From 22 to just 9 bales a week in winter, thanks to its shredding and spreading action.
Jeff Gibson, who runs a diverse livestock and farm shop enterprise with his father Mike and brother Andrew at Wingham near Canterbury, is enthusiastic about the Tomahawk 1010s contribution to the business since it was purchased in 2012. It is a versatile machine because as well as feeding we use it for strawing the cattle yard and our outdoor pig arcs as well.”
To maximise returns, ration control and straw use are significant factors in helping keep costs in check – and the Tomahawk feeder-bedder is helping in both respects. Adding a weighing system to a machine which dispenses both feed and bedding helps manage both.
The yards used to be strawed by driving in with a tractor and loader and shaking straw off the grab; now it is blown in from outside the yard and is an altogether more efficient process. “In winter, we were using 22 bales a week, now we’re down to nine, and of course, there will be less dung to dig out and spread when we clear the yards.”
When feeding - “we need to accurately balance the maize and grass, and to put out the correct amount to minimise wastage. I half fill the machine with clamped maize using a shear grab, then take bites out of silage bales and add them on top,” explains Mr Gibson. “The shredding drums do a pretty good job of chopping and mixing – and although they may not mix as thoroughly as a diet feeder, the machine does produce a nice open feed that the cattle tuck into.”