At EuroTier, Gea presented the DairyFeed F4500 autonomous feeder, which doesn’t require a rail or guide wire. But the real surprise comes in three of the other details.

Even if feeding is only done once a day, it can still be an expensive task. Not only is there the labour required, but there’s also the cost of the diesel to factor in, along with the hours clocked on the machine. And against feeding just once a day, the cows don’t eat evenly through the day, so any reduction in feed freshness can result in poor performance and health issues such as acidosis.

This is one of the main appealing factors of a feeding robot, as automatic mixing helps save valuable time and diesel with battery powered drive. And the cows usually benefit from a more regular supply of fresh feed
that is tailored to each group of animals.

Goodbye to rails
But what if the farm has expanded, and the clamps and barns are now farther apart? Such a layout doesn’t always suit a system relying on a rail for navigating around yards, which is why Gea has come up with a new autonomous feeding robot. From 2023 its subsidiary Mullerup in Denmark will cease production of rail-based feeding systems. Meanwhile, production of the new DairyFeed F4500 will begin at Bönen in Germany.

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