Feeding cattle little and often is thought be kinder on the rumen, avoid bullies gorging and allows weaker animals their chance at the trough.

But carting cake out to stock more than twice a day is a time-consuming process so Irish firm Connacht Agri Supplies has developed an innovative automated feed dispenser.

As the name suggests, the Solar Feedsman is powered by the sun and doles out measured amounts of concentrate up to six times per day. Feeding time is announced with a siren so that once trained, it will alert animals up to several fields away – no-one misses out.

A programmable timer dispenses feed at the correct rate per head and can be set to increase or decrease as the animals grow. With 10.4m (34ft) of trough space, it is expected to cater for 20-25 adult animals.

Solar-powered feeder

Completely self-contained and self-powered with its own solar panel and battery bank, all it requires is regular top ups with bulk bags, a bucket or feed blower.

Trailed and mounted versions are available from 1t to 5t. Prices start from £3,900.

Livestock 2012

A host of products for the livestock industry will be on show at Livestock 2012.