Scottish sheep farmer saved his back while improving the condition of his ewes with a Hustler unroller
Bruce Findlay is a third-generation sheep farmer on the east coast of Scotland, and found that his old system of dropping full bales into his ring feeders was wasteful and also hurting his back. So he reached out to his local dealer and got a Hustler Unrolla LX105 to unroll his bales into the feeders instead and has been extremely happy with the purchase. The silage no longer builds up with mud and manure and he can see the difference in his ewes health. All-in-all, his Hustler is good for his ewes’ health and good for his own health too!
Bruce owns Easter Balgillo Farm, located on the East Coast in Scotland between Dundee and Aberdeen. His grandfather established the sheep operation and generations later, the family is still here with two little girls who will maybe continue farming in the future.
The 400-ewe flock is comprised of Beltex Texel cross. This breed is best known for its extremely heavy muscling, especially in the hindquarters. Rams on average weigh 90 kg (200 lb) and ewes 70 kg (150 lb) at maturity. At the withers, rams grow to 60 cm (24 in) and ewes 50 cm (20 in) at maturity.
Bruce is now 60 years old and his body started to suffer from daily physical activity. Taking the silage bales apart was particularly tough for him, “my back’s not what it used to be, and I was feeling the aches and pains of trying to pull these bales of silage apart,” he explained. “I was putting them in ring feeders like I would normally have done with hay but there were so solid that just about impossible to break them up for ewes to eat.”
“So when you get to that stage in life, you need tools that make life easiest”
As any livestock farmer, Bruce deeply cares about his ewes’ condition so he had to find a solution that could help him to carry on with the farm.
Bruce reached out to his local dealer Agricar in Forfar and found out that they were distributing Hustler Equipment in the United Kingdom. He decided to purchase a Hustler Unrolla LX105 mounted bale unroller to fit on the loader at the front of his Deutz-Fahr tractor.
The Hustler Unrolla LX105 is a compact yet tough machine among the most versatile model on the market today. It can be mounted on any 3-point linkages or fitted at the front of pretty much any brand of loaders, telehandlers, compact loaders… thanks to a clever bolted and interchangeable bracket system. The machine is easy-to-use in a large variety of applications, from indoor to outdoor feeding. Bruce uses his Hustler to unroll the bales directly into hay rings or ring feeders.
“I’m with my new Unrolla and very, very pleased with it”
As well as saving Bruce too much back strain, the machine has also made a difference to the well-being and health of his flock. “My ewes are definitely benefiting because whenever they want to go and eat silage, it’s available. It’s not pulling at a bale that’s absolutely solid, and I see a difference in their condition. I definitely do,” Bruce noticed.
Unrolling the bales in hay rings provides the ewes with better access to the feed and generates far less wastage. “All the silage that I put down with the Unrolla is definitely eaten,” Bruce said.
It’s incredible how much volume of hay there is in one single bale! “I would have had to put four bales of silage in, but now one bale fills the four feeders,” Bruce told us.
“My ewes look a far more even batch since we invested in the Hustler Unrolla”
“Before I bought the Unrolla, a few of the ewes were actually climbing up the silage to try and get a nice fresh bit at the top of the bale, because the bottom was covered with excrement and mud. You know it’s not nice to eat so while I was trying to pull the bales apart, I was also throwing the silage out to try and save the mud as well. So I don’t have to do that anymore,” Bruce said.
“I can keep my ewe numbers up since I bought this machine”
“I really liked it and I really recommend it to anybody,” Bruce concluded.
Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder – 5 Key benefits in a nutshell
- The Snaplox auto connect/disconnect hands-free loading system saves you time, saves you having to tug on a rope to disconnect, and saves you from twisting your back. It’s fail-safe, fast and operates naturally. It is also the perfect feature when you choose to fit your unroller at the front of your tractor.
- The toughest chains and floor bars on the market are bullet-proof and lasts the entire lifespan of the bale feeder. Super strong roller chains with a combined strength of 24,000lbs, with tough 40mm x 40mm zinc-plated bars. Bars are bolted to the chain, a stronger and more easily replaceable system.
- Tough new thermoform fully enclosed polyethylene floor with covered drive shafts which eliminate wrapping. It’s non-corrosive, impervious to UV, slippery, easily repairable and very shock resistant. Fully enclosed – no wastage of expensive feed. A longer bed can take 5’ long bales.
- Low maintenance. Just 4 grease nipples are all it takes to maintain the Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder, that’s because instead of bushes we use long-lasting, fully sealed block bearings, mounted outboard to keep them clean and free of damage from acidic silage juices. We’ve also added bearing covers that prevent debris from causing damage.
- Flexible design. Do you operate in barns, outdoors, on steep country, with a loader or a telehandler, supplement with loose silage or fodder beet? With the flexible configuration of the Unrolla LX105 round bale feeder, your machine will suit all of the above. No other unroller allows this level of flexibility which gives you peace of mind, should you want to change the way you operate.