Used Siloking delivers feeding efficiency
“I was buying heifers in Europe and every farm I visited had a self-propelled feeder,” he explains. “And a good friend uses one to feed 1,000 cows in 90 minutes, so it got me thinking about how we could benefit from a self-propelled feeder.” The 270-cow family-run business was using a trailed feeder wagon with a dedicated tractor, with loading via telehandler, and accepted that the cost of a new self-propelled feeder was simply out of reach. “These three machines had a replacement cost of around £200,000, and our old feeder was in need of replacing,” says Henry.
“So when I found a seven-year old, 4,800-hour model for sale at HRN Tractors in Scotland for less than the cost of a new telehandler, I had to take a look, even though it was a smaller model than our trailed unit.” With help on-hand from local dealer Battlefield Machinery’s Richard Evans to advise on the feeder, the pair flew up to Scotland and a deal was done. Since the Selfline Premium 2115 model arrived at Lower Wood Farm four months ago, it has already clocked up 500 hours. Mixing three rations plus a dry cow mix every day, he says the switch to a self-propelled has knocked almost 90 minutes off the daily feeding regime. “I can’t believe how much quicker I can feed,” he says. “There’s feed capacity available to expand the herd, and where cows were waiting for me to put out their feed, I’m now waiting for them to return from milking.” Henry adds that the whole system is vastly improved and cows are back at the feed barriers eating much sooner, without sorting through the ration. “We have gained an incremental increase on our litres, which I believe is a result of cows not waiting for their ration,” he adds. “The milling head keeps our clamp face clean and tight; rations are fluffier and mixed much more quickly; rations are also much more accurate and consistent with individual ingredients weighed in through the milling head,” he says.
“Compared to using a shear grab, there is zero waste.” With one engine now doing the work of three machines, Henry says the farm’s diesel consumption has also dropped, and his telehandler clock hours have halved. “I’ll now be able to keep my telehandler for the planned five years instead of replacing it early just because the warranty hours have been reached far too soon,” he says. “There’s no way I would go back to a trailed diet feeder after this.”
The Siloking specialist
Shrewsbury-based Battlefield Machinery has sold four new Siloking self-propelled feeders into the area, and looks
after five. “We always keep a spare trailed machine as back-up for our dairy customers,” explains Richard Evans. “It’s important that our customers know there’s a solution available should there be a breakdown.” “And our future plan is to keep a used self-propelled on-hand, for those larger farms that rely on the self-propelled system,” he says. The firm says it has over 20,000 hours run-time experience giving it the knowledge and expertise to keep feed augers turning 24/7, 365 days/year. It has also sold over 25 trailed machines since becoming a Kverneland dealer in 2017.