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Publication numberUSRE25589 E
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 2, 1964
Filing dateSep 29, 1960
Publication numberUS RE25589 E, US RE25589E, US-E-RE25589, USRE25589 E, USRE25589E
InventorsEldon Hostetler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mechanical poultry feeder
US RE25589 E
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 2, 1964 E. HosTETLER ETAL Re. 25,589


MECHANICAL POULTEY FEEDER original Filed sept.' 29, 1960 '7 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS Z50/V ,f2/057572158 HWGEA/cf AZ M7565 BY June 2, 1964 E HOSTETLER ETAL Re. 25,589

I MECHANICAL POULTRY FEEDER Original Filed Sept. 29, 1960 '7 Sheets--Sheel 3 Ill/4 /l/ l L June 2. 1964 E. HosTETLER ETAL MECHANICAL POULTRY FEEDER '7 Sheets-Sheet 4 Original Filed Sept. 29, 1960 June-2, 1954- E. HosTx-:TLER ETAL Re- 2'5,589 A MECHANICAL' POULTRY FEEDER Original Filed Sept. 29. 1960 '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 IN V EN TORS June 2, 1964 E. HOSTETLER ETAL MECHANICAL POULTRY FEEDER original Fiied sept. 29, 1960 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 June 2, 1964 E. HosTE-rLER ETAL Re- 25,589

MECHANICAL PouLTRY FEEDER Original Filed Sept. 29. 1960 '7 Sheets-Sheet 7 x Q0 Q JN V EN TORS www /7 frag-/Vf/S United States, Patent Oii tice Re. 25,589 Reissued June 2, 1964 25,589 IVIECHANICAL PGULTRY FEEDER Eldon Hostetler, Middlebury, and Lawrence A. Myers, Milford, Ind., assignors to Chore-Time Equipment, Inc., Milford, Ind.

Original No. 3,033,163, dated May 8, 1962, Ser. N0. 59,312, Sept. 29, 1960. Application for reissue Sept. 6, 1963, Ser. No. 307,274

Clailns. (Cl. 119-52) Matter enclosed in heavy brackets appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specification; matter printedgin italics indicates the additions malle by reissue.

This invention relates to a mechanical poultry feeder, and has as its primary object the provision of an improved mechanical feeder which will provide fresh clean feed of uniform mixtures to all feeding areas in a poultry house, and will accommodate a relatively large number of birds with a minimum of crowding in a comparative minimum of space. p

An additional object of the invention is the provision of such a mechanical feeder which will supply feed to all the feeding areas with a minimum amount of time and effort.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of such a feeder comprising a relatively large number of separate feeding lines so arranged that all or part of the lines may be installed, operated, or repaired independently with maximum .tlexibility as to arrangement and operation.

An additional object of the invention is the provision of an improved circular feeding tray, associated with the mechanical feeder of the instant invention so arranged as to provide more available space for birds to feed than is normally available in the conventional typ@ of trough feeders, which will at the same time provide minimum restriction to the free movement of the birds.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of a device of this character which may be readily moved out of the area or out of the way when not in use, Aor when other activities such as cleaning out the house, catching the birds or spreading clean litter is taking place.

Still another object of the invention is the provision of means whereby the feeder trays or troughs may be readily 'adjusted to the height of the birds as the birds grow.

An additional object of the invention is the provision of a mechanical feeder which is complete, but which is relatively simple in construction, and practical for installation in smaller poultry houses as well as in the larger commercial houses.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of such a feeding device which provides a continuous supply of fresh clean feed of uniform mixtures to all parts of the poultry house to a degree not possible with known or existing feeding devices such as chain and trough type.

A4 further object of the invention is the provision of such a device wherein no feed that is exposed to the birds or dirt and litter in the house is returnedtto the hopper supply, such feed material as is recirculated in the distribution system being completely fresh and previouslyy unexposed to the birds or to dirt and litter.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved circular cone and pan assembly for use as an individual unit of the device which has a substantial capacity sucient to feed a relatively large number of birds, but which is not so great as to allow the feed material to become/stale or dried out before it is consumed in a house with normal bird operation.

y A still further object of the invention is the provision of means including an open center auger helix which will deliver the same mixture of feed material to all of the pans on a particular line without mechanically separating the feedV material with respect to particles by weight or size, in contrast with the chain and trough type feeders which move the feed material through the trough so that the birds eating from the trough closest to the outlet side of the hopper consume the feed particles of their choice, while birds eating from the trough farther away from the supply have only picked over feed material and, therefore, different nutritional level.

`An additional object of the invention is the. provision of an arrangement of individual circular feeding pans whereby the tendency of the birds to rush to the portion of the trough with the fresher more complete ration, as is the case with the chain and trough feeders, thus crowding out the weaker or more timidv birds, is obviated.`

Still another object of the invention is the provision of such a device comprising an arrangement of circular pans along the feeder line of such diameter and spacing as to provide more space per linear foot of line for the birds to eat from. This is due to the taper of the body of the bird from its head to the widest body section, the arrangement of the circular pans permitting more birds to stand and eat around the circular pan than can stand side by side from an equivalent length of trough.

An additional object of the invention is the provision of an arrangement of spaced circular pans supported at a proper height from an overhead support so that the birds may walk freely between and under the pans thus allowing considerable freedom of movement to the birds and allowing the young birds to get to and from heated brood'- ing areas, water and feed, with a minimum of difculty.

A more specific object of the invention is the provision of a means for adjusting an entire line of feeder pans from a single winch arrangement so that a complete line can be adjusted by means 4of one operation, either for altering the height of the feeding pans as the birds grow, or for completely lifting the line from the floor area t0 permit access to the door area for other purposes.

An additional specific object of the invention is the provision of switch means associated with the last pan along the feed line so arranged as to automatically cut off the supply of feed when the last pan is filled.

Still other objectsV` reside inthe combination of elements, arrangements of parts, and features of construction, all as will be more fully pointed out hereinafter, and disclosed in the accompanying drawings wherein there is shown a preferred embodiment of this inventive concept.

In the drawings:

FIGURE l is a side elevational view of a single feeder line supplied with feed through the system of the'instant invention. 'i

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view taken substantially along the line 2 2 of FIG. l as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows, showing the feeding arrangement for a plurality of parallel feeding lines. l

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view through the power drive ofthe machine showing the arrangement of passing the feed through the feeder'lines around substantially right angled corners'..

FIGURE 4 is -a reduced exploded perspectiverview showing the feeder line feed intake box. i i' FIGURE 5 is an exploded perspective view showing the individual assembly of a feed pan assembly together with the auger feed assembly.V

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken substantially through the center line of one o-f the end feeding pans disclosing the switchingarrangement associated therewith;

FIGURE 6a is an enlarged sectional view takensubstantially alongy the line 6a--6a `of FIG. 6 as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows.

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken through the -center line of the feed hopper showing the agitating augers therein.

the line 8-8 of FIG. 7 as viewed in the direction indi` cated by the arrows.

FIGURE 9 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 9-9 of FIG. 7 as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows.

FIGURE 10 discloses a wiring diagram for use with the apparatus.

FIGURE 11 is a side elevational view'similar to FIG. 1 showing a slightly modified form of construction.

FIGURE l2 is an enlarged elevational view taken substantially along the line 12-12 of FIG. 1l.

'FIGURE 13 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 13-13 of FIG. 12 as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows; and

FIGURE 14 is a plan view of' a modified or electrified form of guard wire employed in conjunction'with the apparatus.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

Having reference now to the drawings in detail, and more particularly to FIGS. l and 2, there is generally indicated Vat a feed hopper, from which feed is ccnveyed in a manner to be more fully described through an elbow 21, a vertical lift pipe 22, through a second elbow 23 to a horizontal feed line 24. Depending from horizontal feed line 24 are a plurality of vertical feed lines n 25, each of which communicates with an individual feed FIGS. 7, 8, and 9, the same is comprised of a pair of inclined side walls 35, which form a V, the walls being supported bysuitable end plates 36. A pair of aligned parallel augers 37 and 37a extend longitudinally along the bottom of the Vv-shaped trough, the lower auger 37a comprising a feed auger extending in alignment with a feed outlet 38, and being connected to a feed auger 39 and driven thereby. The end of the trough opposite the outlet 3S is provided with a housing 40, into which the ends of the augers 37 and 37a extend. The auger 37a carries a gear 41, which meshes with the gear 42 carried by the shaft'of auger 37, the other end of the shaft of auger 37 being journalled in a suitable journal 43 at the opposite end of the hopper, the arrangement thus being such that the rotation of the auger 37a similarly rotates the auger 37, to insure constant agitation of the feed in the'bottom ofthe hopper. A suitable cover 44 may be provided for the hopper if desired.

The arrangement is such that the lower auger 37 rotates in a direction to carry feed into the pipe 38,v where it engages the auger 39 interiorly of elbow 21. The elbow 21 is provided with a gearing stem to be more fully described hereinafter which yis driven by a vertical auger 50 in the upright tube 22. The vertical auger 50 includes, as best shown in FIG. 3 a shaft 51 which extends into a sleeve 52, being secured thereto by a pin 53, the sleeve being affixed as by means of a pin 54 to a shaft 55 which extends through a suitable bushing 56 into gear box 57. The shaft 55 carries a bevel gear 58, which is engaged by a second bevel gear 59. The bevel gear 59 is mounted on a shaft 60 which is pinned by means of a pin 61 to a sleeve 62, thevsleeve 62 being connected by means of a shaft 63 and a pair of pins 64 to the sleeve `65 of a horizontal auger 66 which extends throughthe tubular feed line 24. Power is supplied to the entire system by means of a' shaft 67 which is fixed to the bevel gear 59, and which extends outwardly of the gear box housing 57 and carries a pulley 68. The pulley 68 is driven by means of a belt 69 from the pulley 70 of a motor 71 which is suitably mounted as on a supporting bracket 72. The motor 71 may be of any desired size and power, and feeds [feels] the entire system. The lower elbow 21 is substantially identical in construction to that previously described in connection with the elbow 23, and power is transmitted from'the auger or helix 51 to the auger 39, and thence to the agitating augers 37 and 37a as previously described.

The feed is carried by the auger 66 evenly and smoothly through the horizontal line 24, a sufiicient quantity of feed dropping through each vertical pipe 25 to supply feed to the intake box 26, from which it is conveyed through the pipe 27 to the feeding pans 28, in a manner to be more fully described hereinafter. Any feed in the line 24 which does not pass through the vertical feed pipes 25 is conveyed into a gear box 29, which includes a gear 72 which is mounted on a stub shaft extending from the end of auger 66, the latter in turn meshing with a gear 73 on stub shaft which is connectedto and drives a return auger 74 in the return line 30. The return feed is thus carried to elbow 31, and falls into the return line 32, and thence back to the hopper 20, or alternately to the open end of line 30.

FIG.l 4 discloses the arrangement of the feed box 26, which has an open bottom, and is fitted to a half round plate 75, which, in conjunction with an opposite half round plate 76, forms an arcuate clamp attached to box 26. The feed pipe is inserted in one end of this clamp but not sufficiently to cover the opening in box 26. A short extension pipe 77 having a closed end is fitted in the other end of the clamp to permit expansion of an auger helix 7S as the load changes and also to serve as a mechanical guard. The pipe 27 carries the auger 7S, which extends the full length thereof, and is driven by an independent motor 79. The motor 79 is suspended by a chain 8i) which passes over a pulley S1 and is connected to a line S2 which extends the full length of the pipe 27. The pulley 81 is `suspended from a hook 83 fromY the ceiling or roof, if desired. At suitable spaced intervals along the pipe 27 supporting plates 84 are suitably clamped around the line as by means ofhalf round plates 85. A chain 86 is connectedto each of plates 84. Plates 84 are'provided with aligned spaced openings 87 for selectivev adjustment of the height of a wire guard t0 be hereinafter described. Each chain 86 passes over a pulley 8S which in turn is supported by a hook S9 suspended from the ceiling, and the end of each chain is attached to the line 82. The arrangement is thus such that by removing the individual vertical feed pipe 25, the line 82 may, by connection to a winch or the like, be moved to exert pressure on the several chains 86 and 80 to lift the entire assembly from a point relatively close to the floor to a point closely adjacent the ceiling. The advantages of such a single lifting arrangement in providing for the cleansing of the floor, or when catching birds, adjusting the height of feeder pens above the floor level for different sized birds or for any other desired purpose, will be readily apparent. The chains 86 may be individually adjusted as to height by running the chain through the uppermost opening 87 in plate 84 and attaching the end of the chain to a selected link, as by means of a conventional S hook. y Each of pipes 27 has positioned in the underside thereof a series of spaced openings 90a, beneath each of which is positioned a feed diffusing member 91 which, illustratively, is`cone shaped, although a pyramid or other desired shape may be used provided with a pair of upstanding apertured ears 92, which are adapted to engage the apertured ears 93 of a clip 94, a suitable pin passed through the lined apertures serving to secure the cone 91 to theunderside of the pipe.

rlhe cone 91 is provided with a series of spaced apertures 95 on opposite sides thereof which are adapted to be engaged by the ends of oppositely disposed hooks 96. Hooks 96 support V-shaped supporting wires 97 having offset end portions 98 which are `adapted to engage in oppositely disposed apertures in the bottom of the feed trays 28. As Ibest shown in FIGS'. 5 and 6, each feed tray is provided with a relatively flat cone 100 in the bottom thereof, which in combination with the cone 91 serves evenly to distribute the feed to the outer rim of the tray. -It is to be noted that the bottom of cone 91 is spaced fromthe bottom of each tray 28, and spaced inwardly from the rim thereof to provide ready access to the food by the birds, adjustment of space between the tray 28 and cone 100 being permi-tted by apertures 95.

The end tray 28a of each series of trays is provided with 'a cutoff switch 101, which comprises a plate 102, having a slot 103 therein and a weight 104 adjustably held in the slot bywmeans of a bolt 105, the plate 102 being mounted on a pivot `106 interiorly of its associated cone' 91, and having secured thereto a depending plate 107 interiorly of the cone. A mercury switch 108 is connected -by suitable leads 109' to -any desi-red switching mechanism, which in turn connects with the motor 79 vautomatically to discontinue operation of the open cen-ter auger 78' when the -feed in the end cone 91 has reached a level to force the panel or plate 107 outwardly to tilt the mercury switch 108` about its associated pivot.

A wire 115 provided with suitable adjusting turnbuckles 116 extends the full length of each pipe 27 being suitably connected at opposite ends to the supporting plates 84 for the purpose of preventing the chickens from roosting on the pipes 27.

FIG. 14 discloses =a modified form of construction wherein wires `117 `are arranged in spaced parallelism and connected through insulators `118 to the opposite end supporting plates 84. In this modification of the device adjusting turnbuckles 119 are provided for properly tensioning the wires, and a mild electric current is supplied to the wires 117 through leads 120, from any desired source, in order to impart Ia mild electric shock to any birds attempting 'to roost on the wires over the feed pipes 27.

FIG. l0 discloses a wiring diagram to be employed in 'a plurality of feed lines, wherein power lines 125 and 126 extend to the motor 71. Hot Iline 125 is provided with a manual-ly actuated on and off switch 127, `and a manual- Y 1y reset overload switch 128.

From the line 125 a terminal 130 is connected to a wire 131, which is connected to a relay coil 132, from which a line 133 leads to each of a plurality of feed lines 134, which extend through suitable manual off and on switches .135, feed level switches 108, as previously described, land overload switches 136 to motors 79, for individual control thereof. Lines 137 extend through suitable terminals to a return lline 138 which is connected to a terminal 139 carried by the cold line 126. A relay switch 140 is positioned in line 125 and is actuated by coil 132.

FIGS. '11, 12, and 13 disclose a modified form of construction which is particularly adapt-able to small installations or mono-line arrangemen-ts. In this form of construction `a feed line 27 is provided with an internally positioned open center auger helix 78', the line 27 being provided with spaced slots which feed into cones 97 which supply feed pans 28', all substantially identical to that of the previous modification. A feed level cut-off switch 108' is alsolprovided for the end tray 28a'.

'In this modification the 4line 27 is supported by a plurality of chains 85, which are individually secured to hooks 89 supported individually from Ithe ceiling. A hopper 150 is provided at one end of the feed line 27' 'and is supported by chains 151 suspended from hooks 152 in the ceiling. The hopper `150 taper-s to a bottom V, as best :shown in FIG. 12, and is provided with a feed auger 153. The auger 153 is directly connected to the auger 78 in feed line 27', and is driven by means of a shaft 154 which is positioned in a housing 155 carried by the end of a hopper 150. A V-shaped shield 156 protects the housing and its interior mechanism from any feed .accidentally falling from the hopper 150l during feeding. A supplemental pulley housing 157 is provided which contains la pulley 158 secured to the end of shaft 154, the pulley 158 being driven by a belt 159, which in turn is driven by `a shaft 160 driven by an electric motor 161, which is supplied with current from any desired source. The connections of the motor 161 are substantially identical to those -described in connection with the motor 79, and the operation of the device is substantially the same in all major respects the exception being that there is herein provided a single line for use in small installations. Y

From the foregoing it will now be seen that there is herein provided `an improved mechanical poultry feeder, which accomplishes all the objects of this invention and others, including many advantages of great practical utility `and commercial importance.

As many embodiments may be rnade in this inventive concept, and as many modifications may be made in the embodiments hereinbefore shown and described, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.

We claim:

1. A mechanical poultry feeder comprising, in combination, a main feed hopper, a feed supply line extending substantially vertically from said hopper, a primary horizontal feed line fixed to the free end of said vertically extending feed supply line, feed transfer means in communication with said primary feed line and said feed hopper, means in said vertical feed supply to convey feed from said hopper to said primary horizontal feed line, means in said horizontal 'feed line to convey feed therethrough, por-tions of said horizontal feed line dening at least one opening in the wall thereof, a vertically depending gravity feed pipe secured to said horizontal feed Iline in alignment with the opening therein, av

secondary horizontal feed line disposed adjacent the free end ofsaid gravity feed pipe and `adapted to receive feed therefrom, portions of said secondary feed line defining.

a plurality of spaced openings through the wall thereof, feed trays secured to said secondary horizontal feed line below said openings, and means in said secondary feed lines to convey feed therethrough to be dispensed through the openings therein into said feed trays.

2. A mechanical poultry feeder 'as defined in claim [l'l] 1 which includes a feed transfer box, saidtransfer box having portions defining a pair of .spaced openings` in one wall thereof, the free end of said primary horizontal feed line secured to the transfer box in yalignment with one of said openings, a feed return line secured to said transfer box in -alignment with the other of said pair of openings, the free endof said feed return line being open and terminating above said main feed hopper, a vertically depending pipe secured to said feed return line 'adjacent the open end thereof, said vertically depending pipe in communication with the inter-ior of said feed return Iline and said main feed hopper, and means in said feed return line to convey feed from said Itransfer box to the free end thereof.

3. A mechanical poultry feeder as defined in claim 1 wherein said primary horizontl feed supply line includes a plurality of said vertically depending gravity feed pipes secured thereto in spaced relation, each of said gravity feed pipes in communication with the interior of said primary horizontal feed line, hoppers having outlets therein disposed below the free ends of said gravity feed pipes, a plurality of said secondary horizontal feed lines secured to said hopper outlets, each of said secondary horizontal feed lines having portions defining spaced openings therein, and means mounted on the free end of each of said secondary horizontal feed lines to drive the conveying means therein.

4. A mechanical feeder as defined in claim 3 wherein each of said secondary horizontal feed lines includes a plurality of support brackets secured thereto in spaced relation,l a plurality of pulleys supported in verticallyy spaced relation over each of said secondary horizontal feed lines, chains each secured at one end lto said support brackets and extending over said pulleys, means to draw said chains over said pulleys to raise and lower each of said secondary horizontal feed lines, its associated hopper, its drive rneanslforthe conveyingirneans therein, and the feed trays lixed thereto. i y, i 5. lA mechanical poultry, feeder as 'defined in `claim 1V wherein said main feed hopper includes end walls,l side walls, and inclined bottom walls, one, of said end walls having portions delining an outlet opening therein,a horizontally disposed feed auger adjacentthe bottoni olf-said hopper and in alignment with saidj outlet openingnan' agitating auger` in vertically spaced parallely relationl to said feed auger, means to drive saidfeed augenand means drivingly connecting said feed auger and said agitating auger. y

6.,A mechanical poultry feeder as deiined'in claim 1l which further includes 'a wire xed to said secondary horizontal feed line in spaced parallel relation, said wird connected to a source of electric currentI to administer al mild shock to poultry to prevent the birds fromir'oosting on said feed line. y l y i 7. A mechanical poultry feeder as dened'infclaim-'l wherein saidfsecondary feed lines comprise elongatedl tubular members, and the means therein ytov convey 'ffleedg therethrough comprising an open center auger helix'; I' 8. A mechanical feeder,'.,rystem including a generally, horizontally elongated tubular feed linehavingy a-plur'alily` of spaced openings in a lower side thereof betweenupg` stream and downstream ends thereof, overhead means n freely, flexibly and vertically adjustably suspending said feed line above a floor, said overhead means beingl thel only support for spacing said feed line above the floor,`

. feed trays connected to' and suspended from said feed linev shaft generally aligned `withgsaid vfeed lineand connected to a downstream end of said-augerhelixfforrotating said; auger helix.

9. A mecharviicall poitlttyfeeder, asdefned inlclaims8' which includes means associatedwithfan endmost-trayrofsaid yfeed trays, located toward the downstream end of saidV feed line for controlling operation of said motor unit in accordance with variations in the amount of feed in said endmost feed tray.

10.714 mechanical feeder system including a primary feed hopper, a secondary feed hopper spaced from said primary feed hopper, primary feed supply line means extending from said primary hopper upwardly and over said secondary hopper, means in said primary feed line means for conveying feed from said primary hopper to a position over said secondary hopper, a gravity feed pipe depending fromsaid primary feed line means to said secondary hopper for Adirectinglfeed into said secondary hopper, a secondary horizontal elongated feed line having an upstream end connected with said secondary hopper, overhead means freely, flexibly, and vertically adjustably suspending said secondary feed hopper and said secondary feed line above a floor, saido'verhead means being the only support for spacing said secondaryxhopper and said secondary feed line above the floor, said secondary feed line having a plurality of spaced openings therein, feed trays secured to and suspended from said secondary feed line below said openings, an elongated open center axially Yexpandable auger helix extending through and f rotatable within said secondary feed line, an electric motor unit connected with a downstream end of said second- .lary feed line and including a drive shaft, generally aligned vRefererices Cited in the le of this patent i ortlie original patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 351,014 \7issler- Oct. 19, 1886 11,392,311 Egeland Oct.'4, 1921 2,031,947 f McCormack r lune 1, 1937 2,335,173 Corey Nov. 23, 1943 2,681,639 i Littlefield Iune 22, 1954 A2,715,887- Flannery et al Aug. 23, 1955 2,738,765 Hart Mar. 20, 1956 2,754,801 Reese July'17, 1956 2,865,328 Hostetlerl Dec. 23, 1958 52,942,574 Golay lune 28, 196() 2,961,126; Craigv Nov. 22, 1960 '3,013,529 y' Parker et al Dec. 19, v1961 "3,028,838 v- Haggard et al. Apr. 10, 1962

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