New generation of diet feeders makes debut
Improving animal intake through the use of home-grown
feed was the key to machinery developments at
last weeks European Dairy Farming Event. More than
a few manufacturers revealed new and improved
diet feeders.Geoff Ashcroft reports
DIET feeders were much in evidence at the recent European Dairy Farming Event. In addition to updating existing machines, many manufacturers also took the opportunity to launched new or updated models.
Opico, importer of the Knight Reel Auggie diet feeder range, added the Reel Auggie 3042 to its range.
Trailed in design, the 3042 offers a capacity of 12 cu m. Feed mixing and cutting is via a large paddle reel which presents material to two cutting augers mounted on one side of the drum – they run in opposite directions.
The 3042 differs from smaller models by having the drive components mounted at the rear of the machine. A straight-through pto system takes the drive to the rear of the feeder, where oil-bath chain drives are used for the reel and auger drives.
In addition to avoiding having to climb over the drawbar to carry out service checks, the system enables the diet feeder body to be mounted on a truck chassis, if required.
Mixing time for the £22,000 machine is said to be about 2-4min.
Not to be out done, Hi-Spec Engineering also increased its diet feeder range with the introduction of two new machines – MixMax 12 which nestles in between the existing 10 and 14 models, and the MixMax 16.
Based on the existing models in the range, the new machines are said to meet demand for high capacity machines able to feed cows in increasingly larger groups.
"The pattern of complete diet feeding is shifting," says Hi-Specs Jackie Cummins. "More farmers are feeding cows in larger groups to maintain a simple feeding system, rather than preparing several different rations for animals at different levels of yield."
Hi-Specs MixMax 12 and 16 models join the range at £17,750 and £24,000, respectively.
MixMax 12 and 16 from Hi-Spec can be fitted with a knife kit to chop fibrous materials. Capacities are 12 and 16cu m, respectively.
Opico Reel Auggie 3042 has chain drives located at the rear of the machine for easier maintenance.