1.1 Preamble 

Animal feedstuff is a very importance aspect of livestock husbandry as it is a major limiting factor in the rearing of animal to meet the increasing demand for animal protein, milk, hides and skill and other sub-Saharan African countries for the nomadic fulanis and pastoralist to allow the animal graze freely in the fields, in most cases after harvest (Umanna and Asishi, 1988; 1985.

In some cases the animal rearers collect the crop residues home to feed the animal directly or after chopping into smaller sizes using matches or sharp knives. There are well established Fulani settlers with permanent settlements, incorporating both livestock and crop farming systems, the normadic Fulanis move their cattle to the southern part of the country in the dry season, in search of pasture and water for their animals and moves up north in the wet season, to avoid tsetse fly infection (Okorie and Sanda, 1992). The migratory practice of the normadic Fulanis is usually associated with environmental degradation, incessant bush burning and unpleasant consequences to the communities. A drastic increase in animal body weight in the wet season where there is abundant fresh grasses and abundant drinking water for the animals can be noticed. However, in the dry season, when green grasses and water are not sufficient for the animals the resultant consequences is loss in body weight, hence the little or no availability of milk and other diary products, high cost of meat in the market, (Umanna and Agishi, 1988), that the animal can ultilize not only the leave, but also the stovars, if they are reduced into smaller sizes. Cutting the stovers of the crop residue will therefore increase the rate of consumption by animals.

1.1 Statement of Problem

In dry season some herds man find it so hard to feed their livestock which makes them to be moving from one place to another so as to search for feed stuff and some crop stover for the animals to consumed.

Farmers used to collect crop residues to feed directly or cut manually by crude method using cutlass or sickle into 3-4 pieces for the cattle take in. Animal found it so hard to consumed the crop residue (crop Stover) unless it has been reduced in to smaller size. However, to make feeding easy and to make forage available in the dry season, in addition, to reduce the Labour of the herdsman there is need to provide some essential machine which will aids in processing of forage and some crop stover for storage and as well as animals consumption. Therefore the present study is to develop and test for performance of forage chapter.

1.2 Justification

Mechanized forage chopper and cutters are mostly imported into developing countries to eliminate problem of manual chapping. Such chopper include the fine chop (flywheel chopper and double-chop forage choppers. These imported devices are sophisticated, costly and require skill to be able to operate and maintain especially by woman whose within the livestock sector has increased as they perform most of the farm labour relates to feeding animals. However the efficient production of good silage depends on precision chopped forage which usually require relatively high financial investment in heavy machine such as forage harvester for harvesting and chopping. A manually operated labour saving device was also develop in Uganda by the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), In 1999(Liesa,2000), to make the task of animal feed, production less tedious or arduous. It must be noted, however, that each country has its own crops, level of engineering capability and needs; hence introduction of labour saving technology as solution to developmental problem must involve building a machine which suit the local measurement (brain 1986).

Labour service chopping devices such as this forage chopper is need in developing countries like Nigeria. Just as it is needful to mechanize the livestock industries, there is also a great need to mechanize the process of live stock feed production both for direct consumption and storage purpose to meet the protine demand of the sophisticated forage chopper for silage making is need and has been designed and developed. This paper describes the design and performance tests of the chopper.      

1.3 Aim and Objective

AIMS: The aim of this project was to develop a motorized chopping machine for the cutting of various grasses to carry out performance evaluation of the machine.

(i) To reduce the size of forage for the animal consumption

(ii) To mechanize the process of livestock feed production both for direct consumption and stores purposes. 

(iii) To make feed stuff available in the dry season. 

(iv) To provide sufficient roughages as major component for animal feed preparation which can be enriched with protein, vitamins and mineral matter. 

(v) To reduce the labour involved in cutting the forage crop and some crop stovers. 

(vi) To replace the use of traditional crude tools for cutting forage crop such as matchete, cutlass, sickle e.t.c.

(vii) To save time. 

1.4 Scope of Study 

The scope of the project is to develop and test for performance of the chopper which would be useful for normadic Fulanis and pastoralist.

(i) To carry out a literature review on forage and forage chopper in existence. 

(ii) To obtain some data or information that will be required and that are suitable in the development and performance test of forage chopper. 

(iii) To select suitable materials based on result of the analysis for the construction of the machine.

(iv) To prepare a neat detailed working drawing for the development process. 

(v) To discuss the results of the performance test. 

(vi) To present the necessary information on the machine.



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