2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Made-It-Myself" Large-Scale Pellet Feeder
Howard Goertz and his sons wanted a big, heavy-duty feed wagon that could quickly and easily supply pellets or grain to their 1,200-cow herd and young stock.
"At first we did a lot of research, looking for a commercial wagon with the capabilities we needed, but the equipment we found was too small and light duty," he explains. "My brother-in-law, Chuck Krahn, suggested that an old air seeder might work if we did a bit of modification. We bought a tank and the frame for $2,500. That was a lot less than a commercial wagon we looked at for $7,500."
To transform the air seeder into a pellet wagon, Goertz first stripped it down by removing the filling auger, blower and hydraulic hoses. He then shortened the 16-ft. auger to 8 ft. and manufactured a small V-hopper, which he mounted at the bottom of the tank. The hopper accommodated mounting of a shortened discharge auger.
"The auger is controlled from inside the tractor cab," Goertz says. "Since we wanted to also be able to measure how much we were feeding, we took two heavy-duty load bars from an old log trailer scale and mounted them under the pellet tank. This gives us an accurate reading of what we're feeding, thanks to a digital readout we set up in the tractor cab."
Goertz says he had to also manufacture a deflection bar to keep the cattle away from the discharge spout. This was needed because once the cows were used to the machine, they started crowding in toward the feed discharge and were starting to twist the spout.
The home-built unit is now basically indestructible, according to its owner, who says they can feed pellets or grain to 500 cows in 10 min.
The tank capacity is about 7,000 lbs. of pellets, so with only one tankful they can feed 2,400 head (1,200 cows and an equal number of young stock).
"The pellet trailer has huge tires for flotation and a sealed lid so moisture's not a problem," Goertz notes.
In all, the family has about $7,000 invested in the high-capacity unit.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rafter G Land and Cattle Co., P.O. Box 6401, Ft. St. John, B.C. Canada V1J 4H8 (ph 250 772-5000; email@example.com).
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