Kingdom Haven Farm Utilizes Urban Alma Pro
Published on Thu, 01/30/2020 - 10:22am
Kingdom Haven Farm Utilizes Urban Alma Pro from AMS Galaxy USA to Simplify Calf Feeding
By Steve Weisman
Taking care of calves on a dairy farm is hard work. After all, mixing and feeding of the milk, along with the follow-up cleaning takes a lot of time. Still, when it comes to calf rearing, those first 60+ days are crucial to their long-term health. Their health is the true bottom line. So, what are some answers to handling all of the hours taking care of calves? Here is one answer: Urban Alma Pro from AMS Galaxy USA.
Kingdom Haven Farm located near Edgar WI., is a family run dairy going back to 1886. For 38-year old Nathan King, herd manager and a fourth-generation descendant who helps work the 1600 dairy cows, the Urban Alma Pro has been a timesaver and provides a fully automatic cleaning program. It has also produced positive results with the health of the dairy calves and hygiene in the barn. The bottom line is with Urban Alma Pro, the dairy producer can customize the amount of work in calf rearing economically without sacrificing the animal welfare.
King says, “We wanted to do something to address all of these concerns, and then we learned about the Urban Alma Pro. We started with the system two years ago in March and have been extremely happy with the results. We had been feeding the calves in hutches outside, but the weather was especially tough on them and the workers who tended to them.”
First off, Kingdom Haven Farm built an indoor facility that would house several pens of calves (20 calves per pen), so a total of 320 calves are handled at a time. With the facility set, four Urban Alma Pro units were brought in to feed the calves. The indoor facility enabled the calves to be kept out of the harsh winter elements in a consistent ventilated climatically controlled barn.
The program goes like this. The calves are brought into the facility shortly after birth and put into individual huts. Once the calves are eating aggressively, they are moved to the calf feeders. They are on the feeders till weaning or about 60 days.
King says, “The first thing we did was enter the ear tag number for each calf. Each unit has the technology to know the individual daily requirement of each calf with every calf getting the exact amount of milk. We’ve found this to be an excellent, easy unit to run.”
The automatic feeder saves the time of mixing portions, transporting milk and cleaning buckets. It also offers the flexibility of independent feeding times. King says, “Calves can eat smaller quantities, and they can come back in to finish. The system uses RFID ear tags to recognize which calf is there.”
The Urban Alma Pro knows the individual daily requirement of each calf. With the technology, food intake is monitored continuously and accurately. The producer can see how often the calf drank and which quantities it consumed. If a calf does not drink the desired portion, the calf feeder will trigger an alarm immediately. All data is registered and can be retrieved any time.
All of the data can be brought up with iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Smartphone as well as a PC.
King notes that preparation for and the installation of the Urban Almo Pro was completed by local contractors S. D. Ellenbecker and Seehafer Refrigeration.