Travelling farther than Penn Yan was not going to be financially sensible for us, and suppose the new place did a mediocre job besides? Feeling more than a little put out with circumstance we decided to look for a used grinder of some type and if price and condition were favorable we'd buy it and start milling our own feed.
The Gehl Mix-All 125! (pronounced "gale")
Empire Tractor in North Cohocton had just taken it in as a trade for something else. They said they hadn't seen one on their lot in a few years and we were prepared for all kinds of damage from misuse (because you never know...) but it was in quite good condition and only needed minor attention to a bearing and a good cleaning inside. It runs off the PTO of the tractor, so no engine to worry about. It had been stored inside and had all its parts and the price was pretty good considering a new one goes for 35-40K. It lacks an owner's manual, but we're looking online.
So, you shovel corn into the hopper......
The cobs go through a hammermill to be crushed into pieces that will go through the proper sized screen and then it dumps into the mixer body.
At this point you would add other things and let it all mix thoroughly before augering it out for bagging or direct feeding. However, we don't have a way to store the other components in bulk (soybean, distiller's grain, molasses) so we will still have to run to the Mennonite place and buy sufficient quantity each time for the weight of corn we've ground, put everything back in the mixer and then draw it off again as finished feed, but it's an improvement over buying somebody else's bagged feed or spending lots more money and time driving to another mill (assuming we could find one).
So, we drew off the ground corn and bagged it to take and weigh at the Mennonite's place. I ran the hydraulics and Andy bagged it right in the truck bed. Why lift bags from the ground if you don't have to?
It does a good job of grinding and we're happy with it....and happy that we don't have to depend on someone else's mill, skill and schedule.
If anybody wants some ground corn, just let us know ;-)