Whether feeding fresh or pitting, it is important to follow these simple steps to minimise any wastage and maintain the products nutritional value
Handling and Storage Guide for Moist and Liquid Feeds
It is NOT recommended to drive onto fresh, moist feed. Once compaction is complete, seal the pit with clean, high quality polythene sheets. This should then be covered with mats, truck tyres or sandbags to ensure close contact between the top layer of the feed and the pit cover. This will provide an even airtight seal throughout the entire pit. Lighter car tyres or pallets should be avoided as they may not provide a sufficient seal. Mixing moist feeds To give the pit added structure and allow the pit to be piled higher while complimenting the feed’s nutritional content, moist feeds can be pitted with other products such as beet pulp, soya hulls, hay and straw. If mixing moist feeds with other products for storage, it is important to ensure the pitting mix does not exceed 65% dry matter content as it cannot be adequately compacted. Feeding out moist feeds Once properly pitted, moist feeds can be fed immediately and included within the cattle or dairy cow diet. When feeding from the pit, it is important to keep the face as clean as possible. Ideally, the exposed pit face should allow the farmer to work back 18” per day in the pit. If using a loading bucket, it is important not to push in at the bottom and lift; as this disturbs the face greatly. Instead, the bucket should be used to cut down from the top, with the material then scooped away. Any loose material should then be pushed together to ensure that it is used next.
1 Select the right storage site Moist feeds are delivered in bulk and tipped in loads of approximately 30 tonnes. The selected storage site should be clean with a firm level surface, preferably concrete as it makes handling and feeding out easier. 2 Best storage practice Moist feeds should ideally be stored in a three-walled pit as this structure is easier to manage. A long narrow three walled pit is best, as it allows the farmer to work across the feeding face quicker and therefore reduce the time the product is exposed to air. 3 Allow to cool and cover within 24 hours Moist feeds are delivered straight from the point of production and can be hot on arrival. It is best to let the load cool down before pitting and covering within 24hrs. Do not leave it stand longer than 24hrs as the air gets in quickly, and the soilage process starts. For multiple loads; get them into the pit as soon as possible and if necessary, cover your pit temporarily for the night and open the following day again. 4 Ensure an airtight seal To preserve the feed, correct compaction, covering and sealing is important. To exclude all air, use the loader bucket to compact and smooth the surface of the feed in the pit. 5 Pits must be covered correctly The exclusion of air is essential when covering a pit. Make sure the top of the pit is smooth and even. Cover with a clean high-grade plastic sheet and weight down the sides and top appropriately. Lastly, make sure the cover does not get damaged. Storing moist feeds Correct storage and good preservation can be achieved by following the guidelines below:
Storing Liquid Feeds Tanks should be built to hold and dispatch bulk liquids and care should be taken to ensure they are cleaned out from time to time to ensure no build-up of sediment. 4 inch diameter pipework is adequate to handle the liquid. Available in lots of 10 tonne or greater.
52 | Animal Feed Solutions
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