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.
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 Each year, they feed out 1200 to 1500 bales with their Hustler CH2000 bale feeder (this model has now been replaced by the Chainless LM104 bale feeder) that they absolutely love!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,”
“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.”
They 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!”