Looking to improve efficiency when bedding-up his cattle, Dorset livestock producer Paul Thomas turned to a Kverneland 863 shredder bedder.
“It was doing such a good job, that the machine never left the farm,” he says. “I had been using my tractor and loader to shake out big square bales in the cattle sheds, though I felt that straw wasn’t being fully utilised by our cattle. And the demonstration confirmed that.”
Based at Greenfields Farm, West Knoyle near Warminster, Paul says his livestock were using 12 big square bales per week. But this figure has been slashed by the 863’s ability to process and spread straw.
"The 863 shredder bedder has halved our straw consumption," Paul Thomas, livestock farmer
“We’ve halved our straw consumption, and given that we were buying in around six lorry loads each winter, at a cost of around £1300/load, the savings alone will pay for the machine in three years,” he says.
“The straw keeps its length and as a result, it resists being trodden in so our cattle are now staying much cleaner,” says Paul. “And the mucking-out is much easier thanks to the 863’s even spread. There’s no lumps in the manure.”
With generous blowing ability, straw can be propelled from the feed barriers, but Paul prefers to get closer to the target.
“It’s got a hell of a throw on it, but being closer to the target helps with keeping the smaller, finer particles in the bedding area,” he adds. “Though it doesn’t seem to matter what the straw quality is like – it’ll effortlessly process any bale you can put into the back.”
He has also used the shredder bedder with round bale silage, and also to distribute clamped silage too.
“It’s good to know that if the mixer wagon breaks down, I can fold the spout in tight and drop silage against the feed barriers,” he says. “It’s brilliant.”