• • • New ideas for feeding and housing calves
German company Patura has introduced its mobile milk express unit that can feed up to 50 calves at once. The tank holds 500 litres of milk that is mixed within three to five minutes with the onboard Honda four-stroke pump. This unit can be transported all around the farm and placed either indoors in pens or outdoors in the fields. The unit on display had 30 teats therefore could feed 30 calves, but this can be increased to 50 if the farmer requires it. There is also a five-metre dispensing nozzle at the rear of the feeder should the operator prefer to feed calves in single pens, dispensing the milk from the large tank. This complete unit with 30 teats costs in the region of C$10,558.
Dutch company VDK Products has developed the CalfOTel Hybrid which houses the calves from one day old to three months old in a multiple-occupancy hutch made of fibreglass-reinforced polyester with a smooth inner coating. The hutch can be divided with partitions to suit calf numbers and is very easily cleaned and disinfected. The opening door at the front allows for easy access and visibility of the animals to the farmer. Its overall shape and adjustability provides a good microclimate in all weather conditions for the young calves. The CalfOTel Hybrid costs C$5,279 for the four-calf model.