In an exclusive interview with Far Eastern Agriculture (FEAG) at the EuroTier China 2019 from 19-21 September in Qingdao, China, Hartmut Bock, area sales manager at Holm & Laue GmbH & Co. KG, focuses on the company’s role in revolutionising automation in calf feeding in the global dairy farming sector
FEAG: Can you provide a brief description of Holm & Laue’s services?
Germany-headquartered Holm & Laue GmbH & Co. KG is a family-based company and its target is small calves, from the day they are born until they are weened. This is a very specific business and we do it in around 65 countries all over the world. We tie up with some local partners in doing the training and technical equipment of calf-rearing. We provide advice on planning new calf housing facility, tips for daily calf feeding practice and improved calf health.
Our message is “Take care of the calves.” We have concepts of how to feed them as well as how to take care of them in different conditions. Holm & Laue is present in different regions such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and all over the world. So we are familiar with the conditions of varied atmospheres.
FEAG: What types of calf feeding solutions the company provide?
Holm & Laue has a wide range of products and services that address calf feeding management. These include:
The CalfExpert is a new feeder to the market is set to make work easier, providing optimum feeding of the calves.
With CalfExpert, the milk is freshly mixed for each calf. Any milk residues art automatically rinsed out of the system and all the hoses during longer drinking pauses. Other automatic feeders work with central milk supply. In the milk thus stored at 40°C, the germs double every 20 minutes. By contrast, CalfExpert guarantees maximum hygiene and animal-specific feeding.
With the new CalfExpert, we have made the mixing process and the change of calves even faster, optimising the utilisation of the hygiene stations. The quick mixing aims to ensure that the milk is at the teat after three seconds.
The executive programme is set to ensure that calf meals are distributed very evenly throughout the day without the number of visits to the wards. This reduces waiting times with high animal occupancy and provides calves with a positive ‘visit experience.’
Many veterinarians fear a nipple disease transmission in vending machines as the place, where the calf takes the milk, is neglected so far in current automatic feeders criminally. The HygienStation from Holm & Laue aims to address this hygiene issue, as well as making work easier.
With the new HygieneStation, the nipple is cleaned from the outside after each visit with pressure and freshwater. The germ load on the nipple decreases with it by up to 80 per cent.
CalfGuide aims to provide a complete overview of all feeders and all calves on the farm. It calculates an alarm index based on a variety of data such as the consumption of potions, drinking speed, frequency of visits, weight development, etc. Thus, the farm owner can see at a glance which calves are needed to take care of first.
In addition, the farm owner can record abnormalities such as illnesses in an ‘event diary’ and thus document comprehensibly. All data, such as drinking amounts, weight development, treatments, etc are permanently stored in an archive for all the calves after weaning. Thus, CalfGuide helps to optimise calf raising in short and dairy production in the long term.
Holm & Laue has revolutionised bucket feeding with the invention of the MilkTaxis. Helpful extras such as the electric traction drive, the radio-controlled dosing pump, the possibility of pasteurising and cooling, the hot water heating and the push-button probe for cows make the MilkTaxi an indispensable tool on the modern dairy farm.
It works with a surface heating system over the entire floor area. Unlike spiral heaters, this does not create ‘hotspots’ where the milk can burn. Thus, the milk is heated quickly and the quality is still maintained. The display always informs you about the current temperature of your potions.
The MilkTaxi allows for reliable soaking and watering depending on the age, which was previously only possible with automatic feeders. It recognises each igloo and calculates the currently correct amount of water for the calf.
Thus, the MilkTaxi knows the amount of milk needed at the next feeding and leads already during the preparation step by step to the right mixture, including whole milk revaluation. All feed data can be stored permanently and retrieved via tablet or PC at any time. Thus, errors in the feeding can be localised and corrected immediately.
FEAG: Which solutions do you provide for rearing the calves?
Holm & Laue has a wide range of calf-rearing solutions. These include:
H & L igloo
The H & L igloo addresses the outdoor climate management of calves in species-appropriate group housing as calves in the fresh air group grow up healthier and perform the best there.
Conventional calf barns need a high air rate to replace spent and contaminated air. Especially calves in the first weeks of life can not compensate for these negative influences by their own body heat production. In the H & L igloo, the farm owner can offer up to 15 calves a draft-free, yet well-ventilated retreat area.
The semicircular shape of the igloo provides an ideal ventilation. Winds that touch the outside of the igloo produce a negative pressure at the highest point of the igloo. The used air is actively sucked out of the igloo. Since the inlet opening is 12 times larger than the exhaust air openings, the air speed in the lying area is extremely low.
The MultiMax Porch aims to offer ideal entry-level models for healthy outdoor climate control. The smaller the age difference of a calf group, the smoother the development of the animals. In addition, fewer calves in a group also mean a lower transmission risk of diseases in the stock. The MultiMaxVeranda, with its groups of five to seven calves, provides the optimal solution for many medium-sized farms.
The MultiMax cabins and the porch can be easily transported with a front loader. The calves remain locked up in the veranda and travel with her to their new ‘place of residence.’
The calves garden from Holm & Laue is set to provide the advantages of mobile single control with the advantages of a mobile roof as well.
Protected by a large roof from rain or hot sunshine, the calves often stay in the fresh air in the spout. In addition, the litter remains dry for longer, which delays the formation of ammonia. All this strengthens the calf's defences and reduces respiratory diseases.
The person working with the calves also gets a sheltered workplace through the roof and takes more time for the calves. This increases the quality of work and disease symptoms are detected earlier.
Apart from these, Holm & Laue has Twin Hutch, CalfTel & FlexiFence, Pen System, Feeding Fence, CalfBuggy, CalfVital, TaxiClean & NutriClean and others.