Monday, August 6, 2012

Tricks of the Lick Tub Trade

If you've ever fed lick tubs, you probably know what I'm talking about when I say they are a royal pain in the neck to handle. Weighing in at 250 lbs, these short, stout tubs are beyond my ability to manipulate. Perhaps some of you other ladies, or anyone for that matter, have similar gripes about lick tubs.
Here is the solution I have devised, using tools from the ranching version of "duct tape and twine can fix anything" box.
First, I have my dad or brother place a block under one side of a few tubs wherever they are being stored. This gets them in a position so I can tip them over and roll them around. One key point here is not to have the lick tubs tipped over on their side wherever you are storing them if it's hot. This will result in no lick being left in your tub when you go to feed it....
I roll the chosen tub outside. Then, I go get a chain and the hydrabed. Or, this particular pickup is sporting Mr. Hydrabed's great grandfather, but it still gets the job done. While the tub is still on its side, I wrap the chain over the top and around the sides to the bottom. Then I half twist both ends around each other and wrap it back around the tub on the other two sides. This is just like wrapping ribbon on a present as far as technique goes. Once both ends of the chain are back on top, I tip the tub back over so it's upright again, and adjust the chains if they need it.
I then twist/tie the chain again at the top in a highly technical fashion that would have the men (who are not involved in the feeding of this tub and therefore have no input) cringing. Next I back the pickup up, lower the hydrabed, loop one end of the chain over the arm and secure it, then lift.
To help you visualize this procedure, I took photos the other day:

Once set on the pickup, I unhook the chain attached to the arm, and lower it around the top of the tub like so for transit. I haven't had one rattle off yet from this location. I think if you were going on a fairly smooth road you could just let it hang from the arm just off the pickup bed. I am in no way responsible if you decide to try this and it goes very wrong.

Upon arrival, the hydrabed arm is lifted and the tub rolled off the side. A mild struggle to get it tipped upright ensues. Eventually I win, and everyone is happy - me that it will be empty when I pick it up, and the heifers that they have something to eat.


  1. Yep, so know just how you feel about those things. ;) We now feed the liquid feed from Anipro, so no more lifting, rolling and messing with those heavy tubs.
    Happy cows, makes everybody happy! :)

  2. I'm sitting here very glad that I've never had to deal with those things. Amazing what we can improvise though when need be, huh? I'm also giggling at the "mild struggle ensues" part. I do that every time I have to move that blasted super heavy bale ring.