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Bunk Buzzard Automates Bunker and Trench Silos
"I really like it," reports Ed Pachta, Belleville. Kan., cattle feeder and the first in the U.S. to buy the Bunk Buzzard, a Canadian-developed unloader and self-feeder for bunker and trench silos.
Pachta installed the system last December in his newly-built 40 by 90 ft. bunker silo. He figures his total investment in the automatic, push-button system is about a third of what it would have cost for a comparable size feeding operation built around upright silos. He spent $1500 for materials (treated plywood walls and a poured concrete floor) used in building the bunker silo. Retail cost of the automatic "Bunk Buzzard" unloader is about $10,000.
"We piled sorghum silage about 12 ft. high and didn't cover it. The Buzzard chewed right through it and we had no problem whatsoever with frozen chunks. The cattle cleaned up every bit of silage as they ate their way through the pile," Pachta told FARM SHOW. He adds that the system is push-button simple to operate: "Your teenage son or daughter, or your wife, can operate it."
Manufacturer of the Bunk Buzzard is Future Feed Lots, headquartered in Brampton, Ont., Can. Twenty units have been installed on Canadian farms and ranches, according to Elliott Snyder, president of the firm. Here's how the Buzzard works:
The vertical cutter-conditioner runs across the face of the silage, shaving off enough to automatically feed five or six head of cattle per ft. of gate twice daily. This special cutting action leaves a smooth, semi-sealed face on the silage to minimize bacterial action and spoilage, Snyder points out.
Cattle lean against the manager to feed, providing the "cattle power" which moves the Bunk Buzzard to the feed. Wheels spaced along the length of the machine carry the
weight, allowing ease of movement.
"Because cutting and conditioning make the feed more palatable, cattle will lick the floor clean," says Snyder. "This eliminates the large amount of feed wasted with conventional bunker feeding methods. Also, the unit cuts and mixes all silage layers so there is no stress or strain on the animals resulting from ration variation.
A 4-cyl. 40 hp Volkeswagen engine provides power for the hydraulically-operated unloader. The vertical cutter-conditioner bar will handle silage stacked as high as 23 ft. or more. The 1800 lb. hopper allows silage to be "spiked" with grain supplement as it's self-fed.
Other features of the system, according to Snyder, include: Reduces labor cost; eliminates need for a bunker silo cover; silage is mixed so cattle can't pick and choose as they eat; and, by using the feed hopper, cattle can be fed a complete ration automatically.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Future Feedlots Ltd., Box 21, Rutherford Road South, Brampton, Ontario, Can. L6V 2K7 (ph. 416 457-9516).

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1977 - Volume #1, Issue #4