Cost of Diet Feeders

Take Home Messages

Feeding costs with tractor, diet feeder and labour will cost 60/cow for the large 3-400 cow herd
following a High Low Dry & Close Up  4 group policy.
To justify a diet feeder savings in the region of 20/cow must be made to equal the cost of
conventional cake feeding via out of parlour feeders.
For the large 3-400 cow herd total mixing and feeding time will average 2-3 hrs per day using a
18cu m diet feeder costing 25000 plus dedicated tractor & driver.

How many hours are spent feeding the herd this year?

Hours per Year 250 500 750 1,000
Hours Per Day 0.7 1.4 2.1 2.7

Mixer Types

Vertical Auger
NDE Vertical diet feeder

Capacity

cu m

12

14

18

27

Height - Overall Feet 8 9 10 10
Length - Overall Feet 15 18 18 20
Width - Overall  Feet 8 8 8 10
Minimum Horsepower HP 75 85-100 100-120 140-160

Paddle Auger
Diet Mixers

Capacity

cu m

10

14

16

18

Overall Height Feet 9 9 10 10
Overall Length Feet 16 18 20 22
Overall Width Feet 8 8 8 8

 

Minimum Horsepower  HP 60 70 85 100

Vertical augers tend to give more complete mixing but at greater power requirements dependant on
material processed.  Seek guarantees for the machines ability to process big bales / straw - may need
an additional attachment.

Herd size: TMR feeders are not recommended for the herd below 150 cows

Annual cost of ownership over 6 years

The following example is for an 18cu m model capable of feeding up to 150 milking cows in one pass
suitable for a herd of 3-400 cows with a high, lo and dry group feeding strategy.  Assuming a herd yield
of 8000 L and 2.7t concentrates fed,  for 300 cows the cost per ton is 6-8 before the cost of tractor & driver

18cu m Diet Feeder Cost New 25,000

Interest 8 % on outstanding balance over 6 years
Insurance 6 /1000
Depreciation                 average on diminishing balance over 6 years
Hours

Depreciation

Repairs

Interest Insurance Total Cost
Worked % % /an /hr
250 18 2,900 3 750 1,147 150 4,947 20
500 28 3,586 5 1,250 830 150 5,816 12
750 40 3,972 7 1,750 553 150 6,426 9
1,000 50 4,102 9 2,250 388 150 6,889 7

Labour & Tractor Costs

30,000 120hp Basic Tractor over 5 years

Hours worked Fixed Costs labour Total Total /hr
500 5250 3500 8750 17.5
1000 5750 7000 12750 12.8
1500 6350 10500 16850 11.2

Assuming the tractor works 2/3rds of its time with the diet feeder then if feeding takes 1000 hours per year
the cost of the feeding operation is 14/t plus 8 for the diet feeder - 22/t (roughly 60 per cow)