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Round Bale Shredder Built From Old Flail Chopper
Harold Steel and his sons, Terry and John, modified an old Deere flail chop-per for use as a round bale straw chopper to make straw bedding for their 100-cow free stall barn. The Steels cut off the front half of the hood over the knives, removed the chopper's tongue and pto shaft, and built a frame made from 5-in. channel iron around it. They remounted the wheels onto the right side of the frame. On the left side of the chopper they mounted an 18-in. long pto shaft and a 90 degree gearbox (removed from a New Holland 717 silo blower). The bale rotates on a 7-ft. wide, 3 1/2-ft. long conveyor over a wood floor. They shortened up the chopper spout which blows chopped straw into stalls. The rig is 2-pt. mounted on a Farmall 460 "fast-hitch" tractor.
"It takes much of the work out of bedding stalls in our milking parlor," says Harold. "We had been piling 25 bales at a time onto the back of a pickup and shaking the bales apart, but it took too much time and cows tended to drag straw out of the stalls. Now it takes only about 20 minutes to bed all the stalls and straw stays in the stalls longer because it's chopped into small pieces almost as fine as sawdust. We never have to handle straw by hand except when we roll the bale onto the conveyor. We drive up the 10-ft. wide alley and blow bedding into stalls on the left side. When we reach the end we turn the spout 180 degrees and back out while we blow bedding into stalls on the right side. The chopper is close coupled to the tractor and the wheels swivel so there's no problem backing up."
The bale conveyor slants down toward the chopper knives and is powered by a hydraulic motor removed from an old combine header. The Steels made the conveyor out of manure spreader sprockets, chain, links, and angle iron slats. A hinged pan made from sheet metal mounts under the conveyor to keep straw from falling onto the alley. The operator can control conveyor speed and bale rotation independent of the speed of the auger and knives. A pair of 6-in. rollers made from well casing are mounted on the chopper and act as guides to help the bale rotate.
The Steels paid $500 for the chopper and spent a total of $1,100 to build the straw chopper.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold Steel, Rt. 4, Box 405 G, Dover, Ohio 44622 (ph 216 343-3189).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1