The fines from a load protein supplement may only be 2 percent, but that’s too much waste for Faith, S.D., rancher Bernard Beer. In fact, since he feeds 50 tons of protein cubes per winter, the 2 percent loss to fines equals a full ton.
To gather the fines, Mr. Beer designed a simple screen for his overhead protein cube bin. As the trap door on the bottom of the bin is opened, the cubes run over the screen before dropping into the feeder mounted on the pickup. The fines fall through a series of 1⁄ 2-inch rods spaced 3⁄ 8-inch apart and are collected in a removable canvas bag to be fed in a bunk to animals in the corral.
Mr. Beer says the screen was made with “an angle iron frame and used pump rod and scrap iron from my shop. New material should not cost more than $50.” The screen is secured in place on the bulk bin with a tarp strap. He says adjusting the space between the rods can allow for more fines to be collected.