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jat4i February 8th, 2011 15:44

Feeding my cattle many times per day
I'm Jeffrey Turner from Middle Tennessee. I'm getting ready to begin using an automatic feeder for a few Holstein show heifers of mine. I would like to get some ideas or suggestions as to how I might could experiment with my new feeder. Also, if you have any questions please ask, and I will try to get them answered as quickly as possible. I would love lots of feedback.

BecM February 20th, 2011 02:27

Hi Jeffrey. Unfortunately this forum is very slow at the best of times! I was excited to find it a couple of years ago and posted under a different name but gave up when I never got any responses from anyone!

What kind of ration are you feeding and how old are your heifers? Also, which brand of feeder is it; I have worked with the De Laval robotic feeders (milk and grain) but generally the software for these feed systems are pretty straightforward to use (once you understand the basics ofcourse!).

Are they beef or dairy by the way? I work in the dairy industry in Australia and am alsways interested to know how people do things elsewhere!

jat4i February 22nd, 2011 00:33

Hello. I would like to know how you do things in Australia as well! This is the Auto Feeder 2500 from SolarFeeder, Inc. You can check out to learn more about the feeder I am using. I will start using the feeder in a couple of weeks due to a lot I am fencing off. I will be feeding beef heifers to begin with. I will be feeding them an 18% protein local mixed ration. Later in the spring I will have my Holstein show heifers on the feeder, which I feed a high protein ration.

BecM February 27th, 2011 07:38

Those feeders look great. Do they just drop a pre programmed amount to feed all your cows at the same time or is it microchip activated when a cow puts its head in? We use NLIS tags over here (which contain a chip) and most feed systems in dairies and feedlots run off these.

What else is in your feed apart from protein meal? And what type of protein is it? (canola/lupin/soy etc)

I am of the opinion that cows do their best on grass,from a rumen health point of view, but working in dairy, we do use very high (6-15kg....13-35lb I think) of predominantly wheat based ration. It is unarguable that in finishing animals a little ration goes a long way and I am a big fan of biproduct rations (we use grape marc/brewers grain/olive pomace/citrus pulp etc) but they are only really being used experimentally over here at present. I also love kelp and molasses as a substitute for more traditional mineral rations. All my own beefies have done brilliantly on those two and they have the additional bonus of stimulating appetite.

let me know how you go with the feeder!

jat4i March 14th, 2011 15:38

Up and running
The feeder is in with the cattle and working tremendously well. I put the feeder in on Saturday, and the cows are already learning the feeding times. I have 20 first calf cows (therefore small) on the Auto Feeder 2500 and they all have room to eat. I have the feeder set to feed twice each day.

These are beef cattle on the feeder now, and most of my protein is soy. The feed comes out to all the cattle just as if you were pouring the feed out to cattle in a trough. No micro-chip technology is required.

BecM March 17th, 2011 05:39

Sounds like a great set up for smaller producers. No hassles, no mould issues, less bullying. Do you have the creep set=up or do they have to jostle for position?

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