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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 356-360 in Fifth International Dairy Housing Proceedings of the 29-31 January 2003 Conference (Fort Worth, Texas USA)  701P0203.(doi:10.13031/2013.11644)
Authors:   F. Seipelt, A. Bunger, R. Heeren, D. Kähler, M. Lüllmann, G. Pohl
Keywords:   Calf & heifer facilities, Automation & labor management, Automatic calf feeding

The main objective of computer controlled calf feeders is to save labor and to avoid digestive problems by giving calves a homogenous drink several times a day. But there are major problems connected with computer controlled calf feeders including: hygiene, health control and accuracy of milk allocation. A newly developed calf feeder is now able to improve hygiene by incorporating an automatic rinsing system using detergents to clean all parts in contact with milk. Feeders can also be equipped with a flexible teat that can be disinfected after each calf visit. To control the individual calf milk consumption, a float in the mixing bowl measures the amount of milk prepared and consumed. The float is a transsonar distance sensor that is also able to monitor the drinking speed of each calf. All data are recorded and can be used to indicate the state of health of the calves.

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