Friday, December 10, 2010

Scout the Ox Pulls Hay Feeder Using a Tumble-Bug Drag Scraper

Ox in Yoke Pulling Hayfeeder With Tumble-Bug Slipscraper
I built a hay feeder for our sheep some years ago. It is constructed of recycled lumber and is quite heavy. I decided to move it up by the fence-line to experiment with using it to feed Scout the Ox. I hitched him up and he gave a good effort to break it loose, but fell to his knees. I tried cutting the load (having him pull at a slight angle) but he still couldn't get it moving. The front-end just dug into the snow and turned it into a snow-plow. Our next tactic was to go and get the tumble-bug (dirt scraper) that I bought at a farm auction last summer.
An Amish farmer at the auction had found it in the tall weeds behind a barn. He drug it out hoping to buy it. It was without handles but otherwise in descent shape. Having been the last item to be auctioned off, there were only the two of us left to bid on it; the rest of the crowd had fanned out to claim their stuff. I felt kind-of bad when I won it for only $15 --- I thought the Amish man would be willing to pay more than that. In any event, I was happy to get it home because I thought I could use it to scrape up gopher mounds in the pasture, and to haul the loose dirt to wherever I needed it.
Earlier in the summer, I had drug home a pair of mahogany organ legs, from a discarded organ at the recycling center. I was thinking, "I really shouldn't drag home any more junk, but I might need these someday."

I may now have the only tumble-bug scraper in the world with mahogany handles trimmed in brass!

Scout was too young to pull the tumble-bug this year, so I used it behind the lawn tractor and it worked satisfactory. It should work much better when I can use it behind Scout the Ox, so that I can be on the ground to operate the handles.
The feed bunk width fits inside the tumble-bug; I pushed it under the feeder and chained it in. It brought the front up, and over the snow; Scout was able to pull it singlehandedly, like a champion team of oxen at an weight pulling contest!

We've been using the hay feeder several weeks now and I'd say it's working pretty well.

Antique Ad for a
Tumble-bug, aka Drag Scraper or Slipscraper
Starting at $10.60 each

Watch a Team of Oxen at Work Pulling a Slipscraper
Tillers International 2006
Tillers International is a 501(c)3 IRS non-profit organization for international rural development, specializing in farming with oxen. Based in Scotts, Michigan, USA at Cook's Mill Learning Center, Tillers offers classes in farming techniques, draft animal power, blacksmithing and metal work, timber framing, woodworking, cheesemaking, and many other farming and artisanal skills. Tillers International can be contacted at 

Storybrookeripples: Ox and Dog Blog and it's author are not affiliated with Tillers International.

Posted by Picasa