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  • Information about Bulk Feed Bins
    Feed Livestock from Bulk Feed Bins

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    1. It's Possible to Increase Agricultural Productivity With a Bulk Feed Bin System
    2. Standard Features to Look For in an Effective Bulk Feed Bin System
    It's Possible to Increase Agricultural Productivity With a Bulk Feed Bin System

    If you are concerned with the efficiency and productivity of your livestock, a bulk feed bin system can make a large difference. Bulk feed storage bins are used for safe, dry feed storage, ensuring the feed does not go bad. Bulk feed bins protect feed from moisture, rotting, or drying out. Ideally, these types of feed bins are made from corrugated sheets of galvanized steel. It has been proven that grain stored in plastic bins is more susceptible to rotting. The type of bulk feed bins we are talking about are most popular with farmers and ranchers who have poultry houses, pig houses, horse barns and dairy barns. Adding a bulk feed bin system will increase productivity in a poultry or livestock operation because they provide the ability to monitor the feed intake of each animal or group.

    Bulk feed tanks work best with feeds that have a density of no more than 40 pounds per cubic foot. This style of bulk feed bin is designed for the storage of free-flowing material only. Materials such as soybean meal, meat scraps, and various other materials which are not free-flowing should not be stored in these bins. These food items will rot.

    It's natural to accumulate dents in farm feed bins over time. However, this might lead to the need for replacement bins, as the dents can cause the bins to collapse or split during filling. The type of dents we're talking about come from vehicles or owners hitting the lower part of the bin with a heavy object, attempting to free up the flow of the grain inside. Needless to say, some dents put too much strain on welded seams or joins. Common visual cues to structural deterioration that indicate your feed bin may need replacement include bowing panels, deformed legs or joints, and corroded bars or bolts.

    Standard Features to Look For in an Effective Bulk Feed Bin System
    • Panels for the desired size or capacity - 6 ft., 7ft., 9 ft. diameter etc. The number of corrugated rings determines how tall your bin will be. Corrugated metal comes in various styles and sizes as well. There is a certain type of corrugation that adds more strength to the bin. As your distributor for feed bins using 4" wide corrugation. This is the dimension that has been found to reduce the resistance to the downward flow of feed, feed hang-up and bridging. Even more important, industry test show conclusively that this type of wide corrugation provides 25% more vertical strength than narrow corrugation. It offers nearly double, \the strength of bins with no corrugation. Wider corrugation results in wider bin sheets, increasing capacity and making the same width corrugated bin hold more bushels than a narrow corrugated bin.
    • Hopper - Hoppers come in several degrees of slope to facilitate the smooth flow of feed. If you are looking for a tank hopper, today they are available in three slopes: 45 degrees for dry, free flowing grains; and 60? or 67? for harder flowing materials. Having a hopper access door allows for easier clean out of the bin from the ground.
    • Hopper Stiffener - A hopper stiffener is considered mandatory if the bin size is 7 ft wide x 5 rows high or greater. If the bin is smaller, the hopper stiffener is your choice, but from our research we still highly recommend it if the bin will be used to store soybean meal, high fat feeds, heavy feeds. or other materials that are not as free flowing as grains.
    • Lid - the lid to the storage bin has requirements as well. It should be easy to operate right from the ground. If it is, no one will have to climb up to the top to open the lid when the feed truck comes to deliver. A lid is also important to close off the bin and its contents from exposure to the elements.
    • Roof - A 40-degree roof pitch will match the natural incline angle of stored feed to maximize the usable storage capacity of the bin.
    • Side and Roof Ladders - Unfortunately, falls are one of the most common types of farm injuries. Minimize the danger by purchasing a fixed ladder. This provides safe operation of a grain storage system of this type. While ladders are frequently offered as an option, not a requirement, they are highly recommended and will not add that much to your overall purchase costs.
    • Unloading System (Slide Valves, Poly Boots & Unloaders) - Some kind of unloading system is a necessary part of the total bulk bin system to get the feed out of the bulk feed bin.
      A hopper valve is used for wheelbarrow unloading. Raise the handle and a gate on the side of the bin/ hopper slides open and releases feed down a chute to your bucket or cart. A hopper valve and slide valve may both be installed at same time.
      Boots are for automated feed delivery systems using augers to provide an even flow of grain. If using a poly boot and unloader, the poly boot must match the auger diameter.
    • Augers - An auger is an optional part of the grain storage system. They are used to automatically and efficiently deliver feed from the bin to the livestock. Augers do add to the cost of your system, but you will make back that cost in the reduction of the amount of labor and time it takes you to deliver the feed to the livestock. With an auger system, you'll no longer have to haul the feed in wheelbarrows or buckets. You will have an automated system which will offer a choice of feed conveying rates. Augers come in different diameters depending on the desired volume for delivery as well.
      Auger systems come in two main types. A fixed auger is the one you would choose for outside operations. An adjustable auger is for "through the wall into-a-building" applications. Note that the auger diameter must match the poly boot size on the bottom of the hopper. A motor and V-belt is required if an auger system is selected. A pulley is also required with an auger and motor.
    • Auger Bracing - While optional, an auger bracing kit is highly recommended for safety and wind protection with a free standing auger.
    • Motor - Select a motor if an auger will be included in the system.
      Example:
      4" Auger - 5 hp motor
      6" Auger, 1.5 or 2 hp motor
      Larger hp for high fat or heavy feed
    • Pulley - Select a pulley if an auger will be used.
      2.5" pulley for 4" Auger
      3.6" pulley for 6" Auger
    • V-Belt - Select one if a motor is selected.
      36" for 4" Auger
      48" for 6" Auger
    • Scales - Digital scales give highly accurate weights for feed stored in individual grain bins. The feeder bin sits on weight bars providing information such as how much feed was consumed yesterday, today or total consumption.
    • Sensors - An electronic system of sensors and software for inventory management can be added to a bin for even further automation. Sensors measure feed level in the bins, trigger low feed level alarms, and measure feed disappearance and consumption over time for specific groups of animals while software uses re-order points to forecast when the bin will be empty and assists in scheduling feed deliveries.
     

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