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Do you need a horizontal or vertical feed mixer?

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Do you need a horizontal or vertical feed mixer?

Working with livestock requires specific equipment, especially when it comes to feeding time. Livestock requires certain nutrients and supplements from their feed and it’s important that those elements are evenly distributed amongst the herd, flock or coop. These nutrients are what will keep them strong and healthy, which is all any farmer could hope for.

Feed mixers, therefore, play a large role in livestock farming. Mass produced feed is not always as nutritious as farmers need them to be for the animals and it’s usually necessary to add extra goods to the grain. With a feed mixer, these extra supplements are evenly distributed and integrated with the feed to ensure each animal’s dietary requirements are met.

There are two main types of auger feed mixers for sale on the farming equipment market that farmers should be aware of. These are horizontal feed mixers and vertical feed mixers. Both of which are more than capable of getting the job done. And we look to auger feed mixers as they are known to be efficient when it comes to mixing feed and working through a variety of ration ingredients with minimal preparation work beforehand.

So, what are the differences and which feed mixer does your farm need?

 

Horizontal feed mixers

We’ll first take a look at horizontal feed mixers which are kitted with counter-rotating augers that make it suitable for shredding hay bales and evenly mixing feed sources. Horizontal feed mixers are better suited for larger farms and are easy to transport around at the back of a tractor.

These feed mixers have the capability of having anywhere between one and four augers to work through feed with. This supports their suitability for large farms as it’s easy to evenly mix large quantities of feed in a short amount of time, depending on how many augers are at work in the mixer. Most horizontal feed mixers come with a double blade and are still incredibly efficient.

There are a few downsides to these horizontal mixers which also have to do with its size. Because they are large, they require more manoeuvrable space and a more complicated operation. And because they are able to work through large amounts of feed, they require a lot of energy and regular maintenance checks which, if you’re being honest, should be done with all farming equipment in any case to ensure the farming equipment is durable. They also tend to be more expensive than vertical mixers. But if you own and run a large farm, it’s definitely the feed mixer you need to keep up with all of your livestock.  

 

Vertical feed mixers

If horizontal feed mixers are expensive and require large amounts of space and energy to operate, then vertical feed mixers are more affordable and use less energy and space. Many medium-sized and small-scale farms make use of vertical mixers as they are easy to move around the farm, and can be trailered to the tractor. Because they’re smaller, they can be transported along narrow roads as well.

You’ll find that most vertical mixers come with one or two augers in operation which makes them more than adequate enough to shred and mix livestock feed as needed. They’re also great for mixing up whole straw and hay bales as the horizontal mixers are. If anything, they will maybe need more time to run before the desired feed texture and the mixture is achieved.

Regarding the negative aspects of vertical feed mixers, it has to do with the mixing uniformity not being as consistent as horizontal feeders, as well as the fact that they take longer to work through the feed and, therefore, they decrease the farms overall production rate. But, if you are working on a smaller farm, you won’t need anything more than a vertical feed mixer to get the job of feeding your livestock done.

 

Final words

Feed mixers are invaluable in livestock farming. Without them, quality livestock wouldn’t be available and farmers would be struggling to care for their animals. Livestock needs nutrition in every bite of feed they get.

If you are experiencing a drought and need to give your livestock extra supplements to see them through the dry season, you wouldn’t be able to guarantee that every single asset (livestock) received their due supplements if there’s no feed mixer to evenly distribute them.

The type of feed mixer you invest in at the end of the day will depend on your budget, the amount of livestock you have and the physical size of your farm. The most important factor, however, is that you have one for the nutritional wellbeing of your livestock and the benefits that come with strong and healthy animals.

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