bedding cart

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by ponyboy123, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. ponyboy123

    ponyboy123 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have scratched my head over this one for a couple of months now and thought it best to turn it over to the experts. I have a 10,000 cage mink farm, with nest boxes attached to each cage measuring approx 1 cubic foot. The boxes are about 30 inches off the ground and the doors to the sheds are 47 inches wide. We bed the nest boxes with a mixture of sawdust and wood chips that will fall though the wire top of the nest box into it. Right now we use a 4 wheeler and cart with people with 5 gal buckets that scoop out sawdust and dump it onto the tops of the wire. Takes 3 people, 1 driver, and 2 scoopers. I'd like to build a cart that would do the work of all three, minus the driver of course. We bed the farm twice a week and it is very time consuming to say the least. I have thought about using parts of a snow blower to move the sawdust but it seems like it would be a little too violent. I don't want to shoot sawdust into the nest just drop it on top. I can bed about 10 boxes with 4-5 gallons of sawdust. There are comercial availiable machines to do this but they cost in excess of $50,000.00. I think u all can come up with a better idea. I love to build stuff and an competent in most fields, be it hyd, air, mechanical, what ever. No idea is too far fetched so let'er fly. And me and my 30,000 mink would greatly appreicaite it.
    Feel free to drop me an email if nesessary at

    fat@ns.sympatico.ca

    Thanks in advance

    Ponyboy
    :shrug:
     
  2. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    have you ever seen a self propeled silage cart? that with an auger or small trough elevator to reach the cages. in good shape they go cheap round us now ,very few dairy farmers left! the ones that are left are huge and freestall the cows! have seen a auger bucket too fit a skid steer too, bedding poultry i think. a combine hopper mounted on a trailer, old combines here are a dime a dozen!
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    A grain auger should do it . Either that or a conveyor belt. Im not sure how powerful the motor would have to be but you should be able to run a 12 volt motor large enough.

    I think a belt would be less likely to jam up but youd probably have to design it yourself while grain augers can be bought in many sizes and lenghts already. Show us pic when you get it built
     
  4. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you ever used and insulation blower it is ment for blowing celulose insulation into the attic it is a hopper mounted over a grinder box with a blower most home stores rent them but anyway the operator has a switch on a long cord and between 50 and 150 feet of hose when you turn it on what ever celulose material you feed it many land scapers use them to put straw on the grass seed . because the switch is with the operator you can turn it on and of as needed i downt know how long the rows of cages are but you could most likely walk up and down the rows blowing it in and one person could feed the hopper
     
  5. ponyboy123

    ponyboy123 Well-Known Member

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    Now were talkin! Some great ideas flowing. I'll check the prices on silage carts, I think there is a bodco dealer just down the road. I've checked around for some augers but haven't found a whole lot of the yet but I still looking. The insulation blower sounds decent, but the rows are 250' long but maybe one mounted on a trailer to be towed might do the trick. Keep those ideas coming while I go check on some supplies.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Have you observed a drag chain conveyor as the type used to pull sawdust from a sawmill? Very simple and requires minimum HP and can be readily stop/started. A old grain cart equipped with a drag chain would not clog IMO and could be controlled from the drivers seat. You could mount a trip mechanism and preset the amount fed each time the chain is activated. Lets see, a car starter motor to drive the chain, a starter solenoid to handle power for the starter, a relay to control the solenoid, a push button to activate the relay to control the coil voltage for the solenoid, and a microswitch to open the relay coil voltage to turn the solenoid off.
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    PonyBoy - As long as you are openminded to brainstorming, I'll offer an idea.
    What I would do is locate an old grain combine, either in a farmer's shed or at an ag salvage yard. Grain Combines have a grain collection tank, which is normally a steel rectangular box with funnel shape at bottom leading to a discharge auger.
    Using a torch, I would cut the tank, the angle iron frame bars supporting it, and the discharge auger and drive pulley away from the combine, preserving them AS ONE UNIT. The discharge auger will be too long for your purposes, as they were designed to load into truck or wagons. Once your design is completed, simply cut the discharge auger and it's housing tube to desired length for your application. Now, how to drive the auger? I would drive the auger with a hydraulic orbital motor, running two flexible hydraulic hoses with quick couplers to the unit that will transport the tank and auger assembly.(the bedding dispenser)
    How to move along the rows of cages?
    Option A.) Take the grain Tank unit, box in an angle iron support frame attached to the upright angle irons. To this frame weld quick - attach brackets that mate with the QA brackets on the front boom of a skidsteer.
    This design would allow you to QuickAttach the bedding dispenser by driving into it with skidsteer and attaching the two hyd. quick couplers, freeing up the skidsteer for other uses on days you don't need to do bedding job. The limitation is you would have to use a skidsteer narrow enough to fit through your 47" shed doors.
    Option B.) Build support frame as before, then weld appropriate hardware to it so that the bedding dispenser is a tractor 3 point hitch implement. You then could mount it on 3 PT hitch of a compact tractor(for example, something the size of a FORD 1715 Diesel.). Attach hyd. Quick couplers to rear tractor hyd. outlets. The hydraulic orbital motor running discharge auger would be controlled by using tractor(or skidsteer) hydraulic levers, enabling you to turn it off and on at each cage.
    Same limitation with fitting thru 47" doors.

    Well, that's another idea you can think on. Good luck which ever way you go.