What You Need To Know About The Förster-Technik Feeder

28.Nov.16

SHARE:

What You Need To Know About The Förster-Technik Feeder

The Auto Eco Lamb Feeder is easy to operate and provides low-labour feeding to help farmers rear strong, healthy lambs.

Surplus lambs will be a fact of life this season, however they can be successfully reared artificially without the issues of fostering onto an unwilling ewe.

Automatic machine feeding can dramatically reduce the labour hours required for mixing milk and feeding lambs, but they each require the combination of a good quality milk replacer, good husbandry and hygiene combined with good organisation.

The Volac ECO feeder is available for larger volumes of lambs from 40 to 240 head; it features eight outlets that can be adapted to accommodate 16 teats.

Pros

  • Low labour requirements;a precise volume of powder is automatically mixed
  • Electronic heating regulator ensures the feed is consistently kept at the specified temperature
  • Suction hose cleaning system makes for easy cleaning
  • Lambs consume milk ‘little and often’ meaning less risk of digestive upsets
  • No limit to how much or when lambs can drink
  • Faster growth

Cons

  • Highest set up costs
  • Disease can spread more easily through shared teats – hygiene is critical

We’ve caught up with a John Scott - a commercial producer to find out how he got on introducing the ECO feeder last season.

“We used to spend a significant amount of time feeding surplus lambs with bottles – up to two hours a day, however investing in the ECO last year brought major changes; the time needed to rear 120 lambs was reduced to less than 30 minutes a day and that included cleaning the feeder and refilling it with powder.

“Once we were satisfied each lamb had sufficient colostrum we’d lift them on to the feeder and they were used to it within 24 hours - some grasped straight away whilst a few required help; they were a lot more content and we ended up rearing much better quality lambs".

“Overall, the ECO has helped us to make a significant step forward in handling surplus lambs. Lifting lambs off a ewe is now a much more viable option whereas in the past we could have easily ended up with a casualty when we turned out a ewe lamb with two lambs. This coming season we plan to focus on improving lamb finishing efficiency.”

John Scott, Fearn Farm, Tain 4,200 ewes and ewe lambs