3 November 1995

MACHINES OUT: WILTS MAN PICKS BUCKET…

Buyers guide for multi-suckle bucket systems

SupplierModelMax.bucketPriceSupp. capacity/calftel no

Wydale Plastics5 or 3-teat3 litres5-teat model01460- models£165, 3-teat73212

model £110

Dalton SuppliesSeveral unitsN/ASingle unit01491-

can be fed from £3.80641457

a single bucket.

One unit inc.

bracket, tube,

teat and valve.

C John Collings2 or 3-teat2.5 litres2-teat model01386-

models£65, 3-teat792202

model £85

JFC 2 or 3-teat2-teat model2-teat model01635-

Manufacturingmodels5.5 litres,£28, 3-teat255405

Co3-teat modelmodel £34

6 litres

WILTSHIRE producer Pat Maundrell has changed from machines to a multi-suckle bucket rearing system because he had insufficient time to keep an eye on calves.

Mr Maundrell farms 445ha (1100 acres) at Calstone Welling-ton, Calne, and rears 300 barley beef bulls and 120 Continental cross heifers, which are sold as suckler replacements. All are bought in at 10 days old from Melksham-based co-op Mid West Calves.

"We were running into too many problems with the machines, especially scours," he says. "The stockmanship has to be spot on and at least if you are feeding them twice a day you can spot problems."

He admits that calves reared on machines for the barley beef enterprise did do extremely well. "We were selling them earlier and saving on barley."

But to simplify management calves are now penned in threes and are fed from a three-teat bucket twice a day. There is a time-saving element to this system compared with individual feeding. Groups of three are easier to control than six.

"At least with three when you have one slow calf then it is easier to distract the other two," says Mr Maundrell.

Wilts producer Pat Maundrell finds multi-suckle bucket rearing much easier to manage than machines.