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Cheap Cattle Feed From Chaff & Manure
Mixing straw chaff with manure and water provides a cheap, nutritious feed, says Ken Nelson, Herbert, Sask., who calls the product "feedlot wastelage".
Nelson uses a front-end loader to scrape manure off a concrete feedlot into a 32-ft. diaš 12-ft. deep holding tank. The manure is agitated, then mixed with water and pumped through a 1 1/2-in. dia. hose to the top of a 90-ft. Harvestore silo. The mixture is then sprayed onto chaff blown up through a conventional silo blower.
"It makes a cheap feed that's very good for cows. We haven't had any problems with it," says Nelson, who along with his brother and family has fed the chaff and manure combination for four years to about 1,000 cows and calves. "It looks like haylage but smells better. Cows will eat it before they'll eat hay. Urine has a lot of good minerals in it and the ammonia in the manure provides a lot of feed value. The chaff contains nutritious weed seeds and cracked grain. The mixture that's pumped into the silo has to be as fine as a milkshake so it'll go through the hose without plugging up. Chaff makes up 50% of the feed's weight and manure makes up only 10%. The rest is water. We have to use an oxygen controlled silo so that bacteria can break down the straw and manure mixture and cause it to ferment. We unload the chaff and manure combination into an automatic feed bunk and mix it with haylage from another Harvestore.
"We had been using a tub grinder to grind up round straw bales to mix with manure but chaff is a better feed than straw and we're now able to use our straw bales for bedding. Chaff is collected at the back of the combine by a tag-along cart that automatically dumps piles onto the ground when it fills up (Redekop Chaff Systems Ltd., Box 178A, RR 4, Saskatoon, Sask. Canada S7K 3J7 ph 306 931-6664). We have a machine that augers chaff up from the ground and blows it into a 24-ft. long 5th wheel trailer. The trailer rear unloads onto a blowdeck at the silo that's equipped with a live bottom floor. The blowdeck feeds chaff into the silo blower at an even pace. We can't control the speed of the screw-type pump so we have to run the blower fairly fast to keep the blower pipe full. We use a high capacity Gehl 1580 blower equipped with paddles on both sides of the fan."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Nelson, Box 366, Herbert, Sask. Canada S0H 2A0 (ph 306 784-2714).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2