Feeding is one of the most important and costly aspects of dairy farming. However, feeding can also be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, especially for large herds. Many dairy farmers are looking for innovative and efficient solutions to optimize their feeding management. One of these solutions is the feeding robot, a smart and autonomous device that distributes the feed according to the needs and preferences of each group of cows. The feeding robot can operate 24/7, ensuring the cows always have a fresh and balanced feed. The feeding robot can also monitor the feed intake and behavior of the cows, and adjust the feed accordingly. The feeding robot can also reduce feed waste, labor costs, and environmental impact.
The feeding robot is part of a larger system of automated feeding systems that integrate with other technologies and data sources to provide feeding solutions. It helps farmers achieve optimal feed efficiency, animal health, and milk quality. In this article, we will share a story (which happened in November 2021) that how the automatic feeding robot - Sveaverken RoboPusher Pro beat the conventional feeding way. The story has shown that cattle feeding systems boosted the milk yield by 0.8kg/cow/day, which translates to a significant increase in income and profitability for ranches. Read on to find out how the feeding robot achieved this remarkable result, and what benefits from it.
Challenge: Qiu was struggling with manual feed pushing
Saishang Yinghui Ranch is a large-scale dairy farm with 5 cowsheds and 2,500 cows. Feeding the cows regularly and efficiently is a major challenge for the ranch. The ranch used to rely on manual labor to push the feed to the cows once an hour, but this was often disrupted by other tasks or weather conditions. As a result, the cows could not eat fresh feed in time, and the amount of leftover feed was hard to control, leading to large variations in daily milk production.
“For a long time, this difficulty has been troubling us. We tried many ways to solve it, such as asking the two workers to record their pushing times on a sheet or taking a video every day, but none of them worked well. The workers had many other things to do, so they sometimes forgot to or delayed pushing the feed. By the next day, we would find a lot of leftovers.” Qiu, the manager of Yinghui Ranch, said with frustration. He is responsible for the daily operations of the ranch and is concerned a lot about the feeding frequency and the leftover amount, which directly affect the profitability of the ranch. “Bringing on additional employees to transport the feed may not be a viable solution as it could increase the ranch’s costs and finding qualified individuals can be challenging.”
Solution: RoboPusher Pro added value to ranch business
That’s why Qiu and Yang (one of the heads of the ranch) decided to introduce automated feeding systems to help them manage the ranch better. They had only seen robotic feeding systems in foreign ranches a few years ago, but they didn’t know much about its features and benefits.
As requested, the Sveaverken team elaborated on the functions of RoboPusher Pro to them and analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of the current mainstream products on the market. Wei, Sveaverken's local dealer from Ningxia, China, said “When I saw the leaflet of Sveaverken’s feed pusher, I was impressed by how different it was from other products. It uses visual navigation technology, which eliminates the need for any farm construction or modification. It can work for a whole day after just 2.5 hours of charging, without causing any extra hassle for the ranch. It truly solves the problem of feeding frequency!”
Until then, Yang finally made a decision of buying 5 feed pushers, one for each cowshed. And it turned out that they got benefits from it.
(RoboPusher Pro is working at the cowshed.)
Benefits: how feeding robot boosted milk production
Qiu was skeptical about how such a slow-moving machine could ensure the frequency and efficiency of automatic feed pushing. And, a machine that can automatically push feed to the cows according to a set schedule? After using it for half a year, he was amazed by the results. “Machine won’t lie”, he said. “The robot consistently moves fresh feed to the cows every hour, ensuring that no feeding times are missed and providing peace of mind to me. The cows get more intake and so the milk production increased. The average daily yield has increased by 0.5-0.8 kg per cow, and the amount of leftover feed has been reduced from 2-8% to about 3%. This helps me monitor the cows’ feed ration more easily.”
Qiu was also impressed by the robot’s easy maintenance and high reliability. “The results have exceeded our expectations and it has proven to be a valuable investment.”, he said. When the battery is low, the robot goes back to the charging station and charges automatically. It’s easy to program and operate, and it can work in different environments and layouts. It’s much more convenient and cost-effective than manual labor or vehicles.
(RoboPusher Pro is returning to the charge station.)
Future: to achieve goals with smart technologies
Intelligence is the key to the future of ranch business, Yang believes that “I want to develop my ranch better and operate at a lower cost. To make it happen, we need smart technologies in every aspect, from feeding to monitoring. For example, a convenient and reliable platform to manage cattle; feed them according to standards and daily feed cost monitoring.”
Yang also has ambitious goals for the future - a five-year plan for his ranch: 3,500-4,000 cows with 3,000 lactating ones, an average daily yield of 38 kilograms, and a labor reduction of 15-20%. He expressed his anticipation for the Sveaverken feed pushing robot and other intelligent devices to assist with the task.
Now you have learned how the feeding robot improves ranch productivity and profitability. Pushing fresh feed to the cows, the feeding robot ensures stable daily food intake for your cattle, which leads to higher milk production and lower labor costs. This is a practical and proven solution that many ranches have already adopted and benefited from. If you are still struggling with traditional feeding methods and want to upgrade your ranch’s performance, contact us or get a quote for the latest cattle feeding systems right away. For more farming products, you may visit Sveaverken's official website.