Having used a Siloking feeder for the last six years and mixed in excess of 25,000 tonnes of rations for his 230-cow herd, Devon dairy farmer Robin Bowditch didn’t hesitate to buy another one when the time came to change.
“Forage quality and ration presentation is simply fantastic,” says the dairy farmer from Tarrants Farm, Honiton, who feeds his Otterwyn pedigree herd with a ration 365 days/year.
“Our cows do graze from the end of Feb to mid-November, depending on the season, which makes it harder to keep their diet just right,” he explains. “With the help of a nutritionist, we’re constantly tweaking the ration to maximise milk production.”
“For us, it’s all about attention to detail and cow focus.”
As a result, the herd average is currently 10,300 litres, with heifers delivering 9,000 litres.
“The Siloking machine makes a lovely mix,” he says. “Grub is always light, fluffy and extremely palatable to my cows. Fibre is nicely integrated and the cows clear up everything that’s put in front of them.”
“We don’t pre-chop straw and the new version mixes the same amount of food in a shorter period of time, which allows me to focus on other elements of herd management.”
His first Siloking machine, bought in 2005, was a factory refurbished five-year old machine that had already handled a considerable amount of forage.
“We replaced the conveyor belt just once and fitted countless sets of knives, so it has been a very cost-effective machine to run,” he says. “There are two machines on the farm that I demand total reliability from – one is my telehandler, the other is my diet feeder.”