Farmer Makes Mineral Feeder Portable
Lee Gooder already had three perfectly good feeders, one in each of his three pastures. Why, then, did he need a brand-new one, his wife, Jill, wanted to know. “This mineral feeder has curtains and scratchers and a large, rubber tub for salt and mineral,” he explained to her. Still skeptical, she asked him how he intended to move it from one pasture to the next. “That was a good question. Once I made it portable, she was OK with it, and we were all good to go,” he says.
That portability has worked out extremely well, Gooder emphasizes. The transition began by mounting a snowmobile trailer axle to the self-feeder. Son Zach helped build the axle mount and a hitch. They got help from a local welding shop with fabrication and mounting.
“That axle is removable, so when we want to take it off and make a stationary unit, we can,” Gooder points out.
switch out when fly season is over
Since dust bags and an oiler aren’t required during the winter, the Gooders can have their trailer back in time for snowmobile season. The Cattle Saver feeder built by Easy Way Cattle Care in Decorah, Iowa, gets shedded. “I put the three old feeders back out until springtime,” he says.
The Gooders’ pastureland has steep slopes. So steep, the ground has never been used for anything but pasture. Yet, Gooder says, he’s had no trouble pulling the feeder with his Gator.
“I can easily lift the tongue even when the feeder is full of mineral. It’s nimble, but it’s stable, too. We get quite a bit of wind up there, and, so far, it hasn’t been knocked over,” he says.
Gooder is the last recipient of a $2,500 Firestone in-store credit offer for having his idea chosen as the Idea of the Month. Enter your idea here!
More about Lee Gooder
Family farm: Besides fall-calving stock cows, Gooder grows corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. He also feeds out Jersey bottle calves. He is a full-time road maintenance employee for Howard County in northeast Iowa.
Anticipation: The county has ordered him a new Caterpillar road grader.
Changing practices: Gooder sold his disk recently and bought a super coulter. “I’m trying to go as minimum-till as possible. The goal is to eventually do no-till,” he says.
Family: Wife Jill works full time at the local hospital. Both of their children, daughter Shelley and son Zach, are grown.