I am from an agricultural community in Kerala, India.
Traditionally we farmed rubber trees and extracted latex that was sold to produce tires and such items.
For the past few years the prices of rubber trees have been low which has reduced the viability of rubber tree farming. As a result I wanted to diversify and came up with rearing male water buffalo calves for meat.
My plan is to raise them on grass instead of grains. For this I have planted hybrid napier grass called CO(5) in 50 cents of land. This grass grows almost similar to corn in such that it has long stems where almost 70% of the weight is concentrated.
Currently I have 2 buffalo calves and I am planning on buying 2 more .
The problem that I am facing right now is that if I feed the grass to calves as it is with the long thick stems they eat only the leaves and the tender parts of the stem and waste the rest which comes to about 60%. So if I feed them 10Kgs of grass they eat only 4 Kgs and waste 6kgs of the grass.
The current solution to the problem is that I manually chop them into 2 inch pieces using a long machete like knife. This is a laborious process considering that at the moment the calves consume around 30Kgs of fresh grass daily and this would go up as the calves grow.
A permanent solution to this is to get an electric chaff cutter. The electric chaff cutter would reduce my work load considerably.
An electric chaff cutter of good build with motor costs around 30,000 to 35,000 Rupees including tax or around 500 US Dollars