A new combination automatic feed pusher and remixer has been launched by DeLaval called the OptiDuo.
DeLaval announced the new product on April 16 that the company is describing as a “robotic feed refresher” because it not only pushes feed back into the bunk, but is also remixes it.
The new take on automatic feed pushers should result in better cow traffic, less competition at bunk resulting in reduced feed waste. Studies conducted with the OptiDuo have shown a 4.4 lb. per day increase in milk yield for farms using the feed refresher. By having consistent feed access DeLaval projects this could save dairy producers up to $2,500 per year in labor.
“It’s a great addition to any DeLaval VMS operation because it complements the dairy producer’s feeding strategy between the milking robot and the feed bunk,” says Muhieddine Labban, robotics solution manager. “The DeLaval body condition scoring system, which helps monitor cow health, can maximize OptiDuo’s efficiency by delivering the right feed ration to cows.”
Other features of the OptiDuo include:
- A smart navigation system that ensures the robot is where it is supposed to. Safety bumper on all sides also help the unit automatically stop when coming near people, animals or objects.
- The Adaptive Drive system featured on the unit allows the OptiDuo to adjust how it mixes based on the type of ration. It can handle different amounts and types of feed, including total mixed ration, straw, hay and fresh grass.
German dairy farmer Herbert Bauer says he has found the mixing function to be useful with the feed pusher.
“Because we only feed once, it’s good to have the feed remixed from time to time. The feed is more homogeneous and that’s particularly good for my young animals…Now the feed is mixed better and consumption of straw is much higher because they can’t be as selective,” Bauer says.
The OptiDuo can be viewed at many dairy industry tradeshows in the U.S. and Canada. The OptiDuo is available for sale in North America.
A video about the OptiDuo can be seen below: