Every purchase made in the world of business is a significant one. But, when it comes to farming, there is nothing quite as crucial as determining what machine you use. After all, farming is now an industry whereby machine utilization lies at the core. Nevertheless, each piece of machinery bought marks a significant investment and so you need to determine whether the purchase is worth it or not. This is even more so the case when it comes to small farms, which may not have a large budget nor the actual need for as many machines as the larger farms do.
What is a diet feeder?
A diet feeder can often be referred to as a mixer wagon. It is used in order to weigh, mix and distribute TMR (Total Mixed Ration) for all of the ruminant farm animals. Their use is most beneficial when it comes to cattle, especially dairy cattle.
Is the cost of purchasing and running the machine going to be worth the benefits?
When determining whether diet feeders are a purchase worth making you tend to look at whether the cost of purchasing and running the machine is going to be worth the benefits you will gain. The issue is that the machine costs are always rather tricky to calculate. Nonetheless, the benefits themselves are rather evident. You will reduce the amount of manual labor that is required. You will benefit from the ability to use mixed forage diets. Furthermore, you can improve the feeding management of your animals whilst also making sure there is a better spread of nutrients amongst all cattle. However, whilst the benefits are evident they are also indeed difficult to quantify.
So, the first thing you should do is look at the attributes of a diet feeder. By doing this you can then assess whether all of these uses will be worthwhile for you. The attributes are as follows…
- The mixing of concentrate and forage ration constituents
- Complementary forages, such as maize silage, can be mixed
- Efficient transportation of feed
- Even dispensing of mixed rations
- Treat whole grain with products that will enhance digestibility
- Accurate control and monitoring of feeding
- Chopping of straw
- Concentrate diet component can be mixed from straights
- Cleaning, chopping, and mixing of roots
By looking at that list you will be able to determine the benefits of a diet feeder on the whole and whether this is something that is going to be beneficial to you or whether a lot of these features are going to remain unused. For example, if you use different forages from forage seed companies, or if the feed is kept miles away from the cattle, then this type of machinery is going to be more beneficial to you then perhaps another farmer.
Now, you need to couple the advantages alongside the costs. You must consider the actual price of purchase as well as any additional equipment needed to load it. How much will it cost to power the equipment? And will any money be needed for storage? Unfortunately, it is somewhat impossible to translate the benefits you will gain into monetary terms and do a comparison. Although by writing down figures and looking at the overall cost you should be able to determine whether this is something your farm can afford
What should you consider when buying a diet feeder for your farm?
Purchase from a leading brand/company
You will have an increased chance of buying into quality if you purchase from a company and a brand that has a good name in the industry.
Look for low noise machines
In the current day and age, with the advancements that have been made, farm owners can afford to be choosy and this is definitely one of the qualities you should be choosy regarding. All of the best diet feeders nowadays boast a low noise quality. This is extremely important for those who own farms that are near residential areas. You will really increase your reputation by considering the environment and reducing your contribution to noise pollution.
Read reviews that have been left by previous customers
It is always a good idea to do a lot bit of digging in relation to the specific diet feeder you are considering. Read reviews that have been left by those who have already purchased this piece of farm machinery. Is the diet feeder of quality? Are they happy with? Does it live up to the description provided? Are there any drawbacks? Is it noisy? Does it mix the feed well?
Hopefully, you now have a better idea regarding whether you should purchase a diet feeder, as well as the aspects to consider.