A Dutch veal farmer feeds his 1,100 veal calves with the FEEDR, an intelligent feeding robot. This robot can monitor exactly what the needs of the individual animal are and can therefore deliver exactly enough feed. The robot feeds the animals small portions several times a day, instead of a large portion once. A major advantage of this is that the feed is always fresh. Consistently fresh feed ensures that the calves are healthier, thus reducing the use of antibiotics. The following are other advantages and disadvantages of the robot system.
+ Low labour requirement
+ Accurate feeding and higher feed intake (improved growth is an indicator of a healthier animal)
+ Better animal health (less use of antibiotics)
+ Little residual feed
+ Energy efficient
+ Lower costs for barn construction (narrow feeding alleys)
+ Little adaptation of existing stables required
+ No feed kitchen, roughage stays fresh longer (better for the health of the animal)
– High purchase costs
– Can only process grass silage in chopped form
– Milk truck and bulk truck drivers sometimes find routing robot difficult.
The FEEDR can be used directly in almost all stables. It has been developed to provide pellets in raised troughs to white veal calves. For feeding larger quantities of roughage to sheep or rosé veal calves, adjustments have been made to the robot to allow the system to run smoothly.