Dairy farmers were sure to find new ideas to help them run their farms more efficiently at EuroTier as lots of technologies and equipment were on display.
Keeping cows comfortable and rearing healthy calves were 2 areas that were extensively addressed by numerous manufacturers at the show. From a simple feeding unit to a novel method of collecting cow urine, these products and others were exhibited to the over 106,000 visitors from 141 countries that attended. Here are just some of the interesting dairy exhibits that attracted a lot of attention at EuroTier 2022.
When it comes to bedding, cows in cubicles or calves in pens, Wasserbauer’s Flypit bedding machine has proven a popular choice. The Flypit provides regular bedding in the individual pens or cubicles for dry lying areas and improved hygiene. This improves the health of animals in the barn in the long term.
Round or square bales of straw are fed into the Flypit and the fully automatic system does the rest. Straw is cut into smaller pieces by the milling system and transported to the Flypit on a conveyor belt. Using rails on the ceiling, the Flypit reaches every corner of the barn where the cut straw is scattered several times per day. Powered by electricity, the Flypit has a capacity of 2,000l and the dust is removed with a special extraction system. Dimensions are 2.6m x 1.4m x 1.7m. All functions can be controlled from a mobile phone or tablet.
Every cubicle house needs a toilet, so Dutch company Hanskamp came up with one for cows. The CowToilet collects urine directly from the source and separately from faeces, to ensure both nutrients can be optimally used separately. As the urine does not come into contact with the faeces, considerably less ammonia is formed. This deals with an ammonia surplus at the source and makes the CowToilet a solution to reduce emissions.
The CowToilet uses a natural nerve reflex that causes the cow to urinate. This technique has been automated by Hanskamp and integrated into a specially designed CowToilet cubicle that can be placed in any dairy shed. The urine is collected in the reservoir of the CowToilet and is then pumped out and stored separately.
Designed for feeding dairy cows or heifers, the Valmetal Supercart VA is a self-propelled unit powered by an engine. Ranging in capacity from 0.9 cubic metres to 2.7 cubic metres, the Supercart is equipped with a 12-inch discharge auger fitted on the right-hand side. The operator simply stands on the cart when using it, or a seat can be attached for extra comfort.
All the way from the US, the Colostrum Care Centre is a processing unit designed to offer complete handling of colostrum from cow to calf. It carries out the bagging, pasteurising, cooling, rewarming and feeding in one machine. After the cows first milking, the colostrum is collected and put into 1-gallon colostrum bags.
The cooling zone contains a chilled water bath of 2-4°C used to immediately chill the post-pasteurised colostrum to stop bacteria growth, then keeps it refrigerated until it’s time to feed to the next calf. The pasteurise zone utilises the heat generated from the chilling system to preheat the water. When the pasteurising cycle begins, it utilises an electric element to supply any additional heat needed to achieve and maintain a pasteurising temperature of 60°C. The rewarming zone will bring the pasteurised colostrum to feeding temperature.
One of the many shed-scraping robots in action at EuroTier was the Auto Scraper Spray model from Royal de Boer. This unit is fully programmable in terms of cleaning routes, frequency of cleaning and progress reporting.
The robotic scraper comes in 3 versions. The most straightforward one, and also the base unit, is the Auto-Scraper. The Auto-Scraper Pro is more intelligent, and the Auto-Scraper Spray is equipped with a water spray system. The machine follows the sides of the barn and stops when it reaches its charging station. In places where no side guides are available, beams with a height of 8cm should be placed. The scraper robot will initiate its next lap when the next pre-programmed start time begins. The Auto-Scraper robot is available in operating widths of 140, 170 and 200cm.
Hoof trimming is a vital management procedure for livestock farmers, and Swiss company Buri had the ultimate purpose-built piece of equipment on its stand. Its KP303 and KP304 crushes make the job of hoof trimming an easier task for the operator as it has guides to easily fix the cow’s legs into a safe position, which are perfectly adapted to the movements of the animals.
Foldable panels on the side manoeuvre to allow easy entry and exit of the animal. Plus, it is built from strong materials and drains away water easily. Optional extras include a mounted toolbox, a swivel arm with spotlight and holder for the angle grinder and a permanently installed wall socket. The operator has a safe and spacious area to work in, which offers a back-friendly position. The show cost of this unit was €7,150 plus VAT.
New regulations for rearing calves are making their way through Europe, which includes bigger rearing spaces per calf. Dutch company, Topcalf, displayed its Duo Easy Clean XXL unit that gives 4.5sqm lying space per calf. This calf pen is easily moved by a forklift, is made of galvanised steel, and tilts over to allow easy cleaning. The unit sits on 4 castor wheels, the front 2 with brakes. It has 2-part front doors that enable easy entry into the calf hutch without disturbing a drinking calf. There is a removable partition, and optional extras include tiltable bucket holders with a locking system.