Kentucky Angus cattle breeder “absolutely thrives on a sense of accomplishment”

Published 11th June 2021
United States

We were rapt when we got the invite from James Doran to visit his ranch, Brookhill Angus in Flemingsburg, Kentucky to help him tell the story of his journey to regeneratively raise his seed stock. For James, caring for animals is tied hand-in-hand to caring for the land, the soil and the planet. Each needs the other, so the Hustler Trailed Chainless TX205 double bale processor was the perfect fit for James’ ranch management strategy.

James and his family have been breeding registered Angus seed stock for more than 50 years. The ranch itself has been in the care of the Doran family since before the Civil War, and today James and his wife Michelle manage a little more than 115 head of high-quality Angus cattle.

James is a happy owner of a Hustler pull-type Chainless TX205 bale feeder. See why this admittedly “very outspoken” farmer in the heartland is so enthusiastic about his machine and what it allows him to do. From his ownership experience with his Chainless, James then went on to purchase a set of Hustler Softhands LX200 bale handlers. 


“I’m very impressed of the build quality with Hustler, it’s put together with pride and care.”


The trailed Chainless TX205 is one of James’ “favorite pieces of equipment of everything” he has, and his endorsement doesn’t come lightly. 

The Hustler Chainless bale processor allows the operator to unroll the bale in a long, thin windrow. The more the hay is fluffed, the longer the windrow can be. “When you put it all over in a long row, the calves eat, the grandmas eat, everybody got to eat” with this machine, James explained. “Animals that I wanted improvement in, improved, with this type of feeding versus feeding strictly in a hay ring.”

When the hay is simply dropped into a hay ring or manually unrolled on the ground, it can remain quite dense. The way the Chainless bale processor fluffs up the hay helps to make it more palatable and easier to be consumed by livestock, and that is particularly true for older cows with slightly damaged teeth or for young calves.

The herd is also encouraged to eat every single bit of the forage, while a thick mat of hay can be used for bedding instead, creating unwanted waste. With the Hustler Chainless bale processor, James is able to drop the hay back on the ground in a very palatable form, almost like it was freshly baled.


“This actually breaks the bale apart and basically lays it back down as if it was a windrow before it was baled”


James wants to add to the planet, not draw from the planet, so the “truly regenerative process” that the TX205 provides – allowing him to feed his animals while simultaneously reseeding his fields – is just a “better way to do things” as using a conventional flail-type bale processor would pulverize the long stem hay and shatter the seeds in the process.  

Depending on the time of the year, James likes to remove the platform side chute from his Hustler to allow a slightly wider feed windrow than normal. Admittedly, this can marginally increase feed waste, but since building up organic matter in the soil allows an even wider spread of seed, the small amount of feed lost in the process is definitely compensated by a greater purchase in the soil of that grass seed – making it unnecessary to add any seed later. It saves time, effort and of course the cost of the seed.  


“My philosophy is to strive for excellence in the breeding and try to – each new generation – improve them in some way and not have an operation where twenty years later you look and it was nothing but a lateral move.”


If you want to know more about Hustler’s ground-feeding system and its benefits, read this detailed article about how James Doran uses his bale feeder on his ranch.

James Doran is one of the many examples of a client for whom Hustler exists. Our mission goes beyond providing world-class livestock feeding equipment. We strive every day to provide farmers with the means to make a living from their passion and their love for animals; to feed the planet while respecting and providing for future generations and to improve their own quality of life by saving them time, money and hay.

We know they’re lofty goals, but if you would like us to help you achieve more every day, contact us today. You’ll be glad you did.