Rich blend of diet feeders
DIET feeders are now big business in the UK. Sales of new machines have increased from less than 200 a year at the start of the decade, to now top the 1000 mark.
With such rich pickings available for manufacturers, it is no surprise to see the number of different machines on the UK market swelling accordingly.
And now there is another one – the North American-built Knight Reel Auggie which, through a combination of augers and paddles, is claimed to be capable of producing a light, uncompressed, well blended feed.
Imported and marketed by Opico, the pto powered Reel Auggie is equipped with a slow turning reel (6rpm) which lifts material into two augers running the length of the hopper. One auger takes feed to the rear and the other to the front.
To create a degree of chop, the flights of the top auger are fitted with replaceable steel knives while the lower auger is equipped with notched flights and also acts as the machines discharge auger. The augers each have a reverse flight at each end to reduce pressure on hopper sides. Their action is to mix material in a longitudinal direction with the result that small amounts of concentrate can be tipped in one end of the hopper and even distribution achieved throughout the mix.
Paddles of the reel are spring loaded to maintain close contact with the hopper floor during the mixing cycle and two of the paddles are equipped with scrapers to ensure the hopper is completely emptied during the discharge operation.
An option is to fit a Hay-Max kit, which is basically a sloping panel on which cut bales of hay, straw or silage bales are placed. The slope leads them down onto the top auger where they are gradually drawn into the machine after being chopped.
The Knight Reel Auggie is available in two sizes – the 3375 which holds 9 cu m and the 3450 which has 11 cu m. Prices are £17,750 and £19,750 respectively with the Hay-Max kit adding another £525. *