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To reduce labor, some dairy farms use "mob calf feeders" that permit several calves to feed simultaneously.  Typically, after they have been fed colostrum individually, three to five calves are penned together until they are weaned. The mob feeder is located on one side of the pen where it can be filled and cleaned without entering the pen.  Sufficient milk or milk replacer for all of the calves is poured into the reservoir, and sufficient nipples are spaced around the outside to accommodate each of the calves in the pen.  The calves may be monitored during feeding in an effort to ensure that a less aggressive calf obtains its share.  Nevertheless, a more aggressive calf may consume somewhat more than its share.  The mob feeder must be washed and sanitized after each use.  By comparison with calves managed individually in hutches, penning several calves together provides less opportunity for individual attention and increases opportunities for spread of infections.

Mob feeder for calves

Credit: Hoard's Dairyman

Digital Credit: Michel Wattiaux

Publisher: Unknown

Rights: Name must appear as a credit whenever the image is used -

Description: To reduce labor, some dairy farms use "mob calf feeders" that permit several calves to feed simultaneously. Typically, after they have been fed colostrum individually, three to five calves are penned together until they are weaned. The mob feeder is located on one side of the pen where it can be filled and cleaned without entering the pen. Sufficient milk or milk replacer for all of the calves is poured into the reservoir, and sufficient nipples are spaced around the outside to accommodate each of the calves in the pen. The calves may be monitored during feeding in an effort to ensure that a less aggressive calf obtains its share. Nevertheless, a more aggressive calf may consume somewhat more than its share. The mob feeder must be washed and sanitized after each use. By comparison with calves managed individually in hutches, penning several calves together provides less opportunity for individual attention and increases opportunities for spread of infections.

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