Feed Sacks New Life –  The Project List
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Feed Sacks New Life – The Project List

Hi I’m Mike. Somedays ranching is all about
coming up with a solution for a problem and doing it in a way that you may never have
thought of. Today we tackle a problem I have had for years and solve it with the help of
one subscriber and an easy and ingenious idea on the project list, on our Wyoming life. Welcome back to the project list, the board
behind me holds an ever shrinking and growing list of the things that need done, and the
things we have gotten done over the past few months on the ranch.
And each time we take something off, well something goes back up there and it never
ends. Each Tuesday we take something off the list
and work on the project together but today, we do that in a whole new way as we take an
email from a subscriber and use that to solve a problem that I have had for years.
Please subscribe and come along as we explore the ranch life and escape the ordinary.
Feeding the cows happens everyday during the winter here on the ranch. Between the cows,
the horses, calves, pigs and bulls. We feed more than 4 thousand pounds of food per day
to all the animals of the ranch and most of that is in the form of hay. Hay that we harvested
here on the ranch over the summer and store until its time to feed it in the winter.
That hay is in the form of round bales, about 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall, each weighing
about 1400 lbs. All of that hay is held in the bale by netwrap, a webbed material, that
we cut off each bale before rolling it out for the cows to eat.
I’ve had a bunch of folks ask what we do with that netwrap, once we cut it off the
bale and the first place it usually goes is in the cab of the tractor until we are done
feeding. It’s a giant pain. It gets wrapped around
your feet, it falls out, and its always in the way. When you are done feeding you have
to pull it all out of the tractor, where its tangled in everything it can get wrapped up
into, then you carry it to the gator and eventually, the incinerator.
Over our years on the ranch, I often think about ways to take care of the netwrap once
its off the bale. I’ve debated find a way to strap a garbage can, or even a garbage
bag to the tractor to hold it, out of my way and easier to deal with. Unfortunately I have
just never gotten around to fixing the problem permanently.
It was this week that I received an email from Robert who had the same problem. He created
a bracket that bolts to his tractor, that bracket holds an empty feedsack that he can
use as a makeshift garbage bag. He mentioned to me that it works great for netwrap and
it gives those empty feedsacks a new life or at least another use before we burn them.
Robert you are genious, and today after I got back from feeding, I knew that this was
our project for the day. We have a bunch of extra strap steel laying
around, and with it we can begin to fashion the same kind of cage that Robert did for
his tractor. Robert didn’t send instructions, so first
we can measure a feed bag and come up with some dimensions for our bracket.
With a measurement of 16 inches long and 10 inches wide, we start with a base, made of
our ½ inch angle iron and after cutting the pieces we can weld them together.
Then its over to the tractor to see where and how we can mount our bracket. Robert bolted
his to his loader, but we don’t have a lot of room to squeeze something in the front
end of this tractor. On the bale unroller however we have lots
of room and its here where the wrap is cut off the bale anyway, and it makes sense to
mount it directly to the implement. With a location now picked out for the bracket
we decide on a height of about 2 feet for the feed sack.
Around the feed sack we will need braces, and we can bend our strap steel to make the
holder. Vertical brackets are tack welded in place,
and the horizontal braces can be put in place. After a few adjustments, everything can be
permanently welded in place. After cooling the bracket with some cold water,
an old feed sack, this one that was full of cat food is brought into place and set inside
the bracket, where it looks fit pretty well. But now its time to attach the bracket to
the feeder. The feeder lowers to the ground, so the bracket
has to be set up high so that its not dragging while unrolling a bale.
I could weld it in place but it may be better to bolt it and luckily have some self tapping
bolts that might just do the job. If they can hold the high tunnels in place during
70 mph winds, they should be able to hold this light bracket on the bale unroller.
After popping in a pilot hole, the screw is then put in place, and the whole contraption
looks pretty good. But the real test is on the way, as we head
out to try it out and feed the cows And with the bag full, of netwrap, its just as
easy as pulling in the shop, grabbing the bag and tossing it in the gator, where it
will stay until our next trip to the incinerator. Robert thank you very much for lending me
your idea and letting run with it. You are right, it’s a great way to get an extra
use out of these feed sacks and makes sense for a number of uses. I hope that you are
able to run right out and patent this idea, because I can really see it coming in handy.
Its another example of the ingenuity of ranchers and farmers. You see a problem, you fix it,
and when its on your project list, the faster you can get it done the better, but remember,
its not going to end, because your project list isn’t just a list, it’s a challenge.
Thanks for hanging out with me today, we’ve got some cool stuff the way this week, including
for the first time ever, a ranchers look at the impossible burger, or the meatless meat,
what ever you want to call it, its coming up this week along with a whole lot more and
if you don’t want to miss it, make sure you subscribe and continue to explore the
ranch life and escape the ordinary. Until next time, have a great week and thanks for
joining us in our Wyoming life.


  • Miriam Bertram

    What is so cool about YouTube is that ranchers and farmers can share ideas. We had a farm for sure time and it was tough for my father because he had to come up with his own Solutions and what few the surrounding folks could come up with

  • Washingtons Global

    If thats not a community working together idk what is. Im always here because Mike has the best community on YouTube. Usually Mike is the one teaching the lessons. This was an example of Mike doing the learning on this occasion. 💪 Video Mike

  • Julie Enslow

    This is what I call being neighborly! Great idea Robert! Thanks for sharing it to Mike. And Mike, thanks for showing how you built it and put it in use! Great video

  • james a Joachim

    great suggestion and to keep cab clean and safe and uses a trash item to remove net wrap faster great job mike……. jim

  • Gene Murphy

    The cows are going to be upset unless they see a bag in there with a cow on it; next you’ll have to build something to remove the bale wrap & put it in the bag
    Maybe some blonde paint for it?

  • Peter Mavus

    Tricked that first cow at the gate as he ignored you as you went by thinking "Oh Mike,s feeding the cats" …..love that American ingenuity Robert and keeping Mike busy

  • C C

    Hi again MIKE! Awesome solution and help for you Mike. Thx commentor ROBERT! I'm sure you've helped many others also. Great idea…

  • Ramon Quirarte

    What’s the history on the “foreclosure pending “ sign I want to get one for my home as a reminder to each day give your 110%

  • Livinnpjs

    Re-purpose those wraps by making dog/pet beds using those wraps as the stuffing. Simple if sewn into fleece pillows. Cut a rectangle of fleece, fold up, sew two sides. Stuff then sew the end shut. You could sell them in the Farm Store, or online. Fleece is cheap, and it's three seams. Fleece comes 60 inches wide, so if you cut it 36 inches by the width, you'd have a 35 by 30 bed for cost of $5.00 and sell them for 20.00. The dog bed would be washable bc the wraps can get wet, they are not going to hold moisture or dirt, fleas.. that would make fantastic dog bed stuffing. Here is adorable Gunsmoke cowboy fleece (below)for as low as 4.25 per yard, sales is $700.00 using 35 yards, 35 beds on a 148.00 investment, for 551.25 profit. OR, sell and donate X amount of each proceeds to a local shelter, which helps shelters, shelter pets and still makes you profit… and the wraps are always going to be available to you. Win, Win, Win. Sewing Machine at Walmart for 100 bucks… it would seriously take 10 mins to make one and your oldest daughter is even old enough to learn how. Or, Grandma could make them too. If it were me, I would order fabric labels with your Our Wyoming Life logo and then it would be genuine ranch merch… with your label sewn on it.. they would totally sell. We quilters buy fabric labels all the time. Great way for your kids to earn money, pay them to stuff them, or the older one to sew them. Vaccum pack to ship them cheap. If you use 15 mins to make, it equates to 63.00 per hour, (8.75 hours to make 35).


  • Ernest Dougherty

    Great idea Robert and that was great of you Mike to implement it that's a good idea great used for old feed bags great video glad you didn't get snowed in

  • Phil Lully

    Mike I'll just bet you were soooo glad to build that bag carrier on you tractor cause that keeps your cab area free and clear from feet tangling mess! That's the best idea for trash waste.. ranch well my friend. See ya on the next video.

  • Zack Hesser

    Thanks for that idea Mike. I’ve been struggling with it while feeding as well, also have lots of extra feed bags. I appreciate your readiness to try something and let us tag along so we can, later, utilize the same ideas.

  • Jamie Hirons

    Awesome Idea Robert !!! After seeing some pretty windy days lately here in Ontario I would maybe add a tarp strap or bungee cord to stop the wind from sucking it out when the bag is close to empty. Merry Christmas to you all.

  • Keiter Farms

    We use net rap as well, but I always rolled the net into a nice tight ball then put it in the cab and take it out when I am done feeding

  • ez1913

    Great idea, Nice build, Awesome edit.
    Now that it passed testing, needs a coat of red paint. LOL
    Thanks for sharing, Mike. -EZ

  • Tim Gilchrist

    That nasty netwrap will catch on anything it can, especially coat buttons if you wear a coat with buttons by mistake. Lol

  • J. A. G.

    I guess we just balled it up and stuck it between the loader mounts and hood or windows. Or used the spots on a Farmhand loader that are built in..

  • patrick burgmeier

    Say I have heard or saw someplace that melted plastic ie netwrap, plastic bags, bottles, mixed with 1/2 inch rock makes a pretty durable paving material or patio blocks. You should research it.

  • Randy Maylowski

    That is a good idea to do..lol but for what i had to gone through before with netwap it's okay when it's not dry or wet, but if frozen on the bales yer ganna feed, which sure I don't know what brand it was, was form hay we brought when we were low on hay, but it was a s,o,b, time of feeding it.. when it was froze solid.. where sisal twine you don't have to worry about. sure it rots on your bales if you don't have then cover up good or use forks to feed it, and you still wouldn't have to worry about feeding it to much us framers around here do it all the time, by spring plie it up and all the sisal twine composts with it's materials if you do it right…lol but inerways good video.👍

  • steve mccoy

    Hi, Mike Great idea,You could take it one step further. Get a bunch of Big seed bag's, the Big one's the size of a Pallet. Build a simple rack to hold the bag up. After the feeding is done, put the net wrap / twine into the Big bag, save it for recycling. Saw this being done in Burns Oregon. Good Video ! Thanks 🌵

  • Tim England

    This was a great idea but I have another take on the cage. Make it a size that you don't have to use the bag. With more cross members or enclose the exterior with thin steel you could accomplish the same wrap collection goal. Don't hate me yet. Use the bags to fill them with compost that you can sell at the farm store. You make compost for the gardens, you have feed bags, sacks and so on. Use em don't burn em. Just think, you could offer a small buyback for bags that you use to fill with compost and sell again! It could be the same with the kids chicken egg production. Have your customers return their cartons for a nickel discount. Sanitize them and reuse them. Recycling on a ranch level.

  • djamnew

    Thanks for the entertaining and informative content. I have made a point of letting all the ads play beginning to end on your channel, it's totally worth it. Keep the good stuff coming.

  • Allan Trautman

    Good on you & Robert; do a feedback analysis on efficiency, time saved plus expediting disposal of bag and wrap. Big time safety hazard having anything obstructing the clutch and/or break pedals.

  • Cory Black

    What kind of drone do you use? I am looking to get one for my ranch to check cows and get videos of the fun activities we do on the ranch.

  • Shawn Kirk

    I uselly just carry my cigarette lighter with me and I’ll light my net wrap on fire eighth we’re i take it off it burns itself in about 10seconds

  • Murph Kilter

    The solution is never use net wrap. Use a mid grade biodegradable twine. Should never even have take twine off of bales. They break down after a few years in manure. Should also just feed bales in a feed bunk, don’t spread expensive hay on the ground. And you should only have to feed livestock every other day at most judging by how many animals you have. No need to start up equipment that often in winter if you just feed hay, especially since you’re not finishing off feeders or anything like that.

  • Conrad Jacobsen

    I hope that works well for you. Our solution has been a 35 gallon plastic oil drum with the top cut open and held to the back of the bale spears on the loader with a ratchet strap. There's enough room between the loader and the grille for it to clear. Holds around 10-15 bales of net wrap depending on the amount of ice and hay stuck to it. This is on a John Deere 6420.

  • Rich Collins

    I got a Question, how much hay is waisted just spreading the hay on the ground for the cows to walk on and crap on and then won't eat?

  • Sabre Six7

    Mike if or when you find your empty bags getting scattered to the four winds try wrapping the cage in 2 inch send mesh instead..

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