The condition of your feed mixer is vital to optimizing your herd’s performance. Vic Wilkerson, dairy nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition, offers these tips to ensure you’re feeding a consistent, uniform ration every time:
- Evaluate the uniformity of the mix. Check the ration after initial discharge and again between feedings to determine if your cows are sorting a particular ingredient or particle size.
- Look for dead spots. Taking proper safety precautions, monitor your mixer for “dead spots” (areas of non-mixing) while the unit is operating. Common causes of dead spots can include an unlevel surface or insufficient tractor RPMs.
- Monitor feed volume and mixing time. Improperly sized or overloaded equipment will not perform as expected. Operators should weigh all feed ingredients and use a timer during mixing to ensure consistent rations during every feeding.
- Establish a maintenance plan. Regularly check your vertical mixer’s components for wear. Consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations.
Source: “Profit Tips: 4 tips to reduce variation in the ration”. Dairy Herd Network.
Patz Proven Performer Vertical Mixer owners can contact their local Patz Dealer to order parts or to learn more about the preventative maintenance services offered.