injuries and give you the headache of figuring out how to get a cow out of the bunk if it gets stuck.

If you've not used a feed bunk before, then get some advice on the best design and build specifications for your available space and livestock. The easiest way to do this is to talk to concrete companies and commercial kerbing companies that make and install bunks.

Local commercial kerbing contractors are a good place to start. Bunks aren't that different to some kerbing products. Chances are, your local concrete kerbing specialist has plenty of experience of building feed bunks for other farms in the area. They can help you build the right size of bunk to make your feed distribution more effective.