Archive for October 2010

By: Sarah Beatty

A University of Minnesota study showed that round bale feeders, particularly cone feeders, dramatically reduce hay waste according to TheHorse.com.

The researchers, led by Krishona Martinson, PhD., examined three different feeders: the tombstone, the cone and the curtain. Tombstone feeders completely cover the lower half of the round bale and have tombstone-shaped projections covering the upper half; they are open on the top. Cone feeders contain the round bale entirely within the structure. Horses must reach through metal bars to access the hay. Curtain feeders operate on a rotation. They open and are accessible to horses for four hours and then close for two.

They found that the tombstone feeder allowed 15 percent hay waste, the cone feeder allowed 8 percent, and the curtain feeder allowed 9 percent. Using no feeder resulted in a 38 percent hay loss.

Although the cone feeder and curtain feeder had similarly low results in hay waste, researchers didn’t recommend the curtain feeder as it may encourage mane rubbing.

The researchers also determined that owners would earn back the money used to purchase the feeders through more efficient hay use. They plan to test six more feeders this summer.

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Selection of effective techniques by airport managers for deer control requires a “zero tolerance” approach. No single method provides 100% effectiveness, or is appropriate at all times. Deer populations are dynamic and they adapt readily to many methods to manage or control them. Exclusion with a tall perimeter fence and removal of deer that manage to penetrate the fence is the most effective means of minimizing deer interference within airport operating areas. Fences must be designed to counter the ability of deer to crawl through or under fence gaps as small as 23 cm and to jump over 3-m high fences. Fences must be at least 3.7 m tall in order to provide an effective barrier.

At smaller airports, costs may limit the use of tall chain-link security perimeter fences. A less expensive, but equally effective fence is a made with high-tensile fixed knot galvanized steel mesh. These high-tensile fences offer an approximate saving of 30 to 40% of the cost of chain-link fences with equal effectiveness. Tall high-tensile electric fences are available at lower cost than high-tensile fixed knot fence, but with lower exclusion performance and higher maintenance requirements. Tall polypropylene deer fencing has potential to provide effective exclusion, but use at airports has not yet been tested.

Cattle guards should be used at points of vehicle entry through fences that must be left open for periods of time. Harassment-based deterrents are recommended for short-term control of deer that penetrate perimeter fences until more permanent removal techniques can be used. Longer-term use of harassment is not recommended because of habituation by deer. One-way gates and deer jump ramps can be effective means for allowing deer to go back through the airport perimeter fence. Habitat modification should be used to enhance the function of the perimeter fence by reducing the attractiveness of the airport property to deer and to eliminate gaps under fences to inhibit deer from crawling under the fence and to offer a path for deer to allow them to run along the fence to discourage jumping.

Chemical immobilization and killing of deer are the most humane methods of deer removal, but negative social response often prevents the use of these methods at airports near urban centres. Active deer capture and relocation of deer using deer traps and drive nets requires a large number of skilled personnel and is generally not recommended due to high mortality of relocated deer, high costs and a lack of suitable relocation sites.

Methods of harassment such as gunshots, pyrotechnics, gas cannons, and flashing lights may provide some initial response, but deer will often habituate to these devices within a week. Chemical odour and taste repellents are generally ineffective and are impractical for use on areas as large as airports.

We sorted the deer exclusion devices and deterrent techniques reviewed in this report into three broad categories: (1) Highly Recommended, (2) Limited Recommendation, and (3) Not Recommended.

a. Highly Recommended

Five products/techniques are highly recommended. Habitat Modification should be used to reduce attractiveness of airports to deer and enhance the effectiveness of perimeter deer fencing. Galvanized Steel Chain-Link Fencing of a height of 3 m or more is the current standard type of fencing for security and deer control. Its high initial cost is the main reason that its use is generally limited to large airports. High-Tensile Fixed-Knot Fencing of a height of 3 m or more is an effective deer control at a saving of approximately 30% of chain-link fencing. Cattle Gates longer than 4.6 m are an effective means of deterring deer from entering at fence openings that must remain open for vehicle passage. The sides of the cattle gate should be fenced to improve their effectiveness. One-way Gates, located at the outside corners of airport perimeter fences are an effective means of removing deer that have entered a perimeter fence.

b. Limited Recommendation

The majority of the deer control products/techniques reviewed here fall into the limited recommendation category. They can exclude or deter deer but they are limited in their effectiveness because of habituation, weak biological basis, limited application, and/or implementation problems. These products work best when part of an integrated program, and should not be considered individually as key components of a control program. They may, in some circumstances, be useful tools to have in your animal control “toolbox”.

Eleven products/techniques have been given limited recommendation. Electric fences such as the Vertical High-Tensile Electric Fence and ElectroBraidT Electric Fences that have sufficient height to prevent deer from jumping are effective in excluding deer under favourable conditions, but they will be penetrated when deer are motivated to cross them, when short-circuited by tall plant growth, or if snow accumulations exceed the height of the lower electric lines. Plastic Mesh Deer Control Fencing is currently marketed for residential deer control and may promise to be effective for airports, but no independent testing of this fence is known for areas as large as airports. Deer Jump Ramps promise to be effective means of permitting deer that have penetrated a perimeter fence to make their way back outside of the fence, but very little literature was available to confirm this. Chemical Immobilization to assist in live removal, or for facilitating euthanasia, is an effective deer-removal method for deer that will not leave via passive means, but dangers to staff and costs involved, availability of trained personnel and effort of relocation may make this method of control undesirable. Live Deer Traps and Drive-netting are high effort, high-cost deer removal methods that require large numbers of trained people and risks of erratic movement of chased deer within airport operations areas may compromise airport safety. Controlled Hunting may be an effective means of controlling the local deer population in rural areas that may permit it, but it should be used to reduce numbers outside of the airport property at sufficient distance so as to not reduce airport safety. Infrared Motion-Sensing Equipment is a high-cost detection system that is in the development stage. Currently it shows promise for airports with an existing wildlife control staff available to respond to wildlife “occurrences”. Further development is needed to bring a cost-effective product to market. Pyrotechnics, Gas Cannons and “Exploders” can offer effective short-term control and should be replaced by more permanent methods when habituation develops.

c. Not Recommended

Fourteen products/techniques are not recommended. Electric fences such as the Livestock Outrigger Fence, the Peanut Butter Fence, the Polytape Fence and the Offset or Double Electric Fence, the Overhanging, Slanted or Sloping Electric Deer Fence and the Outrigger Deer Control Fence, are not recommended. Slanted or Overhanging Steel Fencing is not of a sufficient height to contain white-tailed deer. Shotguns with Live Ammunition to scare deer is not recommended. Av-Alarm, Ultrasonic Devices, Reflectors and Flashing Lights are not recommended. Hazing by Aircraft is not recommended. Chemical Repellents are not effective for protecting large areas, particularly areas the size of airports.

d. Conclusion

Two themes dominate our analyses of the many techniques for airport deer control. One is that none of the techniques that have been evaluated will work consistently over the long term unless they are applied properly by appropriately trained personnel. This point cannot be overemphasized! Even the best fence designs have limitations that depend on proper installation and maintenance.

The second theme is that there is no one panacea for solving deer problems at airports. As in wildlife control in general, the ultimate solution will usually be to develop an integrated program using several control methods that support the goals needed to be met. At most airports with significant deer problems, this is most likely to include habitat modification, fencing and one or more methods of removing deer that occasionally breach the fence.

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To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our hog feeders informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our livestock scales informational site.

A survey of long-time users of its Big Wheel® feeders was conducted by Osborne Industries, Inc., on the 25th anniversary of its invention of the patented Big Wheel Feeder designed in 1978, according to Claudio Faundez, Product Manager for the company. According to Faundez, the survey “confirmed that Osborne customers remain totally satisfied with the quality and design of their Big Wheel Feeders after over 20 years of service.”

Faundez noted that the survey was conducted as part of a company celebration of the success of the product. He notes that he failed to find any dissatisfied customers, which is an amazing result for any product. The survey was conducted by personal calls to customers who where among the first to purchase Big Wheel feeders.

In 1991, Gene Matthis, a North Carolina grower for Prestige Farms, endorsed his feeders by commenting, “In the first 4 years, my feed conversion improved from 0.1 to 0.2 per building.” During the survey 12 years later, Matthis was again quoted, “Recently I made the first minor repairs and I only adjust them at the beginning of each group and no more, which saves me time. I don’t lose feed and that saves me money.” He says he remains very well satisfied with the performance and durability of his feeders.

According to Ron Thibault, the inventor of the Big Wheel feeder, it was the first fiberglass feeder on the market and its patented mechanical-flow delivery was not immediately accepted. But, stated Thibault, “Four years after its introduction in 1981, sales of Big Wheel feeders in the U.S. exceeded those of all other designs.”

Thibault notes that the use of fiberglass plastic in hog feeders had never been attempted prior to the Big Wheel feeder, but that he wanted to use fiberglass, owing to its superior resistance to corrosion. He said that his tests showed that the fiberglass could survive pigs as long as the feeder reliably delivered feed without plugging, which is the case with the Big Wheel design.

Thibault recalls that he designed and tested a rectangular fenceline version of the Big Wheel, but the round style worked so well, the fenceline rectangular version was never sold. Thibault says that his studies showed that the round trough reduced antagonism between animals, probably owing to greater standing room compared to rectangular feeders. He says that only a few minor changes have been needed since introduction of Big Wheel Feeders.

Randy Eagan, Riverview Farms (Indiana), remarked that “Big Wheel Feeders are easy to adjust for feed control with very little waste. They have little maintenance, don’t plug-up and are easy to clean. Little pigs don’t lay in them as much. I think these feeders are good for wean-to-finish barns,” notes Eagan. Eagan began using Big Wheel feeders as part of his new Weight Watcher™ System that h acquired from Osborne for growth management in his finishing operations.

Big Wheel feeders include sizes and models for nursery, finishing, and farrowing, including outdoor and new wean-to-finish systems. Osborne Industries manufactures and distributes its lines of livestock equipment worldwide. Its product lines include Big Wheel® feeders, Stanfield® heat pads, ACCU-ARM® scales, Agri-Aide® ventilation, Weight Watcher™ growth management auto-weighing, TEAM® automated sow management systems, FIRE® performance testing equipment, and several other advanced electronic-ID driven systems.

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To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our cattle gestation chart informational site.

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To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our grain weight conversion informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our hay feeders informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our hog feeders informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our livestock scales informational site.

AMES, Iowa — Richard Larock sorted through a pile of neatly labeled baggies filled with the plastics he makes from corn, soybean and other bio-based oils.

Larock, a University Professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, found the thin, square piece he was looking for and smacked it against his hand. This one is made from soybean oil reinforced with glass fibers, he said. And it’s the kind of tough bioplastic he and his industrial collaborators will use to develop, test and manufacture new hog feeders.

Richard Larock displays some of the plastics he has made from corn, soybean and other bio-based oils.
Larock said his research project is about as Iowa as you can get. The state, after all, is the country’s leading producer of corn, soybeans and pork.

The project is partially supported by a grant of $96,000 from the Grow Iowa Values Fund, a state economic development program. Larock is working with AgVantage Inc., a Rockford, Ill., company with manufacturing facilities in Iowa, and R3 Composites, a Muscatine manufacturer.

Larock has invented and patented a process for producing various bioplastics from inexpensive natural oils, which make up 40 percent to 80 percent of the plastics. Larock said the plastics have excellent thermal and mechanical properties and are very good at dampening noises and vibrations. They’re also very good at returning to their original shapes when they’re heated.

And so Larock is optimistic about the future of bioplastics in commercial applications: “This project should create new technology and jobs, expand opportunities for bio-based industries and agricultural suppliers, decrease our dependence on oil, strengthen the agricultural economy of Iowa, utilize ISU patented technology, provide new markets for farmers and marry new agricultural product development with sophisticated manufacturing skills and the knowledge to commercialize these projects,” he wrote in a summary of the hog feeder project.

Ron Hagemann, a principal with AgVantage, said designs for a bioplastic hog feeder have been drawn up. The designs include radio frequency identification technology that can monitor and record the feeding habits of individual hogs. Molds for the high-tech feeders should be completed later this year and prototypes should be ready for testing in a hog building next spring. If all goes well, he said a product should be ready for commercialization by the end of next year.

Hagemann said the feeders’ biggest advantage in the marketplace will be material costs. Corn and soybean oils are significantly cheaper than petrochemicals. And that’s particularly true when oil prices are high. Hagemann said he expects this project to be a very good test of Larock’s plastics. Hogs, after all, aren’t known for being gentle with their feeders.
“I’ve told Richard that if we can do this, it’s all downhill from here,” Hagemann said.

But Larock isn’t stopping with the feeder project. He’s looking at adding other low-cost agricultural ingredients to his bioplastics. He’s now studying whether distillers dried grains, a co-product of ethanol production that’s sold as animal feed, can add strength to his bioplastics.

To get more information on a cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our cattle guards informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our bulk feed bins informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our cattle gestation chart informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our cattle scales informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our grain weight conversion informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our hay feeders informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our hog feeders informational site.

To get more information on cattle guards, cattle scale, cattle guard, or pig feeder, please visit our livestock scales informational site.