Heatwave Milk Warmer to be launched in New Zealand
Posted on 2017-05-08 10:44:00
NZ Agricultural Fieldays 2017 is the largest agri-business exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere. It will be held 14th-17th June and Pyon Products have been invited to exhibit the Heatwave Milk Warmer in the British Pavillion.
We are really looking forward to this event, and a lively debate on the many virtues of adlib feeding vs the traditional system. There are many myths about feeding calves (1) and having reared calves for more than 20 years we appreciate the challenges. It’s not until you try ad lib feeding that you really see the benefits. With hindsight, I would ask-“why would you not feed any youngstock on demand?”
Ad lib feeding of lambs and goat kids is already well established in the UK and reduces stress on the lambs and the rearer. The Heatwave milk warmer provides a source of warm milk giving growth rates similar to rearing on a ewe. The Heatwave can feed up to 50 lambs/goats. Refresh it once-a-day, and let the lambs feed all day.
Low labour, flexibility of feeding time, low capital investment and low maintenance are just some of the benefits of the Heatwave system. For those considering a new system for calves, there are many extra benefits.
Faster growth Feeding 1000gms of solid/day allows calves to reach their genetic potential. A target LWG of 800g/day can’t be achieved from 500g of powder. When good money is spent on semen it’s worth feeding well to see the genetic potential develop. The LifeStart Programme advocating accelerated feeding has proven that lifelong advantages persist after feeding more milk in the first 8 weeks.(2)
Reduced stocking rate Adlib feeding the bull calves allows them to reach marketable weights sooner with better grades, leaving space for the heifers to grow.
Heifers reach bulling weight & calve down earlier. (3)
Heifers give more milk/solids in their first and following lactations. (4) (5)
Improved Longevity. (6)
Healthier Digestion Feeding little & often does not overload the abomasum in the same way less frequent feeding can. Scouring is often reduced, along with fewer stomach ulcers (7) Its a more natural system – like on the cow.
Less stress (Calves and farmer alike) Calves are naturally quiet. Walk into a pen on adlib and the first thing you notice is they are quiet and content! They show no signs of stress by balling as they do when hungry.
Less cross suckling Cross suckling occurs much more often when calves are fed on a restricted system. With adlib feeding, milk is available all the time, the urge to cross suckle is removed because the teat is available.
Less Capital investment & less labour required for both feeding and cleaning equipment. Heatwave Milk Warmer will feed 30 calves on warm adlib for less than £20 per head compared with computerised feeders at £150 /head. www.heatwavemilkwarmer.com
Welfare Friendly Feeding on demand is a more natural system. A calf would normally suckle its dam 8 times a day, so restricted feeding is a compromise.
Group Rearing Adlib feeding goes hand in hand with group rearing which leads on to many other advantages. (8)
Lower Vet Bills This is anecdotal evidence from our own rearing, but I’m convinced it’s correct. The more milk I fed to a batch of calves, the lower the vet bills were for that group on a per head basis. Calves growing quickly just seem stronger and fitter and more able to fight disease.
Cost is an issue everywhere. Calves drink more milk and wean slightly later but the overall cost of rearing a calf to 100kg is about the same on any system when you look at the total costs/Kg live weight gain! They just get there faster.
So, if the cost per kg is similar and the advantages so numerous, why would you not want to consider feeding adlib?
The Heatwave feeds up to 30 calves on whole milk or milk powder.
- (1) http://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/calves-heifers/myth-busting-calf-nutrition-are-you-feeding-enough
- (2) http://www.lifestartscience.com/en/ruminants/
- (3) http://www.lifestartscience.com/en/ruminants/article-overview/tip-4-choose-a-higher-plane-of-feeding-rather-than-a-restricted-diet/1550400
- (4) http://www.lifestartscience.com/en/ruminants/article-overview/production-gains-using-lifestart/1402635
- (5) http://www.delaval.com.au/-/Dairy-knowledge-and-advice/Cow-Longevity/Scientists-view-on-cow-longevity/The-role-of-calf-nutrition-and-management-on-lifetime-productivity-of-dairy-cattle/
- (6) http://www.lifestartscience.com/en/ruminants/article-overview/a-few-weeks-define-a-lifetime/1402442
- (7) http://livestocktrail.illinois.edu/dairynet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=6577
- (8) http://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/calves-heifers/calf-group-housing-principles-and-experience