Winter 2018 - Capstone Project: Hay Bale Feeder

Capstone Project: A More Efficient Hay Bale Feeder

Lecturers G.W. Bates and Garrett Forbes led the equipment engineering and agricultural systems management (BRAE 442/419) class with a capstone project of creating a round hay bale feeder. Previous ways of distributing hay across land was ineffective as the hay could easily get muddy or bunch up when spread. This mechanism is able to carry one hale bale in the center of the feeder and tow another one out, making it easier to roll out the hay bale in a more efficient manner.

The round bale feeder contains the bale in a bed lifted above ground and unravels it to be even distributed as the tractor moves on. Some of the mechanics involved in the system include a chain drive to help rotate the bale as it sits on a complete steel bed welded and constructed by students. The feeder is more efficient for ranchers in remote fields, as it can be hauled behind a vehicle. It is designed to go behind a tractor but can be used behind a truck and controlled by auxiliary hydraulics. The 10 students working on the said they were thankful for the hands-on approach to the capstone course and the opportunity to construct a useful piece of machinery. “It is always a learning experience for everyone. To see the how the students, work effectively and collaboratively as well as watching from a new perspective as an advisor” said Forbes.

This is just one of the final 12 capstone projects for the BRAE and ASM majors wrapping up this Winter 2018.


For more stories, view the rest of the Winter 2018 Newsletter

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