Bunk Feeding with Vertical Mixer Wagon-Part 2

This is an update to the first post Bunk Feed with Vertical Mixer Wagon.

Week 1:  After a full week of using the mixer wagon, Gene is very pleased and happy with what he sees at this point.  Several observations:

1.  He was feeding 6 round bales a day in the hay rings.  This week he has bunk-fed 4 bales with the mixer wagon.

2.  The cows are content and not all crowding the bunk at one time. They eat and go out to graze or lay in the pasture chewing their cud.  There seem to be some cows around the bunk most of the time.

3. This does not speed up the feeding routine. The total process actually takes a little longer; however he can do other things while the bales are mixing.  Some of the round bales are lighter and fluffier and some are wrapped tighter and heavier and are a coarser stem hay.  The lighter bales grind and mix much quicker-20 minutes. He is putting a lighter bale in first and then topping with the tighter which are taking much longer to grind.  It is taking 25-30 minutes to grind the two bales. If they were both soft bales it would take less time.  He is pleased with the consistency of the hay and the cows are cleaning up the bunk so there is no waste.  At some point he would like to have a bale slicer for the tighter bales to speed the mixing/grinding process.

4.  He is using more fuel because of the time it takes to grind but he is also feeding less bales of hay.

5.  He is putting a mixture of water and Purina Superlix on the hay as it is mixing. It is making an excellent quality forage, smells good and also cuts down on dust.  He is using 130 gallons water and 7.5 gallons Superlix per 2 bales which means each cow is getting 1 lb. of Superlix.  The young calves are really eating at the bunk.

Week 2: The weather has turned colder with rain.  He has had to up the ration to 5 bales but if he was feeding round bales, he would have also had to up the quantity fed.

1.  He tried putting the third bale (it was a tighter bale) in the mixer and that did not go well as it took too long to mix-he lost his efficiency.  He wants to try a lighter one and see how that goes.

2.  He has sent off a sample to the lab for analysis and is anxious to get the results back.

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