Pros and cons of automated calf feeding

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Auto FeederPhoto courtesy of Grober Nutrition Thinking of switching to automated calf feeding?  It’s a practice that is growing in popularity. With its increased use have come lessons learned by those who have adopted it.

Experts at Grober Nutrition in Canada suggest that while automated calf feeding does make some aspects of calf management easier, it does come with its own, specific management requirements. 

They advise:

  • Continue to follow the basics – a clean, dry environment with proper air exchange and stocking density, and good nutrition.
  • Ensure calves consume enough milk and that the machine is set up and functioning properly. Cross-sucking, which is an issue when calves that don’t feed enough, is not normally seen in machine-fed environments unless the machines are set incorrectly and calves aren’t getting enough milk.
  • Keep the machine clean and maintain it regularly. If it does not have automatic calibration, make sure it is calibrated weekly so the right amount of water is used.
  • Work with an experienced installer who comes with good technical support, as well as with a calf room or barn designer that has examples of systems working according to your standards.

Click here to read the full text of an article from Grober on automated calf feeding.


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