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Solar-Powered Cattle Feeder Delivers Optimal Nutrition Efficiency

The legend of producing premium-quality Wagyu beef cattle was not lost on Dave Barney. “I was interested in the intense flavor profile and health benefits,” says the Wisconsin rancher. 

A Japanese breed originally used as a draft animal, the Wagyu was first imported into the U.S. in 1975. As cooks and fine restaurants discovered the unique taste and tenderness of this high-quality, intensely marbled animal, it grew in popularity and sold for a premium price.

It is pleasing to the palate,  and health experts have discovered the ratio of monounsaturated fat to saturated fat is higher in Wagyu than in other beef. Forty percent of the saturated fat is in a version called stearic acid, which is believed to have a nominal effect in raising cholesterol. It is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid shown to have fewer negative health effects.

nutrition and efficiency at the optimum

Committed to developing high-quality animals, Barney analyzed ways to deliver optimally controlled nutrition. As the president of Service Line, Inc., he also wanted to provide a more efficient, less labor-intense feeding process for his livestock. That quest led him to develop the Hanen Automatic Solar-Powered Programmable Cattle Feeder

His experience as an equipment manufacturer that incorporates programmable control methods was a main contributor in building the feeder. 

“The feeding cycle is completely programmable, and animals respond to the audio signal. You simply fill the hopper, set the timer, and start feeding,” he explains.

You can choose from the LSF-10 (pictured above) or LSF-20 models. Each provides the correct levels of nutrition to your livestock, up to six feedings per day, using preprogrammed feeding times. 

“Studies show that a balanced diet throughout the day results in a calmer animal,” says Barney. “Programmed grain rationing provides less feed for better nutritional value but not loss of growth.”

Both models are powered by a battery system that is recharged by a solar panel. 

“Each feeder provides power for at least two weeks, even on cloudy days,” he says.

The LSF-10 is designed to feed up to 10 head of cattle; the LSF-20 can feed up to 20 head. Manufactured in the U.S., both feeders have a 300-pound hopper capacity, are 100% powder coated for extreme conditions, and can be easily moved by a tractor with lifting forks. 

“These feeders are designed to be rugged and durable, and they are constructed of heavy-duty 11-gauge steel,” he says. 

Both models can accommodate small grains or large pellets up to 3½ inches in length and have been tested on everything from ground corn to high-grade pellets.

“The feeder has replaced labor and its associated costs. It has also reduced my energy costs,” Barney notes. “Unlike a creep feeder, programmed feeding is consistent. The hopper is protected, which results in less wasted feed. This feeder gives me peace of mind because I know my livestock won’t miss a feeding.”

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