Best Automatic Belt Feeders


Keeping a farm of animals either on land or on water requires a great amount of our time and labor. These are primarily the essentials for taking care of our animals, aside from the money we are spending on them. Moreover, a good percentage of our time and labor are taken up by the feeding management they require. Apparently, we do not only feed our animals once a day but multiple times as ideal. And this can be too taxing depending on how big our farm is and how many animals we have. However, we can be saved from too much of our worries with the help of automatic belt feeders.

Image from PENTAIR

The best automatic belt feeders are basically advanced feeding systems that do animal feeding for us. They do the task with precision and accuracy in terms of the amount of feed that gets delivered to our animals. Also, some of them have clock features, which time the frequency and intervals of the feeding sessions. Aside from that, some also feature easy adjustments and custom features to suit our barn or space constraints. These are the best automatic belt feeders on the market:

1. Pentair Belt Feeders

2. FIAP Belt Feeder Standard

3. FIAP Belt Feeder Pro

4. GEA Automatic Belt Feeder

5. Thayer Weigh Belt Feeders

6. Patz Livestock Belt Feeders

7. Metalfab APB Volumetric Belt Feeder

Acquiring automatic belt feeders is actually a great investment that we have to spend on. However, it ironically saves us a lot of money relative to how much we pay for manual labor. Other than that, it also saves us money on the feed that potentially goes to waste with manual feeding. This is as the designs for these automatic belt feeders come equipped with various valuable features. Also, what makes them more valuable is that manufacturers address our concerns primarily by providing customization services. Therefore, whether to acquire units for our farms or not should take us long to decide on.

Best Automatic Belt Feeders

Pentair Belt Feeders

The Pentair belt feeders are just among the most popular and the best automatic belt feeders. Typically, they have a mechanism that allows dispensing of almost all types of dry medication, chemicals, or feed. They operate or conduct the process smoothly, which can last over a period of either twelve or twenty-four hours. However, if our desire is a shorter length than that or intermittent feeding, we can use the conveyor belt. We will have to pull back the conveyor belt halfway to do this. Otherwise, we can space the feed on the belt as well. 

Moreover, the feeders’ mechanism is that of a stainless steel clock that is housed in a weatherproof case. Thus, we can make sure that our animals are fed no matter the weather. Also, the mechanism is spring-wound and is resistant to corrosion. Therefore, we can guarantee that the feeding system will last a long time of operation on our farm.

Generally, the feeders can be set up simply by lifting the lid, pulling the belt back, and then loading the feed. As easy as that, we can reduce much labor costs while encouraging improvement in our animals’ growth rates. Besides that, we can also save the costs for the feed we spend on. This is the system that controls the amount of feed that is delivered.

Highlighted Features:

  • Not electrically powered
  • Weatherproof cover
  • Thick belts
  • Clear clock cover with gasket

FIAP Belt Feeder Standard

Over the years, this original FIAP belt feeder has been topping the most frequently deployed automatic belt feeders internationally. It comes in two sizes – one that has a 3-kilogram capacity and another that has a 5-kilogram capacity. Also, the FIAP Belt Feeder Standard has two different run times – a twelve-hour and a 24-hour. 

This feeder is proven most suitable for feeding spawn and fry. Other than that, it also allows the dosing of buffering agents and pharmaceuticals. Its construction includes a casing and cover that are excellently weather-resistant and durable for a long period of usage.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ideal for feeding spawn and fry
  • Allows dosing of buffering agents and pharmaceuticals
  • Weather-resistant casing and cover
  • Long durability

FIAP Belt Feeder Pro

Of the same line as the previous, this is a novelty of that which tops the automatic belt feeders worldwide. It is also ideal for feeding spawn and fry, and allows dosing of buffering agents and pharmaceuticals. A feature that is novel in this version is the driveshaft that is made of a seawater-resistant aluminum. This driveshaft has as well an integrated conveyor belt. 

Additionally, this belt feeder has an innovative spring-loaded center bolt that enables easy conveyor belt removal. In fact, with this feature, we can remove the entire conveyor belt easily using only a single hand movement. This option makes for an easy cleaning and disinfection, aside from being convenient and user-friendly. Also, the unit has an integrated slide ring bearing that secures the unit’s clock. Thus, we can guarantee that the clock functions constantly and with precision.

On the whole, the innovation done to the FIAP Belt Feeder Pro, particularly the clock, enhances the unit’s service life. This is aside from the fact that it originally already features a durable and weather-resistant casing and cover.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ideal for feeding spawn and fry
  • Allows dosing of buffering agents and pharmaceuticals
  • Weather-resistant casing and cover
  • Long durability
  • Seawater-resistant aluminum driveshaft
  • Innovative spring-loaded center bolt
  • Easy cleaning and disinfection

GEA Automatic Belt Feeder

The GEA manufacturer swears by the ideal introduction to automatic belt feeders or feeding systems. This, as their automatic feed supply system, is characteristically small, flexible, and economical. Mainly, it features the combination of the conveyor belt and sliding scraper. This is what will enable us to distribute small amounts of feed in short intervals to several animal groups. Thus, it significantly reduces our daily workload while offering consistent high reliability when feeding. 

Moreover, the total mixed ration feeding system is easier and efficient with the GEA belt feeder. We can simply adjust the length of each belt according to the size of the stall. Conveniently, the feeder unit can adapt perfectly to any feeding table. Also, its rope-guided carriage is fitted on the ceiling to allow the feed element to move back and forth. This is as the feed element hangs from a steel rope, saving much space in the barn. This feeding system, aside from being inexpensive, is easy to pick up with little maintenance needed. Also, the individual unit components are durable to last us a long time.

Additionally, automatic feeding with the unit is a good option for cow feeding for any size of the farm. This is as the belt feeder adapts to any short and long distances. To be more specific, the length of the belt ranges between 12 and 90 meters. The width, on the other hand, ranges between 45 and 60 centimeters. With maximum precision, the feed can be transported between silos, mixers, feed bunkers, and outfeed belts.

Generally, the GEA belt feeder components are perfectly matched and are top quality for continuous operation. The belt, in particular, can be selected with either a structured or a smooth surface. Also, the belt is v-shaped and delivers the feed to the cow in either ascending or descending slopes.

Highlighted Features:

  • Automatic feeding through a conveyor belt
  • Inexpensive introduction to automatic feeding
  • Space-saving design
  • Easy setup

Can accommodate different animal groups several times per day

Thayer Weigh Belt Feeders

Thayer Scale swears by the most comprehensive among the weigh automatic belt feeders on the market. They offer both declined and inclined weight belts as part of their standard offering. In terms of design, their belt feeders are tailored to suit a variety of materials. These include coal, plastics, metals, wood chips, and the like. Apart from that, they also designed their belt feeders to handle feed ranges, from 30 pounds to 3,000 pounds per hour.

In terms of the feeder unit construction, the belt width ranges between 10 and 96 inches. The belt length, on the other hand, ranges between 24 and over 60 feet.

Moreover, Thayer Scales highlights their customized solutions, designed to support a variety of conditions. These include, for instance, automatic calibration, rigid sanitation requirements, inclined or declined conveyance, or dangerous locations. Also, the unit features accuracy in operation between more or less 0.25 to 1 percent of the flow. This is depending on the conditions of use, the material, and the technical constraints of the installation.

Additionally, the unit comes in several finish options. These include enamel or epoxy-based paints, and 304 or 316 stainless steel finish. And generally, the unit standard designs incorporated into custom configurations suit any customer space constraints.

Highlighted Features:

  • Customized solutions for unique customer space constraints
  • Precise and accurate operation
  • Various finish options
  • Custom configurations

Patz Livestock Belt Feeders

The Patz belt feeder mainly offers an advantage in price relative to its exceptional performance. Aside from that, Patz also offers versatility in layout with various valuable features. This is saying that we can add options as necessary for a custom-built feeder to suit our exact needs. By this, we can save so much expense instead of having components individually fixed.

Mounting Style

The feeder can be mounted either down the center or to the side of the feed bunks. It can also be mounted in the ceiling inside barns. The stands, on the other hand, are easily adjustable to support several feeder sections for easy installation. The belt, conversely, is durable and uses a proven alligator staple splice of stainless steel or a clipper splice. A take-up idler then offers simple regulation of belt tension and tracking.

Plow Type

Moreover, this feeder comes in a one-way and floating plows. The one-way floating plow, particularly, drops feed down the side of the feeder only. However, it can feed up to two lots with different rations using the 2-motor drive feeder. The two-way floating plow, conversely, can plow off either side of the belt. It can be used as well if we want to reverse the belt to add feed at several points. The feeding can be switched between the bunk sides using a remote electrical control. Also, it can feed up to four lots using the 2-motor drive and a plow drive assembly. There is also an optional deflector on the plow to drop the feed closer to the feeder.

Additionally, we can customize the height level of the feed and the conveyor level using an adjustable elbow. The belt can pass over the elbow, staying concave with a deep trough for the maximum capacity. Also, the feeder unit features an open-pan design for a deep trough with extra capacity. It also reduces belt friction to reduce as well the power requirements. Lastly, there is a fin pulley that helps avoid feed buildup.

Highlighted Features:

  • Custom construction
  • Various mounting options
  • Easy adjustment
  • Long durability

Metalfab APB Volumetric Belt Feeder

The APB Volumetric belt feeder of Metalfab features a rugged construction, sliding belt assembly. It boasts of the highly accurate metering for all types of pellets, powders, and agglomerates. Exceptionally, it is most suitable for feeding abrasive materials. Besides that, it is also well-suited for those that potentially smear or compress when fed by a volumetric screw feeder. Also, the APB is ideal for high volume requirements of the food and chemical industries.

Specifically, the construction of APB is of steel, carbon steel with special coatings, and 304 or 216 stainless steel. Its drive is of constant speed AC motors with variable frequency control. It also offers extended belt lengths to accommodate various customer space constraints.

Highlighted Features:

  • Rugged built, sliding belt assembly
  • Highly accurate metering
  • Steel construction and finish
  • Constant speed AC motors
  • Extended belt lengths

Related Questions

How are belt feeders and belt conveyors different from each other?

Generally, in both function and form, belt feeders are typically shorter belt conveyors. Aside from that, they also differ in three major aspects – in rate control, operational speed, and flow patterns.

Rate control is a feature by which the system operation rate can be varied. Between belt feeders and belt conveyors, the former is more capable of rate control. This is as the conveyors typically operate at a constant speed.

In terms of operation speed, on one hand, belt conveyors are better than belt feeders.

And lastly, in terms of flow patterns, feeders are typically flood-loaded. This means that all of the material is placed. The bin is in motion for the duration of withdrawal. The belt conveyors, conversely, are funnel-loaded. This means that some of the material in the bin moves while the rest of it remains stationary at the same time.

What are the specific transport mechanisms for belt feeders?

There are quite a number of techniques and transport mechanisms used for belt feeders. However, they can be classified according to the following major categories.

First is the closed-loop feedback system.

This system allows for measured output from some variable feeder. It also allows the feed rate to be varied using a local control system. This ensures that our desired rate can be maintained throughout the system operation. It is important to note, though, that the dosing tool can be different things. It can be a belt, a screw conveyor, a twin-screw conveyor, or a vibrating tube.

The next transport mechanism is the volumetric feeders.

For instance, it can be screw conveyors that deliver a predictable volumetric feed, which is driven at a variable rate.

Then, the third mechanism is the open-loop system, where the belt feeder is driven at a fixed rate.

This rate is established in advance before the operation. Lastly is another type of open-loop system. In this system, a valve or door on a feed hopper is opened by a graduated quantity. This system allows for the delivery of an approximate rate of feed.

Any of the mentioned mechanisms can be combined with subsequent checks from belt weighers. This is in order to provide a more precise and accurate flow of material. In the case of powders, grains, and liquids, flow meters do the subsequent checks.

What other industries use automatic belt feeders?

Belt feeders can also be used in mining or power generation. This is as the nature of this industry requires systems that can move material in low-headroom conditions. Also, the rugged designs make it suitable for handling materials like ore and coal.

Alternatively, belt feeders are also used in bulk material handling. Typically, they are used specifically for fairly light, fine, abrasive, free-flowing materials. The feeder units, in particular, are usually placed below storage facilities like a surge or load hoppers or silos. Also, they may be operated either horizontally or on an incline. Usually, inclines are used in livestock barns chiefly to save some headroom. Also, for such applications, the width of the belt is tailored for the material that is being handled. This primarily takes into consideration the size of the material and the required tons for every hour.

Recent Posts