Business & Policy
Straw Spreading Made Easier: Two Ontario brothers develop time- and cost-saving method
Two Ontario brothers develop time-, cost-saving method
By Kristy Nudds
Brothers Paul and Peter Luyk of Shedden, Ont., wanted to reduce the
time they spent preparing their barns for chick placement. Their idea:
to develop a piece of equipment that could make this task much easier
and faster while reducing the amount of dust.
|The spreader features two upright beaters slightly pitched to prevent|
clumping. A bale of straw can be loaded into the spreader in minutes,
and once in the barn, the spreading takes one minute. A Zoom Boom is
used to lift the spreader, tractor, and bales to the top of a
Brothers Paul and Peter Luyk of Shedden, Ont., wanted to reduce the time they spent preparing their barns for chick placement. Their idea: to develop a piece of equipment that could make this task much easier and faster while reducing the amount of dust.
Their idea came to fruition five years ago when the Luyks worked with a custom fabricator based in Walton, Ont. – TS Fabrication Inc.– to build a unique implement that not only saves them on labour, but offers significant fuel savings as well.
The brothers grow approximately 200,000 broilers on three different sites around the Shedden area in three two-storey and four single. Before the development of the straw spreading implement, Paul says it used to take him and his brother and a hired man all day to do one of their sites that has one two-storey and one single-storey barn.
Now, the same task barely takes a few hours.
The “straw spreader” developed by TS Fabrication Inc. and the Luyks resembles a miniature manure spreader. In fact, the implement is actually based on the design of a European manure spreader model.
All components on the spreader are hydraulically driven off an external engine. A large bale of chopped straw can be placed in the spreader and is then pushed with a hydra-push system toward two upright beaters that are on a slight pitch, so that the straw doesn’t bunch when exiting the spreader.
Paul says it only takes minutes to spread one bale – a couple of minutes to load the bale into the spreader, and just over one minute to spread. The straw is spread quite evenly.
The depth of the straw depends on how fast the tractor pulls the spreader and how fast the bale is pushed through the spreader. Very little dust results and it quickly dissipates. By the time the tractor enters the barn with a new bale, the dust from the previous bale
Two-storey barns don’t present a problem for the Luyks. They use a Zoom Boom with a forklift attachment to lift the spreader, tractor and straw bales into the second storey of a barn.
So far, the Luyks are the only poultry producers enjoying the benefits of the spreader. TS Fabrication Inc. is working with Cambridge, Ontario based iCan Equipment Inc. to build future machines.
Ican engineer Nick Szabo says the Luyks are “amazed” at the fuel they save. “It’s an added bonus,” he says.
Before using the straw spreader he says it used to take 60 gallons of fuel per barn floor. Now, the Luyks only use 2-3 gallons of fuel. “They no longer have to use two 100 horsepower tractors, costing 40 dollars an hour to run, in order to do the same job,” says Szabo.
The Luyks use a small 31 hp Ventrac tractor to pull the spreader. Peter says the spreader was designed for use with a tractor as small as 25 hp.
Szabo says the best thing about the spreader is that “it was developed by farmers. They knew what they wanted and needed to make their job easier, and we worked with them to build it.”
For more information on the straw spreader, contact Nick Szabo, tel: 519-212-2030 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.