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Little Mixer Saves Big Bucks
Feeding wet distillers grain to cattle can save big bucks. But to do it right takes expensive equipment that is hard to justify for small herds. Three cattlemen in Indiana decided to tackle the problem and came up with a tub mixer that does the job.
"We couldn't justify a large mixer with our cow herds," says Max Meyer, Max-R-Mixer. "Plus with a big mixer, you are limited in where you can dump the feed. With ours, we can get into tight spaces and dump into 90 degree bunk configurations."
Cattlemen Meyer, Austin Carrothers and Bobby Haecker, along with a fourth friend, Mark Milam, a steel fabricator, developed the mixer. They designed it to be used on a standard size skid steer. The all-steel tub can handle a variety of feedstuffs, wet or dry, and unload into nearly any type of feeding system. The mounting design lets them tip it all the way over, stand it upright or anything in between.
"We put a cutting edge on the tub so we could tip it flat to the ground to scoop up the feed we want, drop in the mineral and mix," says Meyer. "In a couple of minutes, it's ready to go."
The tub has a capacity of 27 cu. ft., large enough to feed a herd of 30 to 40 head, says Meyer. A large diameter auger mounted at the center of the tub is hydraulically driven. The shape of the tub, angling out from a 3-ft. dia. base with one flat side, ensures that the contents mix. If the sides were straight and the tub perfectly round, contents would sit as the auger turned.
Mixing speed varies according to engine speed, but mixing starts at about 30 rpm's. Entire batches can be dumped or unloaded slowly into a bunk as the situation warrants.
"We put a door on each side so it could be unloaded to the left or right," says Meyer. "A removable chute can be mounted to whichever side is being used. Just open the door, and start driving alongside the bunk. Starting and stopping the auger controls the unloading."
The first unit was shared by the three cattlemen and has run daily for a year. They have several more out on farms and will soon be selling the units. Meyer says the $7,500 price can be quickly recovered when using product like wet distillers grains. In fact, all three cattlemen have increased their herd size as feeding efficiency and economy improved.
"I've done a brood cow ration of 95 percent straw and the rest wet distillers grains and saved almost 60 percent on my cattle ration," he says. "We've mixed silage and just about any type of forage there is with it. We've even used stover with wet and dried distillers grains."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Max Meyer, 2784 West 500 North, North Manchester, Ind. 46962 (ph 260 774-3303; mcmeyer@omnicityusa.com; www.max-r-mixer.com).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3