Ethiopia’s livestock population is the largest in Africa, however different factors or constraints limit the full exploitation of the agricultural sector in general and the livestock sub sector in particular. In the country, the availability, quality and quantity of feed has always been a challenge in the livestock sector. Poor feed resources management, especially those of the bulky and fibrous crop residue is one of the constraints. Forage chopping is considered to be part of crop residue management, a common process done by most local farmers in livestock feeding. This process is laborious and takes more. To alleviate this, using forage chopper is an important remedy. The primary goal of this study was to design, fabricate, and evaluate the performance of the forage chopper machine. The performance of the machine was evaluated using sorghum forage variety (Chelenko) with treatments of the engine seed, feed rate and feed thickness using factorial design with three replications. The heights mean chopping capacity of (581.24 kg/h), the finest of (shortest) mean cut length (6.23 mm), the heights chopping efficiency of (0.97) and the mean lowest fuel consumption of (0.50 ml/s) was recorded. The operation speed was observed to be highly significant among the treatments, at significance level of 0.01. Based on the result obtained, it is recommended to use a power source with higher horse power and speed and electric motor in areas where electric power is available to avoid vibration.
Key words: Design, fabrication, feed chopper machine, sorghum forage variety (Chelenko).
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