New Zealand superfine merino wool operation significantly improved their efficiency with Hustler Chainless bale feeder

Published 14th September 2023
New Zealand

Breeding excellence in the superfine wool business hinges on a well-balanced diet for the flock. For New Zealand sheep farmer Hamish Elliot and his Merino ewes, finding the ideal bale feeder was paramount. After experimenting with another brand, Hamish made the decisive switch to the Hustler trailed Chainless TX205 double bale feeder, and he hasn’t looked back. Dive into the video below to discover why the Hustler Chainless bale feeder was the clear choice for improving the efficiency of his feeding routine.


In the picturesque landscapes of Canterbury’s Hakataramea Valley, New Zealand, where rolling hills stretch as far as the eye can see, Hamish Elliot, a second-generation farmer, found himself facing a recurring challenge: the need for an efficient bale feeder. His expansive 2,500-hectare farm, featuring elevations ranging from 500 to 900 meters, primarily focuses on superfine wool production, housing 3,500 Merino ewes, 2,000 lambs and 130 breeding beef cattle.


💡 Did you know? Sheep farming is a significant industry in New Zealand. According to 2007 figures reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, there are 39 million sheep in the country (a count of about 10 per human). The country has the highest density of sheep per unit area in the world. For 130 years, sheep farming was the country’s most important agricultural industry, but it was overtaken by dairy farming in 1987. Sheep numbers peaked in New Zealand in 1982 to 70 million and then dropped to about 27.6 million. There are 16,000 sheep and beef farms in the country which has made the country the world’s largest exporter of lambs, with 24 million finished lambs recorded every year.


When it comes to premium merino superfine wool, the most important variable is the breeding of the sheep, but good care and good feeding conditions are crucial to growing fuller fleeces, which will mean broader and stronger fibers.

“Last year we decided we needed to update our bale feeder,” Hamish reflected. Soon afterward, he discovered that the bale feeder from the alternative brand he selected just wasn’t up to the task. “It never did the job as we had hoped,” Hamish recalled. The frustration came from feeding out hard-centered lucerne bales, where a third of the bale would often sit spinning for an agonizing 20 minutes, disrupting their feeding routine. “You’d end up just having to get out, and throw the bale off the feeder manually,” he said. So, Hamish set out once more to find a bale feeder that would truly fulfill their needs.

The solution came to Hamish through various channels – farming papers, social media, and the positive word-of-mouth within the tight-knit farming community of the valley. They decided to try out Hustler Equipment’s Chainless double bale feeder and secured what was supposed to be a week-long demo of the Chainless TX205, but “from the very first bale, it was obvious that that’s the feeder we needed,” Hamish elaborated, with a hint of satisfaction.


“From the very first bale, it was obvious it was the feeder we needed”


The trailed Chainless square and round TX205 double bale feeder is a self-loading feedout machine, suitable for feeding out any bale, round or square, and maximising feed use.

Designed for medium to large operations ,the Hustler Chainless trailed bale feeder minimises feed waste by feeding out into narrow windrows to make the feed more accessible to animals and all but eliminate damage from hoof trampling, manure spoilage and animals laying down on the feed. More efficient use of power, savings on machinery investment and faster bale feeding all add up to impressive fuel economy – made possible by the hydraulic drive system at the heart of every Hustler Chainless trailed bale feeder.

This machine streamlined their feeding operations, significantly improving efficiency. With the ability to adjust the bed and shredders simultaneously, it ensured bales were consistently and evenly distributed.


“It makes feeding out a lot more efficient”


Beyond efficiency gains, the feeder’s impact on livestock health became apparent. “I can get a lot better spread of feed on the ground,” extending the use of bales and ensuring all our animals receive their share of nourishment,” Hamish said. It’s a testament to how top-quality equipment can enhance animal well-being.

Farming in hill country presents unique obstacles, but the Chainless TX205 bale feeder handled the task with grace. “I find the bale feeder itself very stable around the hills, put the feed out both directions up or down, side to side,” Hamish continued.


“It feeds out the bales a lot more evenly as you can adjust the bed and also the shredders at the same time”


“I have no issues at all,” he says, “recommending Hustler to anyone – very tough machine.” Even the dense Matagouri bushes and briars couldn’t deter this formidable feeder; it navigated through them with ease.


“I can get a lot better spread of feed on the ground, make the bales go a lot further”


Efficiency, adaptability, and uniform feed distribution are the tangible advantages the Chainless TX205 offers. It has revolutionised feeding on Hamish’s farm, ensuring every bale is used effectively and every animal receives their fair share of sustenance.

As farming practices continue to evolve, reliable equipment becomes increasingly pivotal. The Chainless TX205, with its flexibility and resilience, has proven itself as an invaluable asset, empowering durable, efficient and sustainable farming practices.


Specifications | Hustler Chainless TX205 bale feeder

Bale Sizes Round: All sizes up to 5’ X 6’
Bale Sizes Square: All sizes. Over 6’ long requires optional platform extension
Bale Weight: Up to 1,500 kg ea | Up to 3,306 lb ea
Unit Weight: 1,180 kg | 2600 lb
Hydraulics Required: 2 x double-acting, 30-60 litres/min | 8-16 gal/min, 2250-3000 psi
Capacity: 2 x bales (round or square)
Tynes: 2 x Forged high tensile
Towing Eye: Adjustable height, 45 mm swiveling forged | 1.7 in swiveling forged, 12t rated | 26,450 lb rated
Axles: 6 Stud, 60 mm Square | 2 in Square
Wheels: 11.5/80-R15.3
Ground Clearance: 443 mm | 17 in
Loading Self-Loading
Size (L x W x H): 4467 x 2410 x 1669 mm | 175 x 94 x 65 in


Do you want to know more about Hustler bale feeder range? Contact us today, you’ll be glad you did!


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