Donal Byrne has introduced the VDW Tractor-Mounted Mini Mixer, a machine that will mix and chop any feed including straw, baled silage, and roots, to the west of Ireland.
He runs a herd of 22 pedigree Limousins under the Big Red prefix in Co. Mayo. The suckler farmer, who is also the proprietor of Big Red Barn Ltd, is well aware of how time-consuming feeding and forking silage daily can be and the waste left after feeding.
The VDW Tractor-Mounted Mini Mixer
Manufactured in Belgium, the VDW Tractor-Mounted Mini Mixer, which weighs 1,100kg and holds a volume of 2,200 litres, has a starting price of €11,000.
“You can also go up in sizes and buy a bigger version – depending on the size of your farm. It also comes in a weight of 1,200kg with a volume of 2,600 litres and in a weight of 1,300kg with a volume of 2,900 litres. However, the one I have, the mini, is ideal for the small farmer.”
The machine is PTO driven and its left, and right doors are operated hydraulically. If required, both doors can be opened in unison to feed left and feed right, saving time.
Donal believes the target market for this product is anyone who is a progressive farmer looking to have no waste in their meal and looking for better quality cattle.
He feels the sized mixer he has is ideally suited to a twenty to thirty-cow herd and could even suffice for forty if an extra mix was formulated per day. Therefore, he regards this mixer as ideal for the small farmer.
“This mixer is for a farmer with a small tractor, 70 to 100 horsepower, to feed bales or from a small pit. Someone who has a tidy little operation and not a huge farm.”
Time and labour-saving and no waste
Donal explained that a farmer can load up the mixer, back up into the shed, feed and re-load. The feed distributed will be sufficient for cows for the entire day, according to Donal.
He said that the farmer can push in remaining feed the following day and feed again. So, in this case, the mixer only has to be loaded every two days.
“I just sit into my tractor and feed and use a yard brush or meal shovel to push in what is left, and there is no waste. I do not need to be putting on oilskins, gloves, cutting plastic or forking silage.”
“The time saved is massive. Normally, without a mixer, you are forking silage to cattle both morning and evening. With this machine, I put on a mix on a Saturday feed the cattle, fill the mixer again and on Sunday, just jump in the tractor and drive through. Then, on Monday, I put on a mix again, so, I am not forking any silage now whatsoever.”
“The big thing is the lower waste. My cattle are now consuming straw, hay, molasses, concentrates and minerals. You can ring a nutritionist to come out and do a plan for you.”
“That is exactly what I have done. If I have cows with calves at foot, I can do a mix for them. Furthermore, if I have bulls in the other shed if I want, I can put on a mix for them too.”
“I would not live without it [the VDW Tractor-Mounted Mini Mixer]; there is no forking or borrowing silage. It takes me fifteen minutes maximum to feed my whole herd of cows.” Donal Byrne concluded.
To enquire about the VDW Tractor-Mounted Mini Mixer, call Donal on 087 115 2295 or reach out to him on Facebook via Big Red Limousin’s page