Houden’s Dairy

uniFARM designs & installs WA’s first on-farm automated Skiold Disc Mill plant at Houden’s dairy farm

When it came time to upgrade from commercial pellet feed to a low-maintenance, automated feed stock mill system, WA dairy farm, Mal Houden, relied on uniFARM for seamless system installation and commissioning. Within a day, Houden’s farm started self-producing milled grain and no longer required commercial feed of variable quality.

THE CHALLENGE

Situated in the lower south-west of Western Australia, Houden Dairy Farm had limited access to reliable, cost-effective suppliers of high-quality manufactured stock feed from Perth and other regional locations. Houden’s setup involved buying pelletised feed from non-local suppliers and paying costly transportation fees, then manually pumped it in silos to feed the farm’s dairy stud.

While the pelletised feed system had served Houden dairy well in the past, they knew it was time to upgrade and modernise their existing operations when a major feed conveyor started to break down regularly and uniFARM came to the rescue. Installing a new feed and mill system can seem like a daunting proposition – fortunately, that’s where a turnkey solution provider like uniFARM that excels at this type of installation.

THE SOLUTION

To help solve these challenges, the uniFARM team prepared numerous project designs to determine the best option for Houden’s project budget and equipment requirements. uniFARM also offered essential advice throughout the process, breaking the project down into critical steps for managing silo relocations and implementing internal dairy upgrades to the ready feed Flexi Auger and internal Cablevey system.

Ultimately, uniFARM designed and installed Western Australia’s first ever on-farm fully automated Skiold Disc Mill plant. The uniFARM system installation involved a seamless swap over from commercial feed to self-produced milled grain and commissioning in just one day.

The new system features:

  • SK5000 Auto Run with protection magnet Disc Mill (3 phase)
  • Relocation of two existing and six new silos: 1Canola, 2 Cereal, 2 Lupin and 3 ready-feed
  • Five input rigid augers and motors from storage silo’s
  • Mill inload auger, magnet and hopper system with 2-way canola dispass valve to Batch Mixer
  • Mill outload auger
  • 5 TN batch mixer with 2-way outload auger
  • 12m high volume ready-feed main dairy silo
  • 2×2 way splitter at dairy silo for specialty auger feed options
  • Fully automated and self-programmable customised Flex Mix control system
  • Upgraded Cabelvey Disc system changed to internal dairy (four corner) to Chain system with 240 volt Flexi Auger (centreless auger) to manage feed delivery into dairy

In addition, design modifications after 18 months included extending the used auger for dedicated special feed auger and extended system for calf, heifer and lead feed options to better manage feed and ongoing maintenance.

RESULTS & BENEFITS

Houden’s new feedstock mill system provides a variety of feed options for the whole business, not just dairy feed but, calf and heifer feed. The farm now enjoys a trouble-free grain milling, moving and mixing system that allows them to mill grain around the business operation with great access to raw materials – cereals, lupins and canola.

Annual servicing of the disc mill system takes less than one day and can be completed in between milking with ease to change disk every 4 – 6 months.

According to Mal Houden, UniFarm’s solution has delivered a number of key benefits to the farm. “It’s a triple benefit for our dairy business – better feed quality, reduced feed costs and increased milk production,” he says “With the amount of grain we go through, perhaps the major benefit of the new system is the efficiency that makes it more economically viable in the short to medium term. It also allows us to independently change and control our grain feeding system and the recipes we use each season. We now have the ability to control buying patterns around available raw grain resources and business feed needs.”