Battling it out for top kit slot

Livestock 2012 will give exhibitors the chance to show off their latest machinery in the RABDF Livestock Machinery and Equipment Awards and the quality of their dairy exhibits in the Prince Philip Award, explains David Cousins.

Cowcoon hybrid cubicle

J Wilson Agriculture, Coleraine, Northern Ireland

The Cowcoon hybrid cubicle is designed to address the issue of cows getting lumps and swellings behind their ribs after being introduced to cubicles.

While plastic cubicles can give too much freedom and allow cows to lie diagonally (soiling the back of the beds), the Cowcoon allows the lower part of the cubicle to curve around the cow. This keeps her securely in position.

IceScore Mobility

Ice Robotics, Edinburgh

IceScore Mobility is a new product that provides an extension to the company’s Cow Alert behaviour monitoring and oestrus detection system.

It automatically and continuously monitors dairy cows and promptly alerts the farmer when an individual animal’s mobility deteriorates. That enables the farmer or vet to intervene to deal with health problems more quickly and cost-effectively.

Follow the Teat milk bar calf feeding system

Dairy Spares, Whitchurch, Shropshire

Dairy Spares’ Milk Bar teat aims to turn a fragile milk-drinking calf in to a sturdy ruminant. A new calf will take 180 seconds to suckle one litre of milk, which is how the calf would suckle from its mother.

As the teat wears, it becomes faster feeding and at the end of its life it will take only 80 seconds for the calf to drink one litre of milk. The teat also ensures that calves do not cross-suckle each other and that there is a fair share for all.

KVK hoof trimming chute

BD Supplies, Methven, Perth

The KVK hoof trimming chutes are designed to give the optimum working posture for the trimmer and minimum discomfort for livestock. It is said to ensure that cows balance on all four hooves and soles, preventing damage to the horn tissue.

A hydraulic lift adjusts the chutes’ working height. Hydraulic functions are moderated to eliminate the risk of injury to the animal.

Cow Tipper

Northern Engineering, Dungannon, Co Tyrone

The Cow Tipper hydraulic rollover crush is designed to reduce the stress on both the animal and the operator and the use of an extended rump rail allows the operator to guide even the most stubborn animal easily into the crush.

It is a one-man operation, says the company, and the mobile crush is fitted with a high-speed weight-transfer axle, anti-roll bars, shock absorbers and brakes to make the crush safe and steady on the road.

airwash plusAirWash Plus auto dip and rinse system

TH White, Devizes, Wiltshire

The AirWash Plus system claims to improve parlour efficiency by automatically dipping teats and flushing liners. Cows are milked as usual until the ACR shuts off the vacuum to the cluster.

At that point, a measured amount of teat dip is sprayed through the short milk tube on to the teat. Once the cluster is released, the inside of the liner is flushed through with compressed air and water to remove any milk or dip residue, leaving the inside of the liners sanitised.


DP Agri, Barnstaple, Devon

This is a specialist machine for raking, levelling and aerating sand cubicles. Manual raking of cubicles is slow and back-breaking work, but if beds are left unattended, the sand goes hard and can become wet and contaminated.

The front-mounted DP Bedmaker uses a hydraulically-powered rotating action that both aerates and distributes the sand in a vigorous manner. This means that cubicles retain their sand for longer and less sand is lost outside of the bed. The company also says that cell counts and mastitis are reduced.

Deluxe cow cubicle

JFC Manufacturing (Europe), Oswestry, Shropshire

This novel cow cubicle system (pictured top) is made from polyethylene fortified with reinforced strengthening foam. The maker also claims it is the first on the market to incorporate the entire cubicle, including the brisket board, divider rails and mat.

There is no restrictive neck rail so the cow has greater freedom of movement, particularly when she lunges forward when lying or rising. Open dividers prevent cow trapping and there is also generous cubicle space for pregnant cows.

Pre-selection gate on guided robot milking system

GEA Farm Technologies, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

GEA’s pre-selection gate is aimed at farms with robotic milkers. As cows move from their resting area to the feeding area, they pass through the gate. Cows that need milking are guided to the milking centre while cows not due to be milked are directed elsewhere.

This pre-selection process ensures that only cows due to be milked enter the milking area. It gives greater control over how a cow is fed and means less expensive concentrate can be used in the robot milker compared to a free-access system.

Shoof Tailwell2 power tail trimmer

Agrihealth, Northern Ireland

Dirty cows’ tails contribute to urine and faeces becoming attached to their udders, potentially contaminating the milk.

In the past, scissors or electric clippers were used to trim tails, but the Tailwell2 is claimed to be much quicker and more effective. It fits to a standard 14v cordless drill and has oscillating cutters that eliminate any danger of accidentally cutting the animal’s tail.

Vector automatic feeding system

Lely UK, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

The Lely Vector automated feeding system can collect feeds from a “feed kitchen” area, mix them and dispenses without human intervention.

The amount of feed still available at the feed barrier is monitored by a height sensor. When it drops below a set point, the feeder will fill up with a preset menu of ingredients. It then mixes the ingredients and dispenses them along the feed barrier.

The main benefits are reduced labour and less fuel use because there’s no need to run a mixer wagon.

teat sanicleanseTeat Sanicleanse System

Northern Dairy Equipment, Preston, Lancashire

The Sanicleanse system washes, disinfects, dries and stimulates the teats, getting them ready for milking. The process takes about 10 seconds a cow and is said to provide a time-saving alternative to other pre-milking routines.

As well as helping to reduce disease and cross-contamination, it eliminates the use of paper towels and medicated wipes. The warm water brush massage also provides a fast stimulation to produce oxytocin for quick let-down of milk.

RDS weighlogWeighlog a10

RDS Technology, Stroud, Gloucestershire

This on-board weighing system is designed to be retrofitted to telescopic handlers, tractor front loaders and compact wheeled loaders. It has a 4.3in colour touchscreen and can store 30 products, 30 customers and three different mixing systems.

Four sensors measure hydraulic pressure during the lifting cycle to compensate for the pressure changes that take place as the boom raises in modern loader lifting systems.

galebreaker ventlogicVVS Variable ventilation system

Galebreaker Products, Ledbury, Herefordshire

Galebreaker’s Variable Ventilation System (VVS) for livestock buildings used to use a bought-in controller, but the company has now designed its own system. Called the Ventlogic Controller, it can control up to four curtains.

Each of these can be set to open or close according to temperature, wind speed, wind direction and rain conditions.

roundhouseRoundhouse livestock building

Simpson and Allinson, Barnard Castle, Co Durham

First brought to market in 2006, the Roundhouse uses a high-tensile fabric roof and blends well into the surroundings.

Ventilation is said to be exceptionally good and the internal layout allows for safe and stress-free handling of livestock.

There’s also a safety feature in that the roof is constructed on the ground and then raised to its operational height using hydraulics.

FLEXFEED feeding module

Xergi, Finsbury Circus, London

Xergi, a Danish company specialising in anaerobic digestion, has developed the FLEXFEED feeding module, which has a task similar to the farm mixer wagon.

The module not only mixes and homogenises the feed-stocks, it also heats the material prior to being fed to the digestion process, meaning no heating system is required in the digesters at all, reducing maintenance costs dramatically.

The RABDF Prince Philip Award

For research and development in the field of dairy farming. Awarded for the most practical, relevant and best exhibit at the event.

 Exhibitor  Entry
 Agrihealth (NI)  Tailwell 2 Tail Trimmer
 AirWash Plus  Airwash Plus Dip and Rinse
 Dairy Spares  Suresil Silicone Milk Tube
 FiveF Agri  Alkalator and AlkabupHa
 IceRobotics  CowAlert
 JFC Manufacturing (Europe)  Rotomoulded Cubicle System
Kelvin Cave KC Ensiling System
Lely Lely Automatic Feeding System
Milk Rite Research Collaboration from the Dairy Sector
Ridgeway Science P4 Rapid Ultimate Heat Detection
Simpson and Allinson The Roundhouse

Farm safety demonstrations

Sponsored by John Deere

This year Livestock 2012, incorporating the Dairy Event, will be running a Farm Health Safety Demonstration area.

Sponsored by John Deere, the practical demonstrations, running consecutively over both event days, will feature four scenarios that represent the main causes of on-farm fatalities today.

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