Providing livestock with sufficient feed space is an essential requirement if animals are to maximise performance. In modern, dairy housing systems, for example, it is now taken as a fundamental rule- of- thumb that all animals should have access to feed space at all times. And the same principle holds, where beef finishing systems are required.
Feed availability is a key determinant of animal performance. A commercial trial, carried out in the United States 10 years ago, indicated that milk output per farm can be retained on the back of cow numbers being reduced by up to 20%. Analysis confirmed that greater access to feed per remaining animal was the key driver in this regard.
Modern livestock management systems are governed by the principles espoused by the ‘five freedoms. These are: freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour; freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area; freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention through rapid diagnosis and treatment.
Specifically, where feeding is concerned it is also imperative for all rations to be maintained in an uncontaminated state and that all feeding areas can be easily cleaned. On many farms, these requirements rule out putting silage, total mixed rations and concentrate feeds on the floor of sheds. The alternative is to use troughs or some form of bunker system. Ensuring that the feeding is robust enough to fit-in with a modern livestock production system is also important.
It is for these reasons that increasing numbers of livestock farmers are investing in precast concrete feed troughs.
Moore Concrete is a leading exponent in the development of precast feed channels, which meet the requirements of all farming systems.
“We manufacture a range of feed channels to suit stock of differing ages that can be utilised within any housed livestock environment,” confirmed the company’s Keri McGivern.
“Our systems are designed to an extremely high specification; they are robust, with a smooth finish designed for ease of cleaning and prevention of feed going stale, thereby ensuring that stock has access to fresh feed on a continuous basis.
“Our two sided trough, known as type A is our most popular choice as it incorporates a feed barrier to create a standalone diet feeding system. We also manufacture two single sided systems, type’s B &C, which can be located beside an existing barrier or wall.
“Our double troughs are especially flexible as they can be used to divide a house into two pens or positioned in the middle of the house allowing easily access to the feed from all sides. Our double troughs are available with radius ends, beneficial for animal welfare.”
Moore Concrete has recently launched a new – and extremely versatile – bunker feeding system, comprising precast feed blocks and wooden planking. They can be used in those locations within sheds, or farm yards, where either permanent or temporary feeding arrangements are required.
“We are now offering a fully versatile feed bunker option which can be easily put into place and, just as easily, moved to another location, their small footprint allows for easy storage when not required,” Keri explained.
“The feed blocks can be spaced to create a standard bay length in most sheds, using 15 feet 3inch timbers.
“The blocks come in the two design formats: a block with a back only, for use in conjunction with an existing front feed barrier. The other option is a double sided block with front and back timber slots which can act as both the feed fence and barrier, providing a complete standalone solution.”
Each of the block design features a forklift recess, thereby facilitating easy relocation around the farmyard.
Keri continued: “The new feed bunker designs ensure that stock will make optimal use of silage and total mixed rations in all feeding scenarios, complementing the Moore Concrete precast feed channel range.”
For further information, contact Moore Concrete Agricultural Team on (028) 2565 2566 Ext 1 or see the website www.moore-concrete.com.