An automatic calf feeder is a suitable and reliable feeding system for people who need to monitor how their calves feed. With this feeder, your calves get to feed well even when you are not around. An automatic feeder can provide feed for about four feeding stations. This device is designed to feed about 30 calves per station making it easy and comfortable to feed a large number of calves.
What is an automatic calf feeder? An automatic calf feeder is a type of device that provides calves with an adequate amount of fresh feed and as well monitor their feeding cycle. It ensures that calves are well-fed according to their needs.
This feeding system records the feeding habit of calves and provides them to the calf owner to have an overview of all calves at any period. Let’s quickly take a look at the benefits of automatic calf feeders
Why are the Benefits of Automatic Calf Feeders?
There are lot of benefits of automatic calf feeders. These devices are not just designed to feed calves, but they are designed to make calf rearing easy for you. These devices perform lots of functions that make things easy for you. Below are the benefits of automatic calf feeders:
Ensure regular supply of feed
This is one of the benefits of automatic calf feeders. These feeders ensure that your calves are well-fed by supplying them with an adequate amount of feed. This device follows the feeding cycle that is already programmed. With this device, your calves will never lack food again and you will be assured that all calves are fed. A constant supply of food to all your calves is very important so that they won’t die of starvation.
Automatic calf feeders make other calf chores easier to do. With these feeders, you don’t need to worry about how your calves feed. They do a good job by feeding calves according to the schedule programmed in the machine. These feeders eliminate the old way of giving a small amount of feed to calves every time.
Save time and energy
Automatic cattle feeders help farmers to reduce the amount of time and energy needed to rear calves. The traditional method of feeding calves requires more time and labor input. The modern method which is the automatic calf feeders helps you to supply feed to your calves without requiring your time and energy.
With an automatic calf feeder, filing and lifting buckets become a thing of the past. This machine eliminates the daily routine of manual feeding and ensures that calves enjoy fresh milk all the time.
Allow you to design a feeding plan
Planning the amount of meal and the number of times your calves feed is very vital in monitoring the growth of your calves. Automatic calf feeders allow you to adopt a feeding plan for your calves. With this, you can also plan the amount of feed you need to buy on a weekly or monthly basis. These devices help you to plan everything concerning your calves’ feed properly.
Monitor the feeding habit of calves
Since automatic calf feeders supply well-detailed information about the feeding habit of your calves at any time this helps you to monitor your calves’ feeding habit. These feeders supply reports on the number of times each calf visits the feeder and the amount of feed each one eats. This is a good indicator for calves that are becoming sick. A calf that isn’t feeding too well might be suffering from one sickness or the other.
Provide nutritional feed to calves
According to research, automatic feeders have proved to be an effective way to feed calves with a nutritional meal. A study was conducted in which some calves were raised on an auto feeder while some were raised with the traditional method of feeding. It was revealed that those who were raised on auto feeders were healthier and grew better than those who were subjected to the traditional method of feeding.
The automatic feeder does well by mixing milk properly and dispensing milk replacer. This machine eliminates human error that is associated with the process and ensures feeding is properly managed. Auto feeders are more effective since they encourage calves to consume more feed.
Ensures optimal hygiene
The manual way of feeding calves isn’t hygienic enough since calves can still mess up the manual feeder. Another great benefit of an automatic calf feeder is that this machine ensures optimal hygiene. They reduce the risk of bacterial contamination of the milk. Most of these machines feature a cleaning cycle that is in-built set to run at least thrice daily.
What to Consider before Buying an Automatic Calf Feeder
You will need to consider some features before you buy an automatic calf feeder in order to get the right one for you. Below are the features you need to consider:
It is important that you consider where you will be installing the automatic feeder. The location has to work for you and your calves. Therefore, the machine needs to be installed where it can be easily cleaned and filed up. One thing about this machine is that there will be much liquid around them due to calves urinating on it and as such will need to be cleaned regularly.
Number of calves
The number of calves you are rearing will determine the type of machine you choose. A particular number of calves can only feed on a single machine. Therefore, you should consider this factor before you choose an auto feeder for your calves.
Automatic calf feeders require to be installed before your calves can start using them. Some models are easy to install while some are difficult to install. Ensure you go for a feeder that is easy to install.
How to Clean an Automatic Calf Feeder
Automatic calf feeders need to be cleaned regularly in order to maintain hygiene. Therefore, there are some routine measures you need to take to ensure the machine stays in good condition. The tips below will help you clean your calves’ automatic feeders.
- Make use of the proper detergent when cleaning. The best detergent to use for cleaning the internal part of the auto feeder is one that is alkaline concentrated.
- Let the quantity of the detergent be related to the amount of water used. Wash the parts and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- A good-quality manual cleaning agent is needed for external cleaning.
- Check the hopper’s powder outlet for signs of caking. Caking would restrict powder flow. You can use a tool to clean the outlet properly.
- Check the suction nipples and hoses on a regular basis and replace them if there is any damage. Nipples and hoses can breed bacteria and as such, they should be cleaned regularly. The hard-to-clean parts of nipples and hoses should be paid much attention to.
- Monitor the nipples and hoses in the wintertime to ensure that they aren’t frozen.
- Remove the nipples from the feeding station and clean them with sanitizer solution daily. Ensure you clean nipple manually to prevent any form of mold or film from developing.
- Always check the mixer cleaning cycle and clean it on a regular basis.
How do I train my calves to use automatic feeders? At one point in time, you will need to train your calves to feed on auto feeders. This might be an easy task but consistency can help you achieve your goal. Give calves some time to become used to their new environment. You will need to assist the calf to the auto feeder in the morning for the first time, and then the calf should be assisted to the feeder in the afternoon for the second time. You need to carefully train calves on the feeder and learn to utilize the train pump. Don’t hurry, it will take some time.
How do I disinfect my calf’s feeding equipment? Disinfecting feeding equipment is very important in preventing bacteria from spreading since calves directly feed on it. Equipment like the buckets, bottles, hose, and nipples need to be disinfected regularly. To disinfect, rinse feeding equipment with warm water, this helps to remove organic material. Soak them in hot water with a chlorinated alkaline detergent for about 20-30 minutes and wash thoroughly with a brush. Rinse with warm water that contains 50 ppm chlorine dioxide.
The most effective way to feed your calves is by using an automatic calf feeder. This feeder ensures that your calves are properly fed by supplying the right proportion of feed to them regularly. Automatic feeders offer users a lot of benefits. These feeders help to save time and energy and as well ensure optimal hygiene. If you are tired of feeding your calves manually, it is high time you got an automatic calf feeder.
These feeders do not only supply fresh milk to your calves, but they also supply you with information about the number of times each calf feeds and the amount of meal each takes. This helps you to monitor your calves’ feeding habits.