Automatic feeders are available for hire or purchase. Each can automatically feed groups of up to 50 calves or 70 lambs at a time, dramatically reducing workload required for mixing and feeding calves or lambs. However, a high level of management skill is still essential.
For calf feeding, the machine should be set to mix at 40°C, to provide mixed milk at the teat at approximately 37°C. The machine should be cleaned daily and calibrated regularly.
For lamb feeding, milk may be offered warm (39C/102F) on a restricted basis during the early training period. However, once suckling from the teat on an adlib basis, the milk temperature should be reduced to 18-20C/ 66-70F, to reduce the risk of health problems caused by over consumption. The machine should be cleaned daily and calibrated regularly.
Teat feeding stimulates salivation and the oesophageal groove reflex, which helps improve milk digestion. Young animals suckle on a ‘little and often’ basis, avoiding overloading of enzymes in the digestive system, and reducing the risk of digestive disorders.
On this system, young animals can realise their growth potential through improved performance compared to a restricted bucket feeding system.
Pointers for success
- Group animals by weight and age
- Allocate no more than 10 calves per teat
- Ensure teats are placed at a natural height, with the outlet horizontal (see diagram below)
- Supervised introduction to teat is critical
- Inspect calves / lambs individually each day
- Clean mix bowl every day
- Check machine calibration weekly
- Provide fresh dry feed and clean water at all times
- Place machine in a level and well drained location and keep teat lines as short as possible
- After each batch of calves / lambs, clean auger, check tank for scale and sediment and sterilise teats and milk lines
- Capacity of machine: up to 50 calves or 70 lambs
- Capacity of hopper: 33kg
- Capacity of water tank: 25 litres
- Working capacity of mixing bowl: 2.0 litres
- Batch delivery of water: factory-calibrated to 0.5 litre per cycle (adjustable to 1.0 litre per cycle)
- Width: 690mm
- Depth: 650mm
- Height: 900mm
- Weight: 35kg
- Power requirements: 2500 Watts at 220/240v 50 HZ
Please phone us free on 0800 919808, or contact your Volac Business Manager (Click here for details) for further information and details of your local stockist.