Over the years, there has been a gradual increase in Farmers engaging in cattle farming. Chaff cutters have seen a positively correlated increase over the past years too. They make work easier around the farm in terms of silage production. The chaff cutters are not labor-intensive and they process a sizeable amount of feed for a longer period.
What is a chaff cutter?
Factors to consider when buying a chaff cutter
1. Materials used to make the chaff cutter
They make chaff cutters using available materials that are durable. A machine made of cheap materials will probably break down and increase maintenance costs. They make the blades out of durable steel to avoid excessive wear and tear.
2. Reduced noise pollution
In the course of their operations, chaff cutters will produce noise, especially with the motor-operated chaff cutters. The machine should be designed and created in a manner that reduces the amount of noise pollution it produces. This is important, as an extended operation of the machine may lead to hearing impairment.
3. It should be multipurpose
A chaff cutter should be able to work with wet and dry feed ingredients. You should be able to mix and produce a mixture of hay and Napier grass or post-harvest maize products. The material that makes up the blade should be impervious to rust from the wet ingredients introduced in the feed.
4. Cut feed size
Large chunks of food delay digestion and affect milk production in cattle. A chaff cutter should be able to produce smaller food chunks that ensure the animals digest them faster and can produce more. As a farmer, research the correct size of feed you need to give your animals, then buy a chaff cutter that can produce the recommend size and amount of feed.
5. Machine operator capacity
Most of the farmers who purchase chaff cutters are small-scale farmers. The farmers may have limited skills in the operations of the machines. When constructing the chaff cutters, manufacturers should ensure they make operations easy to understand and operate.
6. Machine safety standards
When complying with safety standards, manufacturers should ensure they color code the machine. Color coding ensures the operator will avoid hazardous machine parts. The blade of the chaff cutter should be covered and not exposed. This is to avoid accidentally placing your hand or anybody part in the chaff cutter.
7. The chaff cutter should have a compact design
They make chaff cutters in a manner that saves space. It should not occupy large square footage. It should also be easily movable when the farmers require it.
8. The capacity of the machine
Depending on the number of cattle you have, the capacity of production is a factor you will consider when buying a chaff cutter. An optimal machine will churn out 700 to 2500 kg/hr of feed.
9. Blade size
Blade size will determine the size of the feed you produce. Since feed needs to be cut up into small pieces for optimal production, the sizes of the blades should range between 12 to 20 inches. This will offer the farmer the best feed sizes for their cattle.
10. Operation of the chaff cutter
There are different chaff cutters. The manually operated chaff cutter is both cheap and labor-intensive and will probably not achieve the production capacity required. The best for any farmer is the motor-operated chaff cutter. It might be expensive but will save a lot in labor and production capacity.
The choice of chaff cutters in Kenya will depend on what your farm requires. When shopping around for a chaff cutter, keep in mind the features that you require. Making poor decisions may lead to losses and unused capacities in production, which may be expensive.