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#10250 - 11/30/04 04:10 PM Pellets in the feeder
operationporkchop Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 484
Loc: TX
Yall tried the deer pellets in your feeder instead of corn? I heard that this protein high fat pellet is real good.I saw some at a feed store and I am just curious. It was about 7 or 8 dollars per 50lb bag.


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#10251 - 11/30/04 09:20 PM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: operationporkchop]
TheHag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 1216
Loc: Abilene, TX
Whatever you do.... DON'T put it in your spin feeder.

First, it doesn't funnel down to the spin plate. It's like Lincoln Logs in there. They just don't fall properly to the spin plate.

Second, they absorb moisture in the air. The ones that are sitting on the spin plate and exposed to the weather will swell with the absorbtion and clog the feeder.

Been there, done that!

Make a protien feeder like I have posted in my TFF ShareAlbum. I'll try and pull up some pictures from it and post on her tomorrow. It's simple to make with a 55 gallon drum and PVC pipe. It helps control the amount that a deer will eat in one visit to the feeder. The bucks sure do love it though!

Well, here is a picture of it. Note the slope on the feed tube. It protects the pellets from rain. The deer bump the pipe to make it feed more. I've watched bucks actually stick their G2's in the hole to rake out the feed. It's a blast to watch them!







Edited by TheHag (12/01/04 07:17 AM)
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#10252 - 12/01/04 05:58 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: TheHag]
DPD25 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 347
Loc: Allen, Tx
Totally agree, Hag. Made this mistake once....a big mess! A gravity-type feeder is definitely the way to go.


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#10253 - 12/01/04 07:06 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: DPD25]
OFBHWG Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 4176
Loc: McKINNEY, TEXAS
WEW BUY A MIX OF CORN AND ROASTED SOY BEANS FOR HIGHER PROTIEN AND IT WORKS GREAT IN MY FEEDER

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#10254 - 12/01/04 09:15 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: TheHag]
WileyCoyote Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 2853
Loc: Grayson County & North Texas
Tommy, what size PVC pipe is that..4"s? I assume you have a fence around the drop feeder since cows would break the pipe pretty easy. Do you attach the pipe to the bottom of the barrel using a flange screwed into the bottom of the barrel? and the hole in the barrel cut as large as the pipe?
Neat looking setup!! and just may be the ticket for an area I'm thinking about.
Ron

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#10255 - 12/01/04 09:34 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: WileyCoyote]
dgilbert Offline
6 pack abs
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 16445
Hag, I tried making the same thing, looks just like it, but I had a problem. When I poured the protein in, it came straight out, there was nothing to stop it at the openings. Do you have something inside the openings to hold the pellets in? I ended up going to just a 90 degree.


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#10256 - 12/01/04 11:04 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: dgilbert]
TheHag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 1216
Loc: Abilene, TX
Yeah, that's 4" pipe with a toilet bowl flange for connecting to the drum. Very simple and cheap to make. We have 5 of them on our ranch. We put them toward the center of the ranch, to make the deer go to the middle of the ranch to feed.... rather than them coming from the neighbor's ranch, eating and then going back across the fence to be shot by them.

We don't have anything slowing down the protien pellets from falling directly into the tube. The only thing we have is a funnel that makes every last drop go down the tube. The tube does have to be level or it will cause the pellets to follow the slope of the tube and feed out though. If you continue to have that problem, heat up the bottom of the pipe and bend a lip in it with some pliers.

Yes, we have a 4 wire fence around all our feed pens. Note the mud on the bottom of the pipe. That's from deer pawing at it to knock the feed out of it. The rubbed places on the bottom of the barrel are from the heads of the bucks as they put their horn into the pipe to drag out more feed. Bucks get impatient eating a little at a time, so they drag out a pile and then eat it all at once.

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#10257 - 12/01/04 03:49 PM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: TheHag]
WileyCoyote Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 2853
Loc: Grayson County & North Texas
Gotta be a hoot watching them work their horns around in the tube!!!
Bro In law used to put out a monster jar of peanut butter by taking some big screws and putting them thru the lid of plastic jar into a tree trunk at Buck deer heights and then screwing the jar into the lid after he had used a jig saw to cut the bottom out of the jar... I saw one buck with his nose inside the jar up to his eyeballs trying to lick the last little bit off the inside of the lid..what a laugh! They liked Jif crunchy the best he said LOL!!!
I used to buy quart cans of sorgum syrup down in deep east Texas and punch one or two ice pick holes in the bottoms of a can, hang them from a tree so that they'd just barely drip when the sun was on the can after the first freeze... makes a great lick area, but I lost my cheap syrup source about 10 years ago and haven't tried it lately. A laugh riot watching bucks bat those cans around like a pinata with their horns!!! You could always tell when Big Daddy was near as the kiddo's would scamper out of the pen like teenagers caught with a cigarette in the High School bathroom!
Ron

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Bigger Heavier Faster Bullets & Practice Practice Practice Can Eliminate Errors in Aiming...

'Cause Only Accurate Guns & People are Interesting

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#10258 - 12/01/04 05:39 PM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: WileyCoyote]
HunterTed Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 4597
Loc: Weatherford, TX
Hag I use that type of protein feeder that you speak of and they work great. Cheap to make as well.

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#10259 - 12/01/04 06:53 PM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: HunterTed]
operationporkchop Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 484
Loc: TX
Hag, sweet set up and thanks for the info. I will give that sey up a try. Since you dont have a timer on your feeder do the deer still come on a schedule or are they feeding at different times.


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#10260 - 12/02/04 08:10 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: operationporkchop]
TheHag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 1216
Loc: Abilene, TX
The old bucks feed out of it around 1:00 am to 3:00 am. The young 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 year old bucks will feed out of it when they come up to the spin feeders. The old bucks will come up there with the does and take a few bites out of the protien while the rut is going on. But, then they go back to the business at hand with the does and all.

We have set out the motion activated video cameras and watched them at the feeders for several years now. The bucks with the forked G2's and forked brow tines seem to always be on every single video we watch. We had one buck last year that was only 1 1/2 years old and already had 11 points on a main frame 8 with all his forks. He was at the protien feeder near his haunt every single morning at daylight while in the velvet. Now we can't seem to find him anywhere to get a look at the results of this year's feedings. Hope the neighbor didn't take him down.

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#10261 - 12/13/04 08:19 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: TheHag]
Whitey Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 95
Hag,

We're thinking about starting protien feeding on our ranch in Rock Springs. It's 4,000 acres and our population is down from the drought/Anthrax outbreak in 2001.

A few of questions to help get me started.

1. How big is your ranch?

2. How much does it cost you/year to feed?

3. How did you get the deer to start eating the protein? What brand of feed do you use?

4. Have you ever tried whole cottonseed? I read something about it on the TTH forum.

5. How long before you saw any results.

6. What months of year do you feed the protein?

Sorry to be so long winded, I'm just really interested in selling this concept to the other guys on the lease and need to get down to some $ figures.


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#10262 - 12/13/04 10:18 AM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: Whitey]
TheHag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 1216
Loc: Abilene, TX
[1. How big is your ranch?] Just over 1434 acres on the main ranch and just under 500 on our other one.

[2. How much does it cost you/year to feed?] We feed out of 5 protien feeders on the main ranch (2 on the other one) that we locate in the middle of each pasture. You don't want to feed the neighbor's deer. Make them come to the center of your ranch for the food so that they will get used to staying on your ranch. Each protien feeder holds 300 pounds and lasts for 7 days during regular feedings. During January (if it gets ice on the ground) and in from March until the 1st of April, each feeder will typicaly only last 5 days. We spend (on average)just over $2400 per year on the protien. We feed protien from the first of January through August. Then corn from August through December. I keep my protien feeder at my stand full all year round. Costs me a whole lot more that way, but I have a ton of bucks using my pasture during hunting season. We have wheat fields that help supplement the deer during September through February or so.

[3. How did you get the deer to start eating the protein?] We put it out in open troughs for two weeks. Only problem with that is 300 pounds will only last 2 days! Then we put it in those feeders that I posted the picture out of. It controls the amount each deer eats. They get what they need, but not any more than they have the patience to stand there and lick out.

[What brand of feed do you use?] We use ACCO's Purina brand mix of 20% protien pellets. They seem to like it better than the other brands we tried.

[4. Have you ever tried whole cottonseed? I read something about it on the TTH forum.] We have tried the cottonseed and also the peanut hulls. They loved the peanut hulls better than anything. So did the raccoons! We found that the peanut hulls and cottonsead only helped them maintain body weight, but didn't do anything for horn developement.

[5. How long before you saw any results?] We noticed forked brow tines and stickers around the bases in 2 years. The third year saw numerous bucks with split G2's and kickers. The fourth year showed us split and thicker brow tines, kickers on their G2's, thicker mass and a lot more stickers around the bases. The body weights went up over 25 pounds the second year. They were up around 10 pounds the first year. Our average bucks before protien were weighing 105 and a good mature buck was weighing 125 to 130. The third year saw us harvesting bucks that were in excess of 150 to 160 pounds. Our mature does were field dressing right at 100 poundst the third year.

[6. What months of year do you feed the protein?] January through August. If we have a good wet year and good browse, we will suspend the protien in July. Depends on whether the grass is burnt up from drought or heat.

[Sorry to be so long winded..............]

No problem at all.... We had a biologist work with us to determine just how much feed we needed to feed in order to properly do it. You can feed the protien and improve the herd. But, if you don't do it right, you will only improve a certain number of the herd and the overall progress will be much slower.

My brother-in-law's ranch is around 4000 acres and they have 10 feeders on it that they keep full year round. But, they guide on it and charge enough for one buck to pay for their protien feed.



Edited by TheHag (12/13/04 02:56 PM)
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#10263 - 12/13/04 01:58 PM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: TheHag]
Whitey Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 95
Thanks for the reply Hag! On the cost issue, just clarify this for me? It costs you $1,400 per year to keep 7 free choice feeders full of protein?

Many Thanks!


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#10264 - 12/13/04 02:41 PM Re: Pellets in the feeder [Re: Whitey]
TheHag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 1216
Loc: Abilene, TX
Sorry, I was multiplying on my calculator without a tape and I must have hit a wrong number for the cost.

Let's base it on this.

$5.75 per bag on a one ton purchase price.

6 bags per feeder is $34.50

They will last two weeks after the deer slow down on their consumption.

Seven months of feed at 12 bags per feeder, per month, equals $483 per year, per feeder.

$483 per year times 10 feeders (you would need a minimum of 10 on a place your size) equals $4830 per year.

This would also depend on the number of deer that you have on your place. We have a ton of deer on ours and they're spoiled rotten! We've even had bucks follow us after season is over when we're putting out round bales for the cattle.

The two on the other ranch are not kept full as often as the main ranch. The other ranch might skip 10 to 14 days without being refilled when they are empty. The main ranch feeders are kept full religiously. The other (smaller) ranch is boundried by meat hunters on 3 sides and therefore isn't managed at all. Opening weekend sounds like World War III around there. If it walks, it dies, as far as the ranches around us are concerned. In fact, they kept cutting our fences down where we fenced over their wire gates that they've used for years and years to hunt our side before we bought the place. It's so bad around there with the meat hunters that we had just over 900 acres to start with and are selling it off. We sold 1/2 of it and have the other 1/2 for sale. We had to post no trespassing and no hunting signs around the entire ranch to keep the neighbors from acting like it was theirs. We were just trying to improve our population of bucks there and not grow larger horns.

Remember that is not year round. It's only when they really need it for fawn health during pregnancy and for growing better horns on the bucks.

At first, they will eat it so fast that you will wonder if you have to get a second job to pay for the feed. After one month, they slow down on it and eat only what they need. There was one time where they emptied a 300 pound open trough over night with hog proof fencing around it!

I filled my protien feeder three weeks ago (300 pounds) to lure in more bucks to my bow stand area. It lasted only 4 days. I refilled it again and it lasted for 9 days that time. They will eat it year round if you want to invest in that feeding pattern. It just gets too expensive unless you have several guys willing to split the bill.



Edited by TheHag (12/13/04 02:55 PM)
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