“Spreading straw used to take a couple of hours every other day, now takes a matter of minutes. It used to be time-consuming, hard physical work. In fact, spreading straw for pigs on your own on a hot day wasn’t a job, it was a sentence.
“Another of Spread-a-Bale’s important benefits is that it doesn’t tie up a tractor. The machine takes a matter of seconds to fit it to the telescopic loader, and is self-loading. Furthermore, it doesn’t chop the straw so there isn’t any dust.”
John Leadingham, Turriff, Aberdeenshire: 2,000 pigs
“We looked at a number of machines before choosing the Spread-a-Bale. It’s hydraulic, so there is far less to go wrong.
“It is saving us a lot of time and money. It now takes us about 20 minutes to straw up 11 pens, each of them about 40’ by 45’, whereas manually it took a lot longer.
“Spread-a-Bale doesn’t chop the straw when spreading it, so it makes a better bed for the cattle, as chopped straw tends to turn into a ‘mush’ too quickly. This better utilisation is saving around 30% on straw usage.”
Dave Etherington, Sledmere, Yorkshire: 200 beef cattle
“We are really pleased with our Spread-a-Bale – it’s a good machine. We used to put round bales in the pens with a front end loader and then spread them manually.
“Now we use big square bales and distribute 12 to 14 bales a day. Spreading them is such a quick operation that the time it takes is actually more dependent on how close the bales are stored to the yards.”
David and Chris Andrews, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: 1,400 beef cattle
“We were looking for a machine to spread straw and Spread-a-Bale is proving to be a good investment. We didn’t like the choppers and blowers; they created too much dust while chopping the straw can lead to eye trouble, and the chopped straw doesn’t last as long when spread in the bed. These choppers and blowers can also fire stones and other objects at speed, which risks injuring animals and damaging the buildings.”
Francis Read, Newmarket, Suffolk: 3,000 beef cattle