DeLaval Optimat™ contributes to an increase of up to five litres of milk produced per cow daily and reduces feed wastage by 50% and more
Feeding is often the biggest expense on any dairy farm. The labour costs related to and the feed itself amount to up to 70% of any farms’ production costs. Making feeding methods more efficient does not just save costs, it increases milk yields. DeLaval is constantly updating its solutions to fit those requirements and with the latest inclusion of DeLaval Optimat™ to its feeding solutions is coming a long way in contributing to this.
Automatic feeding solutions allow you to provide the exact measurements ensuring every cow gets the right quality of fresh feed frequently throughout the day, resulting in less stressed cows, fed at the right amount and producing more milk as a result. “We have farms with 60 cows and others with 600 cows using our automatic feeding system, DeLaval Optimat™, says Beata Kruba-Wroblewska, Feeding Systems Assortment Manager at DeLaval “and they all see benefits in feeding efficiency.” One such farm is Karl Fredik Okkenhaug’s in Norway. His herd of 70 cows is now fed eight times a day. Cow traffic has improved and milk production is up. “Since implementing the new feeding system, milk production has increased by about 5 litres per cow,” says Okkenhaug.
Scientific studies* show that cows fed several times a day have a more stable rumen pH which in turn leads to increased milk yield.
Farms using automatic feeding can give their herd feed more frequently during the day. If the feed is fresh, the cow is more likely to eat it abundantly. This results in higher milk yields but also in less waste on the feed table. In fact, using a system like DeLaval Optimat™ can reduce feed wastage by 50% and more.
Systems like DeLaval Optimat™ also allow for providing exactly the right amount of feed to each group of cows no matter where in the lactation cycle they are. Managing the recommendations of the FAO** are easy to manage with automatic feeding systems. DeLaval Optimat™ for example, can be integrated with DeLaval DelPro™ Farm Manager where individual cows can be fed according to their needs with the help of concentrate feed stations making sure that each single cow gets the right feed. This will avoid underfeeding the high producing early lactation cows as well as over feeding of the low producing cows at the end of lactation.
Feeding is one of the most time-consuming tasks on a farm which is why so many dairy farmers feed just twice a day even if more frequent feeding will help increase milk yields. Farmers using DeLaval Optimat™ have been able to considerably decrease the number of hours spent on feeding. Typically they go from 21 hours a week spent on feeding to just four hours a week on a 300 cow size farm. In addition, the work can be scheduled more efficiently, allowing more time for other activities on the farm.
* Reference to the scientific report on rumen pH (see above)
** FAO Guidelines for Feeding Dairy Cows * Automatic feeding systems for dairy cattle – potential for optimization in dairy farming. Anne Grothmann, Franz Nydegger, Christoph Moritz, Carlo Bisaglia
For more information:
Kristina Hunter Nilsson
Manager External Communications
+46 72 5099992
DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health. Our solutions are used by millions of dairy farmers around the globe every day.
DeLaval was founded more than 130 years ago in Sweden, when the visionary Gustaf de Laval patented the cream separator. Today, DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 markets. DeLaval, alongside Tetra Pak and Sidel, is part of the Tetra Laval Group. See more at www.delavalcorporate.com.