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  • Can I add KEENAN Controller to my current KEENAN?

    KEENAN customers with six paddle machines can add KEENAN Controller to their existing feeder wagon. KEENAN Controller creates the the optimal physical mix.

    KEENAN Controller provides users with guidance on the order of loading and mixing, and the number of paddle revolutions required to get the optimal physical mix. KEENAN Controller draws on KEENAN’s ingredients’ data base which separates feed types into eight different categories and then subdivides each category into as many as 37 different groups. This information is then combined with the size of feeder wagon and the livestock class being fed to provide the correct loading sequence and the paddle revolutions needed. The data base currently holds details on over 10 million categorised ingredients drawn from over 1700 farms in a wide range of countries.

    KEENAN Controller utilises the mobile phone network to connect the feeder wagon to a secure website that can be accessed by authorised users from anywhere in the world on any web enabled device.

  • What is feed conversion efficiency?

    Feed efficiency is a very simple concept. It measures how well cows actually use the ration, and it is expressed as the litres produced per kg dry matter intake.

    Compare a cow to a car. To assess how efficiently a car performs, the best measure is the miles per litre. More efficient cars go further per litre.

    The same is true for cows. Instead of miles think litres, and instead of fuel, think feed. In the same way that a more efficient car will do more miles per litre, so a more efficient cow will produce more milk per unit of feed input.

    With feed efficiency, what we are interested in measuring is the litres of milk produced per kgDMI, as a measure of how well the cow is using the ration and how economically they are performing. The principles apply equally when cows are housed and when they are grazing.

  • How to calculate feed conversion efficiency?

    The beauty is that Feed Efficiency is a very easy figure to calculate as long as you know how many litres you are producing per day and how many kgDM are being fed, and these figures should be readily available. For example if the average yield per cow (Litres/cow/day) is 27 and the total dry matter fed (Kg/cow/day) is 20.25 then the feed efficiency (kg milk per kg DM) is 1.33

  • Does the physical mix matter?

    For ruminant animals, inconsistent and under or over mixing can impact negatively on milk yields and herd health. Under mixed and there will be sorting at the feed fence and a poor mix of long and short feed particles in the rumen. This will result in poor utilisation of the more nutritionally valuable components of the ration.

    Over mixing of the ration results in small particles and fibres which promotes the rapid production of acids which can lead to a steep fall in rumen pH and a resulting acidosis. In both situations the rumen is not performing at its optimum and as a result milk yields will fall, feed will not be digested as well and cow health is at risk.

    With the introduction of KEENAN’s feeding controls it has the ability to create accurate, consistent rations. It provides the means to maximise feed efficiency in a controlled and measured format.

    KEENAN has gone a step further to give livestock farmers an unprecedented degree of control over a ration’s formulation, its ingredients and its mixing with the KEENAN Controller.

    The KEENAN mixer wagon with the KEENAN Controller produces accurately mixed rations time after time, day after day, year after year.  It intelligently removes the risk of ration variability.

  • Why choose KEENAN?

    KEENAN customers with six paddle machines can add KEENAN Controller to their existing feeder wagon. KEENAN Controller creates the optimal physical mix in an accurate and consistent manner every day. It gives users an unprecedented degree of control over a ration’s formulation, its ingredients and its mixing.

    KEENAN Controller provides users with guidance on the order of loading and mixing, and the number of paddle revolutions required to get the optimal physical mix. KEENAN Controller draws on KEENAN’s ingredients’ data base which separates feed types into eight different categories and then subdivides each category into as many as 37 different groups. This information is then combined with the size of feeder wagon and the livestock class being fed to provide the correct loading sequence and the paddle revolutions needed. The data base currently holds details on over 10 million categorised ingredients drawn from over 1700 farms in a wide range of countries.

    KEENAN Controller utilises the mobile phone network to connect the feeder wagon to a secure website that can be accessed by authorised users from anywhere in the world on any web enabled device.

  • Can KEENAN diet feeders handle bales?

    The new Balehandler Series III allows KEENAN users to quickly process all types of round or square bales. This unit can be specified on new machines or retro fitted to existing mixer wagons.
    The Balehandler comprises a series of hinged metal bars which span the open top of the mixing chamber to provide a cradle to support the bale. These now have a deeper curve which not only hold the bale more securely but also exposes more of the bale to the paddles. The chopping continues within the machine using the fixed knives attached to the sides of the mixing chamber. It normally takes less than two minutes to complete which ensures that the entire bale is pre-processed before it enters the chamber.

    One of the advantages of the Bale Handler is the low power, low fuel requirement – vertical auger systems which may allow whole bales to be dropped in to the mixing chamber put an enormous strain on drive lines and require high power and heavy fuel use.

    And unlike this ‘one-drop’ system, the Bale Handler efficiently chops the material, usually in less time with the guarantee that the entire bale has been processed.

Advice & Resources

  • 10 things to consider when choosing a diet feeder

    1. The ability to produce a consistent, quality mix everyday

    It is important that the mixer wagon is equipped with the technology to manage the entire mixing process, including loading sequence, quantities and mixing times. This guarantees the production of a quality mix regardless of who is operating the machine. It should be able to account for variation in types, dry matter and quality of forage. Feed efficiency is thereby greatly improved.

    2. Machine Strength and Reliability

    It is essential that the mixer wagon has a reputation for strength, durability and longevity. It may need to feed out from both sides and should be easy to drive.

    3. Proven results and with increased levels of Feed Conversion Efficiency

    Results with 31,549 cows using the KEENAN MechFiber System has shown a consistent improvement of Feed Conversion Efficiency – with increased daily yields of 1.27 litres from 0.19 kilos less feed.

    4. Handle all types of forages

    The mixer wagon needs to be versatile and have the ability to handle all types of bales and forages. Can the mixer wagon possible to incorporate whole bales and has the ability to chop root crops such as beet and potatoes with ease. Water and molasses can be built-into the ration with ease.

    5. Gentle mixing action

    It’s very important that the mixer wagon doesn’t grind up and damage the feeds. Having a deep tumbling mixing action is essential to ensure there are no dead spots and that the feed is not damaged.

    6. Small mixes

    The KEENAN mixer wagon makes it possible to prepare homogeneous rations with high fibre content for the dry cows or for small specific mixes for calves.

    7. Nutrition support

    Can the mixer wagon company provide you with a team of specialised nutritionists with the main objective to improve your Feed Conversion Efficiency and profitability?

    8. Service Backup

    It is important to have a high level of quality service and parts backup. With a network of highly qualified service engineers in every market KEENAN ensure you get maximum performance from your mixer wagon.

    9. Fuel Efficiency

    Due to the simply gearing system in the KEENAN mixer range there are substantial fuel savings to be made.  According to Paul Millican, the change from a twin auger to a bigger KEENAN MechFiber380 mixer wagon has resulted in a 50% reduction in fuel consumption.  “We use a 120hp tractor to drive the mixer wagon and before the KEENAN machine arrived I needed to fill the fuel tank every week,” Paul Millican says.  “ I now fill it every two weeks which means I’m saving over 600 litres a month.  That’s about 7,000 litres/year which is a saving of over €4,500/year.

    10. Simple Drive

    Having a simple drive with no gearboxes resulting in less mechanical problems and lower horsepower requirements

  • 7 useful tips for maintaining a diet feeder

    In order to ensure the longevity of your feeder wagon and to establish maximum performance, it is important to ensure that the machine is maintained correctly. Here at KEENAN, our expert team have compiled a quick guide of 7 tips to help you to confirm that your feeder wagon is being correctly maintained.

    1. Don’t Overload The Machine

    It is important to ensure that you do not overload your feeder wagon. Overloading it with feed, will affect the performance and will disrupt the mixing process. Overloading may even cause damage to some of the machine’s key parts. Too much weight  being enforced on your feeder wagon will shorten its lifespan and cause unwarranted wear and tear. It is important that you don’t leave your wagon to sit over night or for prolonged periods with a full load of feed as this can cause premature wear and tear too.

    2. Ensure That Your Machine Size is Adequate

    It is important to establish that your machine size is the correct size for your herd. If your herd is frequently expanding, you may need to consider upgrading your feeder wagon. If you are using a wagon which is designed to facilitate a smaller herd size, you will find yourself having to use it more frequently and may have no choice but to overload it. Both actions will rapidly shorten the lifespan of a feeder wagon.

    3. Keep Your Feeder Wagon Clean

    The feed and mixes loaded in and out of a wagon on a daily basis can lead to a considerable accumulation of dust and dirt. You must establish a cleaning schedule whereby you ensure to clean the machine regularly at scheduled intervals and log your efforts to track these actions. An accumulation of excessive dirt on parts such as bearings and chains can result in the need for costly repairs.

    4. Check Oil Levels

    Just as you would with a motor vehicle, it is important to check the oil levels of your feeder wagon regularly. The oil is necessary to keep chains lubricated, which is required for optimum performance and functionality. It is recommended to change the oil in your feeder wagon at least once a year.

    5. Monitor for Wear and Tear

    Regularly check your feeder for wear and tear. Prevention is always better than cure, if you can spot wear and tear on parts of the wagon, repairs will be a much less costly and timely task than replacing the parts completely. The paddles and augers of a feeder wagon can be particularly susceptible for wear and tear. Don’t forget to check the tyres also as the pressure from the weight of the loads mean that they too are susceptible to wear and tear.

    6. Regular Servicing

    To guarantee years of trouble free operation, it is important to get your machine regularly serviced by agricultural mechanics. Although you yourself may check regularly for wear and tear, only a trained agricultural mechanic may be able to spot certain key areas of damage. Treat your feeder wagon as you would a motor vehicle, by booking it in for yearly servicing, to ensure that it can run and offer the level of performance that your farm requires.

    7. Ensure Correct Set-Up

    Undoubtedly, if the machine is not being set-up or used correctly, it will be more susceptible to damage and the need for repairs. It is necessary that all operators of a feeder wagon are correctly trained to operate and set-up the machine in an efficient, effective manner. If you have the KEENAN Controller, our team should be able to alert you to incorrect use or set up of the machine based on the data that we receive.

  • Unique KEENAN features

    1. A consistent, quality mix everyday with the KEENAN Controller

    The entire process, including loading sequence, quantities and mixing times, is controlled by the KEENAN Controller. This guarantees the production of a quality mix regardless of who is operating the machine. The KEENAN Controller feeding controls o account for variation in types, dry matter and quality of forage. Feed efficiency is thereby greatly improved.

    2. Proven results and with increased levels of Feed Conversion Efficiency

    Results from 31,549 cows using the KEENAN MechFiber system has shown a consistent 10% improvement in Feed Conversion Efficiency – with increased daily yields of 1.27 litres milk from 0.19 kg less feed.

    3. Versatility

    The KEENAN mixer wagon is truly versatile. With the new KEENAN bale handler it’s possible to incorporate whole bales and has the ability to chop root crops such as beet and potatoes with ease. Water and molasses can be built-into the ration with ease.

    4. Unique mixing action 

    Deep body mixing chamber with angled paddles, controlled rotation and separate discharge chamber ensures the ration is perfectly mixed. All of the feed is mixed all of the time with no dead spots.

    “The KEENAN mixer wagons delivered the most homogeneous mix to the trough out of 28 different mixer wagons trialed.” Praktijkcentrum Rundvee (Practical Centre for Cows) and the Landbouwcentrum voor Voedergewassen (Agricultural Centre for Feed Crops, LCV) in the Netherlands.

    5. Small mixes

    The KEENAN mixer wagon makes it possible to prepare homogeneous rations with high fibre content for the dry cows or for small specific mixes for calves.

    6. Quality nutrition team and proven feeding program

    KEENAN can provide you with a team of specialised nutritionists with the main objective to improve your Feed Conversion Efficiency and profitability. KEENAN have proven results from over 1 million cows, on 10,000 farms in 25 different countries.

    7. Machine Strength and Reliability

    All KEENAN mixer wagons have an unrivalled reputation for strength, durability and longevity. The new range have larger capacity, can feed out from both sides and are easier to drive.

    8. Service Backup 24-7

    KEENAN provides a world class 24/7 customer service and parts offering. With a network of highly qualified service engineers in every market KEENAN ensure you get maximum performance from your mixer wagon.

    9. A power saving

    From a recent trial using the same feeds a vertical mixer required 28% more power compared to the KEENAN. The KEENAN mixer wagon paddles rotate 6-8 times per minute which preserves the structure of forages. Round bales are introduced gradually and without effort, as evidenced by the torque of the mixing KEENAN (less than 400 Nm.)

    10. Fuel Savings

    Due to the simply gearing system in the KEENAN mixer range there are substantial fuel savings to be made.  According to Paul Millican, the change from a twin auger to a bigger KEENAN MechFiber380 mixer wagon has resulted in a 50% reduction in fuel consumption.  “We use a 120hp tractor to drive the mixer wagon and before the KEENAN machine arrived I needed to fill the fuel tank every week,” Paul Millican says.  “ I now fill it every two weeks which means I’m saving over 600 litres a month.  That’s about 7,000 litres/year which is a saving of over €4,500/year.

  • Troubleshooting your diet feeder

    Just as you would with any other farm machinery, from time to time you may run into difficulty operating your diet feeder. There are several issues which can present themselves, many of which can be identified and resolved by you. We have compiled a list of common errors or issues which can occur with diet feeders and offer a solution by which you can troubleshoot and resolve these issues by yourself. Please note that we have developed this list with our own KEENAN diet feeders in mind, dealing with issues involving other brands of diet feeders may or may not require different actions.

    VFC Door Won’t Move

    If you find that the VFC door of your diet feeder simply won’t move, there are three actions to take to troubleshoot the issue:

    • Check the hydraulic hoses and ensure that there are no visible leaks.
    • Check the hydraulic oil level of the tractor.
    • Check the condition of the rams and ensure that all pins are secure.

    VFC Door Drops During Mixing

    If the VFC door keeps dropping when your diet feeder is mixing, you need to check two things:

    • Check ram for any signs of leakage.
    • Check the spool valve for insufficient hydraulic pressure.

    Excessive Shearbolt Breakage

    If you find that the shearbolts of your diet feeder are consistently breaking, you need to consider taking the following actions:

    • Ensure that the machine is not being over-loaded. If it is consistently being over-loaded, the shearbolts will succumb a lot quicker to wear and tear and eventual breakage.
    • Check that the driving chain is not too loose and that it is of good condition.
    • Never open the VFC door too quickly, open out slowly at first before opening out fully.
    • Turn the paddle a few times before opening the feed door to avoid putting a huge load on your machine.

    Noisy Operation

    If you find that the operation process of your diet feeder has become excessively loud, take the following two actions:

    • Adjust any tension on the chains and oil the chains generously.
    • Grease all nipples.

    Feed Is Not Mixing Properly

    If your feed is not being mixed properly in your diet feeder, it may be due to:

    • Insufficient mixing time.
    • Loading the materials in the wrong order.
    • Machine over-loading.
    • Not enough time given for chopping.
    • Lack of/blunt blades or worn paddles rubbers.

    Feed Out Is Too Slow

    If the feed out from your diet feeder has slowed, it usually does so because the loaded material is not chopped enough. However, if this is not the case, you need to action the following:

    • Check the condition of the paddle rubbers.
    • Reduce the engine revs to give the paddles more time to push material evenly into the auger.

    Horsepower Required is Too High

    If the horsepower requirement of your feeder wagon becomes too high, this is usually due to:

    • Machine overload.
    • A lot of long/fibrous material and dull/blunt blades causing material to drag on paddles.

    Machine Is Chopping Too Slowly

    If your feeder wagon is not chopping the feed material fast enough, this is usually due to one of three reasons:

    • Machine is overloaded.
    • The chopping blades are blunt.
    • Not enough weight in the body – add more material or water to weigh it down.
  • KEENAN Controller options

    The KEENAN Controller creates the optimal physical mix in an accurate and consistent manner every day. It gives KEENAN users an unprecedented degree of control over a ration’s formulation, its ingredients and its mixing. Here are the following KEENAN Controller Options available to KEENAN customers who may be thinking of adding it to their existing KEENAN diet feeder;

    Retrofit = KEENAN Controller + Autostop added to existing KEENAN diet feeder

    KEENAN Controller (KEENAN Controller and Auto Stop functionality) can be added to your existing 6 paddle KEENAN diet feeder. The KEENAN Controller utilises the mobile phone network to connect the diet feeder to a secure website that can be accessed by authorised users from anywhere in the world on any web enabled device. Provided you have a PTO shut off button on the backof your tractor you can add Autostop functionality.

    PACE Upgrade to KEENAN Controller

    If you are an existing PACE customer you have the option of buying out the remaining lease and upgrading to KEENAN Controller. You will get all the benefits from using KEENAN Controller and Autostop functionality.

    Nutrition Support with KEENAN Controller

    PACE customers have the option of purchasing nutrition support from a recommended KEENAN nutritionist. Alternatively they can continue to work with their current nutritionist and get all the benefits of KEENAN Controller.