Due to the rising cost of Lucerne pellets and the lack of specific elephant feed in the marketplace we sought to create our own feed directed to the dietary needs of our elephants. Previously we were consuming approx. 5 tons of Lucerne pellets a month (60 tons a year!) as well as supplementing Lucerne bales nightly with a special mixture as well as bringing in roughage for the elephants in the way of Blackwood, Port Jackson and Black Wattle branches. Whilst the elephants love the Lucerne pellets, too much Lucerne can result in high protein levels which leads to increased testosterone and ultimately aggression in the bulls. As a result we moved over to making our own feed mix and switching to oat hay which is lower in protein and higher in selenium which is good for growth. We still feed them Lucerne but on a much reduced level.
The initial outlay for the machine is always a costly process but over time with the 65% saving per month on the feed we will recover this. The new machine known as a feed mixer in the cattle feed market is able to produce between 3 to 4 tons of feed within an hour! With the way things are going we are constantly looking for innovative ways to reduce our costs, recycle and reduce our impact on our environment.