Sweeney X-Feeder: Blends up to four separate components

By Jon Cooner

 Tradition, and excellence — if you look at the history of any company that has changed the way people think, you’ll find that these were among its original and continuing long-term goals. Nowhere is that more true than in the deer-nutrition industry.
Hunters hoping to harvest a record-book buck these days have a much better chance of success than ever before. Over the past 20 years, the average, annual number of Boone and Crockett and Pope & Young record book entries has increased 500 percent, and the reason is pretty simple — today’s deer hunters and managers are highly educated and increasingly committed to the science and practices commonly referred to as quality deer management. With that being the case, we hunters would be remiss if we did not recognize the debt of thanks we owe those few whose foresight and drive served as the catalysts for the revolutions we deer hunters and managers are enjoying today — pioneers like Ray Scott and John and Doris Sweeney.

The deer-nutrition industry owes its birth to Ray Scott, who while hunting on his property near Montgomery, Ala. in the 1970s noticed that deer consistently gravitated toward a certain type of clover he had planted. The event sparked an idea, and within a few years, Scott had brought the idea to fruition by founding the The Whitetail Institute. With the help of renowned plant geneticist Dr. Wiley Johnson, the Institute developed its first product, Imperial Whitetail Clover, and the rest, as they say, is history.

By that time, John and Doris Sweeney had already started a revolution of their own, in the automated-feeder industry. The Sweeneys started out in the 1960s making high-quality timers, but by 1970 their business had grown so well that they set up a dedicated shop in the Texas Hill Country and began manufacturing automated wildlife feeders. Over the years, the Sweeneys’ business continued to flourish, and Sweeney Enterprises now offers extensive lines of feeders for a broad variety of wildlife and other applications. Even though Scott and the Sweeneys had not interacted on a professional basis in those days, they shared a common belief — that by offering products of only the highest-quality and then backing them up with top-notch customer service, they would build healthy businesses that would simultaneously benefit their customers and our hunting way of life.

Deer nutrition has come a long way since those early days — light years actually, and so have the Whitetail Institute and Sweeney Enterprises. The Institute’s Imperial Whitetail Clover started the entire food plot revolution, and the Sweeneys’ first automated feeders were the genesis of the wildlife and fish-hatchery industries. Neither company was content to simply rest on its prior successes, though, and each has continued to maintain its unwavering focus on providing only the highest-quality products, exhaustively tested and backed up with dedicated customer service. As a result, their offerings remain the standards by which all other products in their industries are measured. The Whitetail Institute and Sweeney Enterprises continue to meet the needs of their customers with innovative solutions. One such product offered by the Whitetail Institute is Cutting Edge, a highly advanced, three-part nutritional supplement system for deer. Cutting Edge far surpasses the performance of traditional mineral/vitamin supplements and helps hunters and managers push their deer to achieve the maximum rack size and health their genetic blueprints will allow. Cutting Edge Initiate is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of deer during the few months of late winter and early spring, Cutting Edge Optimize for the crucial 200-day antler-growing and fawning period of spring and summer, and Cutting Edge Sustain throughout the fall and harsh winter months.

Unlike other supplements, Cutting Edge can be blended with corn or soybeans. Since traditional scatter feeders could not efficiently deliver a blend of Cutting Edge and grain to deer, though, Cutting Edge customers were limited to delivering it by either troughs or ground sites. While Cutting Edge works beautifully in either of those applications, some hunters and managers preferred to use automated feeders, and existing scatter-feeders that spread single components such as corn just didn’t allow them the flexibility to provide a balanced diet that deer need to reach their maximum genetic potential for antler development, weight and overall health. What was needed instead was a high-quality automated feeder that could blend multiple components just prior to delivery, do so in controlled amounts, and deliver it in a manner so that the entire blend would reach the deer. Thankfully, that need has been filled, and very well, by a remarkably innovative new feeder available from Sweeney Enterprises — the revolutionary new XFeeder.

From the outside, the X-Feeder resembles other Sweeney feeders. It is basically a cube that can be mounted on legs or hung from a tree or rack and dispenses its contents through an opening in its bottom. But take a look inside the top of an X-Feeder, and you’ll see the ingenious internal design that makes the Sweeney X-Feeder so unique. Unlike traditional feeders that have a single chamber, the X-Feeder is designed with four adjustable chambers that are separated from one another by walls in the shape of an X between the feeder’s internal corners. The unit can hold up to four separate components and be programmed to dispense as much or little of each as the hunter or manager desires, resulting in a truly custom mix. As the components are released and come together, two vibratory motors attached to the internal funnel blend them into an even feed/mineral mixture without caking and then drop the completed blend into a stainless steel trough. The X-Feeder can be programmed to blend two, three or four separate components such as corn, oats, wheat, beans, minerals or other supplements in whatever ratios you want and then automatically deliver the complete mix to your deer. It can also be used as a timed trough feeder or as a standard scatter feeder during hunting season.

The X-Feeder holds approximately 600 pounds of feeds or minerals and is equipped with Sweeney’s premium timer that can be programmed to feed up to 24 times per day. And in keeping with Sweeney’s continuing commitment to high quality, the X-Feeder comes with a three-year unconditional warranty. In short, if you are looking for the most versatile automated feeder on the market, Sweeney’s new XFeeder is the ticket.

For more information or to order the Sweeney XFeeder or any of the Whitetail Institute’s products, including Cutting Edge, call (800) 688-3030, ext. 1 anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit www.whitetailinstitute.com.