“Calves are the future of your herd so giving them the best from day one is essential if they are to grow up to be the best possible replacements in your milking herd”, says Addi Kidson. The Lely Calm can help do just that, while also helping balance labour requirements on the farm.
After the all-important colostrum in the first few days of life the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder can then take over to deliver freshly made milk until weaning. There are two types of Calm available depending on how many calves are on the farm at any one time. The Calm Compact has two feeding stations and can look after up to 50 calves, while the Vario with four feeding stations is suitable for up to 120 calves.
Calves are able to choose when and how frequently they feed, up to a daily maximum volume set by the farmer. Individual calves are identified via their electronic transponder or collar, when they enter the milk station the Calm will prepare fresh milk for that calf according to its daily allowance.
As the Calm has its own boiler it needs its own water and electricity supply. This also means the machine is able to wash itself automatically, up to four times per day, Addi explains. Further options including fly screen, Hygiene box and anti-moisture elements are also available for those wanting further hygiene provisions. The only labour requirements therefore are to ensure a fresh supply of powder and overall monitoring of stock; she explains, leaving you time for other tasks.
Aside from the obvious time savings, other benefits include more control over feed costs, due to the ability to analyse feed costs per calf, says Addi. “Wastage is also minimised as the Calm mixes half a litre at a time.”
“Consistency is the big thing though,” she says. “The Lely Calm will consistently deliver the correct quantity of milk replacer required and automatically scale up the allowance so that the calf receives the optimum amount for her age as per the implemented feeding schedule put in place by the farmer, normally in conjunction with a nutritionist."
“It also keeps milk at a very precise 39 degrees C. The Calm is a tried and tested product and an easy and effortless system to feed calves.”
Weighing scales are another option and when included can generate more data to help farmers utilise the benefits of the system in relation to their specific rearing strategy. “You can create a tailored feeding plan on a per calf basis.”
Paying close attention to calf nutrition is key if youngstock are to achieve targets within the right time frame for your individual system. “It really pays to invest in getting it right because if those targets are missed it can have a knock-on effect on the organisation of your herd.”
For further information on Lely Calm talk to your local Lely Center or visit www.lely.com/gb/explore-lely-calm/