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Finding ways to improve on efficiencies around the cattle barn has always been a priority to beef producers, especially when it comes to feeding animals on pasture.
When the mid-1980s found ranchers Calvin and Judy Bishell, who live in Alberta, Canada, very short of hay, they were forced to feed straw and range pellets to maintain their herd of beef cows.
“I knew there had to be a better way and one that was easier on my back!” says Calvin Bishell.
Bishell tried a number of methods, such as pails and sacks; he watched others use hoppers and open trucks. All of these ways were time-consuming and labor-intensive, and they wasted feed. So Bishell devised a better method of supplementing cows.
“It was important to me that it be simple to operate, and it had to be capable of efficiently feeding supplement to a large number of livestock in one trip,” he says.
What evolved was the Nifty Feed Dispenser. It allows one person with a round bale handler and a three-point hitch tractor or trailer-style feeder to load, transport, and dispense grain, cake feed, pellets, or supplements to livestock under range-feeding conditions.
“The day the Dispenser was completed and I tried it out, it was amazing to walk along behind the truck and watch as the cows circled around each little pile of feed. When the Nifty Feed Dispenser was empty, not a cow was moving -- just eating,” says Bishell. “The next thing I knew, the coffee shop was buzzing and another neighbor wanted a Nifty Feed Dispenser.”
While he feels his patented feeder has a place in the livestock-feeding equipment arena, marketing the Dispenser has been difficult.
“Marketing the Nifty Feed Dispenser has been challenging, time-consuming, and costly,” says Bishell.
The Nifty Feed Dispenser dispenses feed at 15-foot intervals, reduces feed loss and dust, works well with most truck-mounted round bale handlers, and adapts easily to bale processors or three-point hitch units. It has an adjustable door and baffled interior to be able to mix supplements with feed, and it delivers enough supplement for up to 250 head in one trip.
Suggested price for the Nifty Feed Dispenser is $1,600. A trailer-mounted unit (shown below) is an additional $1,200. Visit niftylivestockequip.com to learn more. For U.S. dealer information, contact Ron Ogren at firstname.lastname@example.org.