Warning on bull feeder trap risks

2 February 2001

Warning on bull feeder trap risks

SUCKLER producers are warned that bulls may become trapped in round bale ring feeders where the divisions are too small.

The warning comes from South Yorks beef producer Trevor Ward, who runs 18 cows and a Limousin bull at The Lodge, Houghton Lane, Ravenfield, Rotherham. He recently found the bull with its head stuck in a straw ring feeder, but did manage to free him.

"After that I measured the gaps, and found the gap the bull had become stuck in was only 10.5in, while most of the other spaces were 11in.

"I phoned the rings manufacturer to discuss this and was told I shouldnt have been using the feeder for bulls – only for cows. My worry is that many producers will be running a bull with their cows, and if you buy a ring feeder thats for cattle youd expect it to be suitable for bulls too.

"Some other ring feeders have bigger gaps, but Id warn producers to check the width of ring feed spaces to see whether their bull might become caught."

Some producers who are manufacturing their own ring feeders have opted for larger spacings to avoid this concern. This also has the benefit of reducing eartag losses.

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