2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Big Bale “Flaker” Controlled From Cab
“The flakers are freewheeling with fingers that release the flake and open it up as it falls,” says Spratt. “You control how many flakes are released and where simply by activating the pusher. One customer likes to drop several, each in piles 20 to 30 yards apart so cattle gather around each pile, reducing waste.”
The bale feeder, available in two sizes, grew out of volunteer work Spratt was doing at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho.
“One of my jobs was to feed alfalfa to 17 head of pack horses and mules each day,” recalls Spratt. “I hauled four, 90-lb., small square bales to the corral and spread the flakes by hand. It wasn’t long before I started looking for a better way.”
At the close of the 2011 season, Spratt built a small bale feeder and then larger versions. Currently he is concentrating on refining and building the large units for both single 3 by 3-ft. and 3 by 4-ft. big square bales. A 2-bale unit can also handle 4 by 4-ft. bales. Recently he had a special order for a single bale unit that would handle a 4 by 4-ft. big square bale.
The hydraulic motor on the pusher is powered by tractor hydraulics or a trailer-mounted 12-volt, 3,000 psi, hydraulic power pack. Spratt offers cabled remote controls for the power packs. They are also available with Bluetooth for smartphone control or with key fob remotes.
While he sometimes has units available, most are built on order and take up to 4 weeks to complete. He prices his single-bale Precision Hay Feeder at $4,875. The 2-bale unit is $6,875. The customized single, 4 by 4-ft. bale unit with a heavier axle is priced at $5,600.
“I want to get everything working perfectly with the Precision Bale Feeders and then sell the rights,” says Spratt, who is 85 years old. “I hope to find an energetic younger person who wants to build and sell them.”
Spratt has several other bale feeders he has developed, but is not actively marketing. They include single bale units to be parked near corrals or a barn with the option of drawing power from a 110-115 AC outlet.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Precision Hay Feeders, 7117 S. Andes Circle, Centennial, Colo. 80016 (ph 720 240-1119; email@example.com; www.precisionhayfeeders.com).
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