A Rumenco beef cattle feeder, specifically designed to thwart access by badgers to livestock feed supplements, has been given the thumbs up by the South West TB Advisory Farm Advisory Service (SWTBFAS).
The Rumenco Badger Beater, showcased in the TB Opportunities area at Beef Expo, resisted persistent attempts by badgers to reach the cattle feed in a trial organised by SWTBFAS earlier this year.
In a infra-red camera-based study that started on 26th February 2013, we placed the peanut-baited feeder near an active badger sett in our equipment testing area, reported trial co-ordinator Sophie James from SWTBFAS.
Over the next three weeks badgers and several foxes tried to access the peanuts without success. The first night was by far the busiest with the camera recording at least 30 attempts by badgers to reach the food. Activity trailed off as the weeks wore on with an average of only one attempt per night during the last week of the trial. On the basis of this study we are happy to recommend the Rumenco feeder as a useful addition to your farm biosecurity measures, she said.
The Rumenco feeder is designed to hold Rumevite feed blocks, 22.5kg Suplayx buckets, Lifeline buckets and 100kg tubs a metre above ground. The company recommends that the base unit be filled with water or earth for stability. One feeder is required for every 20-30 head of cattle during the summer months.
The feeder retails at 75 + VAT and is available from agricultural merchant outlets.