Calf feeder ideas

I have been playing around with a few ideas with calf milk feeders the last couple of weeks, and being about as practical as a chocolate teapot, I'm struggling to come up with anything sensible.
What I am attempting to do is come up with something that can feed large groups of calves, possibly over several separate pens, is easy to clean and replace teats etc. I would also like something simple to build and relatively cheap too. I would really appreciate any ideas or pictures of anything anyone on here has done previously.
 
I have seen people fit teats into the bottom of a large blue barrel which seams to work well. We use two heatwave machines and get on really well with them.
Thanks @HarryB97 I have looked at both but neither are exactly ideal for large batches of calves. Unless the heatwave is? I don't have any experience with them, but looking on their website they look quite expensive for the number of calves they can feed. I would be glad to know more about them.
 
I have been playing around with a few ideas with calf milk feeders the last couple of weeks, and being about as practical as a chocolate teapot, I'm struggling to come up with anything sensible.
What I am attempting to do is come up with something that can feed large groups of calves, possibly over several separate pens, is easy to clean and replace teats etc. I would also like something simple to build and relatively cheap too. I would really appreciate any ideas or pictures of anything anyone on here has done previously.
 

Attachments

HarryB97

Member
Thanks @HarryB97 I have looked at both but neither are exactly ideal for large batches of calves. Unless the heatwave is? I don't have any experience with them, but looking on their website they look quite expensive for the number of calves they can feed. I would be glad to know more about them.
We have two heatwaves for 40 calves but they could feed more, hardest part is having enough milk storage. Easy to clean, temperature controlled, can be used for pet lambs and don't take up much room and speed the job up massively.
 
We have two heatwaves for 40 calves but they could feed more, hardest part is having enough milk storage. Easy to clean, temperature controlled, can be used for pet lambs and don't take up much room and speed the job up massively.
I'm thinking more along the lines of quick and easy feeding for 100+ calves at once. Going by the reccomended numbers for heat waves it gets expensive for me 😕
 

HarryB97

Member
I'm thinking more along the lines of quick and easy feeding for 100+ calves at once. Going by the reccomended numbers for heat waves it gets expensive for me 😕
Fair enough the only problem with lots of feeders is how long it takes to clean them properly everyday and with that many calves to feed you will waste a lot of time which is your most valuable asset. An IBC tank cut in half with teats round it would feed a lot.
 

Sheepykid

Member
We have two heatwaves for 40 calves but they could feed more, hardest part is having enough milk storage. Easy to clean, temperature controlled, can be used for pet lambs and don't take up much room and speed the job up massively.
How do you find your milk usage on the heatwave for rearing calves? I guess being ad lib your using a bag and a half a calf? We have a heatwave for pet lambs but I’ve not used it on calves before.
 

HarryB97

Member
How do you find your milk usage on the heatwave for rearing calves? I guess being ad lib your using a bag and a half a calf? We have a heatwave for pet lambs but I’ve not used it on calves before.
We generally work on a bag and a qaurter but will increase this if we have some small ones, I buy a tonne of powder for 35-40. As they are on adlib I decrease the amount of powder per litre to around 90-100 grams as at peak they are drinking over 12 litres per day! We run two 180 litre JFC mixer trolleys, one 100 litre Wyedale and have several big tubs as well as a backup.
 

Sheepykid

Member
We generally work on a bag and a qaurter but will increase this if we have some small ones, I buy a tonne of powder for 35-40. As they are on adlib I decrease the amount of powder per litre to around 90-100 grams as at peak they are drinking over 12 litres per day! We run two 180 litre JFC mixer trolleys, one 100 litre Wyedale and have several big tubs as well as a backup.
How do you find the changeover to concentrate on a high intake of milk powder? Or as you dilute it I guess they go for cake more. How long do you leave them on milk?
 
We generally work on a bag and a qaurter but will increase this if we have some small ones, I buy a tonne of powder for 35-40. As they are on adlib I decrease the amount of powder per litre to around 90-100 grams as at peak they are drinking over 12 litres per day! We run two 180 litre JFC mixer trolleys, one 100 litre Wyedale and have several big tubs as well as a backup.
What age are you weaning at?
 

Zippy768

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Dorset/Wilts
We generally work on a bag and a qaurter but will increase this if we have some small ones, I buy a tonne of powder for 35-40. As they are on adlib I decrease the amount of powder per litre to around 90-100 grams as at peak they are drinking over 12 litres per day! We run two 180 litre JFC mixer trolleys, one 100 litre Wyedale and have several big tubs as well as a backup.
How many grams of milk powder do you reckon they drink a day at peak?
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Don't worry about powder use. Get a good quality powder, pay the money and watch them thrive. Being stingy with the stuff is the complete wrong mindset. As someone else mentioned and overall animal performance are the main concerns.
Kiwi high concentrate powder method (Pukowa) reduces milk powder substantially. Calves don't look as good initially, but no weight difference once 12onth old.

I've not used it myself but definitely something to bear in mind.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
178,872
Messages
4,073,945
Members
44,855
Latest member
Caroline Harriott

Collecting NRoSO and BASIS Points from Arable Scotland

  • 73
  • 0
If you missed any of the sessions then please see the Arable Scotland Website or the threads below for all the webinars and our virtual field tours.

We would be grateful if you would take the time to complete this feedback form to allow us to improve any future online events - http://hutton.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aVFm7vBOxONsYAd

If you did not fill in your BASIS / NRoSo membership number on your registration form but would like points please email Events@hutton.ac.uk with your membership number and postcode and the sessions that you viewed.

We look forward to hopefully seeing you back in the field next year.
Top