The new Keenan vertical feeder will not provide a MechFiber standard feed-mix, according to the company’s Irish Sales Manager Cathal Gibbons. “But it is as close as we can get to that with a vertical-auger mixing system,” he said.
“This is why it is important for users of the new ‘vertical’ machines to opt for the InTouch nutrition service on an ongoing basis. InTouch is a 12-month inclusion on all new machines. Farmers can then opt to continue with it, or not, after that.”Also Read: No question of kicking the bucket, as Keenan embraces the tub
Gibbons was speaking at an on-farm demonstration of the new vertical feeder, hosted by Co. Antrim milk producer Andrew Adair earlier this week. The event marked the first practical demonstration of the new machine in Northern Ireland.
Gibbons explained that the vertical feeders fill a gap in the market for Keenan.
“They have a smaller footprint, compared with the paddle feeder, thereby becoming more versatile in some situations. The machines have a range of capacities – from 18m³ to 44m³.
The rule of thumb is that each cubic metre equates to a feeding capacity of eight dairy cows.
“Machines with a capacity of less than 21m³ are single-axle units. All models above this capacity are double-axle units.”
Gibbons claims that the machines are “robust in nature”.
He explained: “They have been built to last, with a particular focus placed on the strength and durability of the mixing augers. All blades have been tungsten-coated. Farmers can select the feed-out option that best suits their farm and their sheds. Feeding out from both sides of the machine is possible; it all depends what way the machine is specified.”
Keenan also says that its new vertical feeders can “effectively handle bales of grass silage”.
The addition of the machines to Keenan’s product dossier is the result of a collaboration between Keenan and Italian manufacturer Storti.
Prices in Northern Ireland range from around £38,000 (€44,000) for the 18m³ machine up to around £98,000 (€116,000) for the 44m³ version.