Bruno and Daniel Batard are two brothers who run a dairy and beef farm in France, feeding out more than a thousand bales a year. Used to feeding out their livestock by hand, they have now owned a Hustler Chainless bale feeder for five years and it has been a real game-changer for their operation. Watch this video to find out why!
Last December, we visited the Batard Brothers on their farm, located in the village of Saint-Aybert in the north of France, right next to the Belgian border. They own 90 dairy cows, and about 50 Belgian Blue cattle. Each year, they feed out 1200 to 1500 bales with their Hustler CH2000 bale feeder (this model has now been replaced by the Chainless LM104 bale feeder) that they absolutely love!
"We like Hustler because we can feed out any type of bale."
Bruno and Daniel feed out a large variety of bales as dairy and beef livestock don't have the same nutritional needs. "We feed out meslin baleage, which weighs between 1000 and 1200 kilos, and we also feed out ryegrass, which weights between 500 and 600 kilos."
For them, it was also very important to find a machine able to keep the feed intact, unlike most of the bale processors available on the market which tend to chop the hay. Using hay rings wasn't an option to consider because it created to much competition, while the Hustler bale feeder allows them to feed out a thin windrow along the headlocks.
"The good thing about this machine is that it preserves the long strands, it doesn't chop them."
Most of Batard Brothers' livestock is housed indoor, especially during winter. In the barns, even the slightest noise resounds a lot, which can cause stress for the animals. As stress has a lot of impact on the quality of the meat or the quality of the milk, Bruno and Daniel want to respect the well-being of their livestock as much as possible. The Chainless bale feeder is ideal as it offers a quieter operation. "Seriously, if we had an electric tractor, we wouldn't hear any noise at all," Bruno joked.
"It is very quiet, which is much better for the cows."
"Another huge benefit of this machine is that you can do everything with just one tractor: loading and feeding out," Bruno continued. With integrated tynes, the Hustler Chainless bale feeder is self-loading but also very easy to use and cheap to run: no need for an additional piece of equipment to buy or to run, which would ultimately impact investment or fuel expenses.
"It is very easy to use and cheap to run."
Bruno and Daniel are very organised as they have no time to waste. Their Hustler perfectly fits their feeding routine: "I feed out the silage first with my telehandler, then Bruno feeds out the hay straight after me. In two or three minutes, the bale is fully unwound", Daniel explained.
"We feed out very fast!"
Bruno and Daniel bought their machine from a nearby Hustler accredited dealer, Messeant. All Hustler bale feeders are backed up with a four-year warranty so it was convenient for them to be able to buy the machine from a local dealer, just in case. However, they have never experienced any break down with their Hustler bale feeder even though it works hard every day!
"There is no need for a warranty, this Hustler machine never breaks down!"
Key benefits of the Chainless LM104 bale feeder:
- Reduce hay waste and body pain
The balefeeder lays down a fluffed-up windrow which stock can easily eat, reducing wasted feed. Feed out as much or as little as you need and save the extra. Drop the fork and forget about your body pain.
- Quieter operation
No noisy feed chains is a key advantage for livestock well-being.
- Stop feed competition between animals
By allowing one bale to be fed to 50+ groups of any size livestock along headstocks or large areas eliminates the need for hay rings which encourage competition.
- Safe, simple and easy to operate
The hydraulically driven low speed rotors tease out bales in two minutes. Proven farmer-friendly tyne-integrated loading system allows one operator to simply load and feed bales from the comfort of the tractor seat.
- Versatile investment
Feeds out round or square bales of any size or type of bale - balage, hay, straw, corn fodder, alfalfa, lucerne, etc. The bale feeder works in most stocking environments - indoors, outdoors into bunks, troughs or other feedlot systems or open fields.
- Keep the feed intact
The Hustler Chainless bale feeders don't chop your hay and preserve the long strands.
- Low maintenance and peace of mind with a 4-year warranty
Easy to maintain hydraulic drive system eliminates the need for a PTO and high speed flails with fewer moving parts and low running costs because the tractor can be run at low RPM. All Hustler bale feeders are also backed up with a full four-year warranty!