Automated calf 'box' offers cheaper, better hygiene
and strategic straw dispenser offers a more hygienic and less
labour-intensive way of raising dairy cattle, its creator claims.
Swedish firm Moving Floor has developed and patented the concept, and is now searching for partners anywhere in Europe to aid commercial development, marketing and licensing.
Each box fits between five and eight calves and contains a moving rubber floor to remove manure and a dispenser for spreading new straw, both controlled automatically by a computer.
The technology should reduce risks of infection and disease among the calves. Regular sanitation and a hygienic environment are crucial in preventing highly contagious diseases like mastitis, which can, and has, destroyed whole herds.
"The moving floor moves from the rear of the box bringing with it a newly bedded surface," said the firm. The floor surface is changed about 1.5 times every 24 hours, but can be reset according to individual needs, and manure is collected in a stainless steel bin.
And Moving Floor gave assurances that animals were not at risk.
"The floor moves so slowly that the calves take no notice," it said, adding that safety brakes were also installed and that a fan for improved ventilation could be added.
The box is mounted on wheels so it can be moved around easily to fit in any barn.
Moving Box believes its calf breeding box, which is currently being tested by selected customers, will save labour costs on cleaning and will also reduce ammonia gases and the number of flies in the barn.
For more information, contact Moving Floor.