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SPREAD A BALE
We’ve just bought a Maxi Spread-a-Bale and it’s proving to be super-efficient; a great investment. It’s saving a lot of time and we can now do other jobs – it used to take us half a day to bed up 20 Heston’s by hand whereas now we’re spreading 8 -10 though in 30 minutes.
We invested in a Maxi Spread-a-Bale four years ago; it’s a good bit of kit. It would be taking me most of the day to bed up 600 head of beef cattle plus a further 200 dairy cows, whereas nowadays it’s taking us just under two hours a day to spread 14 Heston bales; and we’re working in some tight spaces which I don’t think other machines could manoeuvre around.
We’re bedding up three times a week and we used to manually roll out four bales each time. Since we invested in Spread-a-Bale it’s saving us a lot of effort and time – up to 90 minutes each time we bed up. It’s also made the job a lot safer since we no longer have to get in with the stock.
Since we swapped spreading straw manually for a Spread-a-Bale, the machine is saving us a lot of time – up to three hours a day.
Spread-a-Bale creates a nice deep bed for the calves and they love getting under it. The machine doesn’t chop the straw so there’s minimal dust during spreading which makes for better health and welfare, and another bonus – no flying stones or missiles
Spread-a-Bale is absolutely brilliant.
We had a machine on demonstration back in 2005, and we never gave it back; whilst the investment seems a lot of money at the time, it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought – the payback has been tremendous in terms of saving straw and time.
We’ve still got that same machine, it’s been in continual operation during the housing period, and it still works like new. We have a miscellany of accommodation in various shapes, sizes and locations, and it ducks and dives from tight calving pens to full telescopic use in the finishing sheds.
Also, we’re contractors as well as farmers and we like to keep a minimum number of passes around the yard. Being self-loading from the stack, Spread-a-Bale helps towards our goal
I’ve used a number of straw bedding machines over more years than I care to remember and have always disliked the amount of dust produced during spreading and even less appreciated unblocking them on a regular basis.
We have a number of straw yards with less than ideal designs, and have a high standard of bedding being a university farm which in turn means a significant amount of straw is used annually. The straw bill for 2018 was around £30,000 which is about twice the average spend for this size of farm based on Promar costings.
Using Spread-a-Bale, we have halved our straw useage, which means that the machine will have paid for itself in 12 months. It’s easy to use and rarely blocks, but its rotors and bed can be put in to reverse if its does, and it leaves a fluffy bed for the animals to nest in.