When a calf drinks from its mother, it usually drinks adequate portions spread over the day. However, in today’s dairy industry when a calf is fed manually, this is restricted to once or twice a day. This is why Lely has introduced the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder, which supplies the correct portion and concentration of feed spread over the day, resembling the natural behaviour of the calf. The Calm calf feeder offers the calves an outstanding start, while giving labour savings and many economic benefits. The accurate and small portions spread over the day enhance substantially the development of the digestive organs of the calf, while feeding and monitoring 60 calves takes only 20 minutes per day with the Calm calf feeder. The Calm calf feeder is an absolute must for each dairy farm that puts animal welfare at the top of its priority list.
When a calf drinks from its mother, it usually drinks adequate portions spread over the day. However, in today’s dairy farming when a calf is fed manually, this is restricted to once or twice a day. This is why Lely introduced the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder, which supplies the correct portion and concentration of feed spread over the day, resembling the natural behaviour of the calf. The Calm calf feeder offers the calves an outstanding start, while giving labour savings and many economic benefits. The accurate and small portions spread over the day substantially enhance the development of the digestive organs of the calf. Calves are weaned gently by gradually reducing their milk portions. Slowly reducing the milk yield will ensure that the calves automatically increase their intake of roughage. Monitoring your calves only takes a few minutes per day with the Calm calf feeder. The Lely Calm is an absolute must for each dairy farm that puts animal welfare at the top of its priority list. The Lely Calm is the perfect way of preparing for a milk producing life with a milking robot. The animals learn from a young age to get their milk; this makes them assertive and, above all, they become accustomed to automatic feeders and all the noises that they make. The dairy farmer will profit from this when a heifer walks into an automatic milking system for the first time. A Lely Calm automatic calf feeder will pay for itself by means of healthier calves, increased growth, increased feed efficiency and labour savings. A Lely Calm offers labour-savings of 60 to 70%; it will pay for itself in three years. The Calm calf feeder is a reliable calf feeder with minimal maintenance.
As soon as a calf enters a milk station, it is recognised by its electronic transponder and, according to the calf’s’ feeding plan, the Lely Calm calf feeder decides if it is allowed to drink, and how much. A minimum and maximum portion of milk per visit can be set for each calf, then the calf feeder will automatically determine the ration per calf. If the calf is indeed allowed to drink, the calf feeder immediately prepares a fresh portion of milk at the predetermined temperature.
The Lely Calm also offers a learning function. One push at the button provides a small shot of milk which helps you to teach your calves how to drink from the feeder. The drinking station will work every time the same way, dosing pre-set amount of milk in a pre-set temperature. Calves easily get acquainted with the automatic calf feeder. The Lely drinking station is very easy to adjust to various sizes of calves.
The Calm calf feeder gives you the fl exibility to check the performance of the calves whenever you want. The Lely Calm can be connected to Lely’s T4C advanced management programme, giving you a clear overview and ease of control of all your calves through your PC. It also allows you to generate reports and graphs of milk rations per calf. You can choose for feeding only fresh milk, only powder milk or a combination of both.
How does it work?
This is how the Lely Calm works
The Lely Calm automatically mixes a measure of milk powder and hot water (the drinking temperature is 39 degrees / 102.2 F) to one portion of milk. The milk powder should be suitable for automatic feeders. The automatic feeder recognizes the animals from the transponders around their necks. As a result, the Calm knows exactly how much milk the calf should have, and not a drop more or less. Due to this individual recognition, calves of different ages can be held in one group, but it is also possible to have one feeder operate for two separate groups. When calves do not come to the feeder, the Calm will make an attention list of the animals that did not feed and in this way these animals will demand the attention of the farmer.
One of the most important aspects of the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder’s benefits is the labour saving. Labour availability is becoming more and more important on dairy farms. Farmers and their workers will have to improve efficiency even further to be able to achieve a reasonable income and the calf rearing is an area where often some very large savings can be made. One of the biggest savings is the reduction of time for milk preparation and the actual feeding of the milk. The Calm calf feeder works from a central unit, which prepares the milk and distributes it to a drinking station where the calf will receive her portion. Cleaning is another feature; no more cleaning of all the buckets. The Calm feeder can be equipped with an automatic cleaning kit. Due to the central feeding alley compared to feeding roughage per pen this time is reduced as well. The Calm calf feeder will also drastically reduce management time, which is done by the exception reports and alerts you will receive from the process controller. Some considerable additional benefits can come from the extra time available for observation of the calves.
A Lely Calm automatic calf feeder will pay for itself by means of healthier calves, increased growth, decreased milk powder consumption and labour savings. The Calm calf feeder is a reliable calf feeder with minimal maintenance. The annual cost of the machine is therefore much lower than the annual profit per reared calf. The calves are more efficient with the milk powder due to the fact that they are better fed. Due to the better factors of feeding the vet will not have to visit your calves, which is another saving. One of the major aspects is labour and especially on large farms, where special people are employed, for rearing calves. They will feel the relief of their physical work. On farms rearing 60 calves per year the machine will pay for itself within three years. Our representatives are always willing to make calculations for your own dairy farm. Moreover, do not forget to take into account that an excellent start with the Calm calf feeder will contribute to having the milking heifers on their insemination weight a couple of months quicker, resulting in earlier calving of the heifer. This will have a positive effect on your pre-production milking costs!
Internal cleaning of the Lely Calm automatic calf feeder is done automatically. Additional options are available to further improve on the hygiene aspects of the Calm calf feeder. The fl y protection protects the mixer jar and the powder outlet against dirt coming into a freshly prepared portion of milk. In the winter time when the vapour creates condensation to the powder outlet above the mixer jar, this can result into the building up of milk powder at the powder outlet. The powder outlet can be equipped with an additional heating element to keep the outlet dryer.
Modern calf housing offers maximum comfort for calves and labour-saving management. Each calf should have sufficient accommodation area with a minimum of 1.10 m2 lying area per calf. The benefit of group housing is that social interaction between the animals is increased. A well littered and well-aired lying area improves calf health and is easy to observe. Also, the dung removal from the accommodation area should be easy. Keep Lely Calm automatic calf feeder in an insulated store- and function room where you have a frost-free water supply, dry and clean storage for milk powder and concentrates and convenient operation of the automatic feeder in all weathers. An adequate feeding place guarantees the best possible growth for your calves. Every animal should have her own feeding place.
• Time saving.
• Quicker growth rate.
• Better rumen development.
• Labour fl exibility.
• Individual calf management.
• Stable and exact milk temperature.
• Flexible feeding schedules.
• Weaning without stress.
• Suitable for all farm sizes
For calves housed in groups, a Lely Calm automatic calf feeder is the perfect solution. Depending on the type of automatic feeder, it can provide 25-30 calves with
predetermined portions of milk several times a day. This way of feeding is particularly suited to the biorhythm of the animal. The calf drinking station prepares each
portion in the same way.
- Distribution to a natural pattern over the day.
- Fresh preparation of each portion.
- Correct temperature of 39 degrees Celsius (102 F) for the calf’s digestive system.
- Accurate distribution of milk powder.
- Milk quantity per visit may depend on the age of the calf.
This results in a better health and growth. Loss is limited during the rearing stage. The Calm provides milk at a constant temperature, at the same concentration and in portions that are precisely adapted to the calf’s needs. It is also quite easy to feed the animals four times a day and then gradually reduce the milk yield so that weaning takes place slowly. The animals will then have more time for the intake of roughage which will stimulate rumen development. The calves will be trained to the stage of ruminant more quickly and will have less weaning problems.