A chaff cutter is a machine for cutting straw and hay for use as fodder. The small pieces are then mixed with other forage and fed to livestock. Eating cut straw and hay aids in digestion in livestock. This article focuses on the available types of chaff cutters in Kenya, their pros and cons.
A chaff cutter is a must-have machine for any livestock keeper who values the health and wellbeing of their livestock. Invented in 1822, by Jonathan Eastman, chaff cutters play a very vital role in agricultural production. Since their invention, they have evolved a great deal, and are currently even used for commercial purposes.
Types of Chaff Cutters
Hand Operated Chaff Cutters
This type comprises a tray to feed the straw to the blade, a curved cutting blade, anvil, and a frame. When operating it, one hand feeds the straw to a tray while the other hand operates the curved cutting blade. The whole process is tedious and has little result to show of it. It has an average rpm of 35. Compared to all cutters, the hand-operated chaff cutter price in Kenya is the lowest.
Mini Chaff Cutters
These chaff cutters come second at price to hand-operated chaff cutters. They are cheap, lightweight, and portable. Their one disadvantage is that they require a lot of energy to use. A user has to manually feed the straw. They have an average rpm of 2000.
Manual Chaff Cutters
Manual chaff cutter price in Kenya is higher than that of mini chaff cutters. They are portable and lightweight. Normally, they are used by farmers who own a small number of livestock. To use it, straw is delivered manually into the machine. Just like the hand-operated and mini-chaff cutters, manual chaff cutters are labor-intensive.
Electric Chaff Cutters
They are used for large-scale farming where the owner has a lot of livestock. They easily process a huge quantity of straw within a short period. This helps save on time and resources. Due to their high efficiency, electric chaff cutters are very expensive
Automatic Chaff cutters
Compared to all the other cutters, automatic chaff cutters provide an advanced feed mechanism to deliver forage. They have automated systems that generally maximize cutting output. They involve little labor and high yields making them suitable for large-scale farming. They are very expensive but last longer compared to the rest. Automatic chaff cutters also have an additional feature that enables the user to adjust the length of the cut. This can be done by reducing roller speeds.
When deciding on a chaff cutter to purchase, a variety of things have to be put into consideration. For example, one cannot expect to operate a hand-operated chaff cutter on a large farm. Likewise, buying an automatic chaff cutter for only two cows is a waste. Among the things to be considered are the labor required, cutting speed, quality of chopped straw and maintenance.