Dutch dairy equipment specialist Lely has entered into an official partnership with barn manufacturer ID Agro to produce modular feed kitchens to service the robotic feeding of livestock. Since introducing the first modular feed kitchen in 2017, both specialists have continued work on the system to ensure it is an even better match for Lely’s Vector feeding system.
With this partnership, both organisations have given the green flag to distribute the modular feed kitchen via the Lely centre network. This allows ID Agro to expand its sales market, while Lely centres can offer their customers a complete automatic feeding system.
For livestock farmers, it means a shorter turnaround time and further direct communication lines during the planning and installation of the Vector system.
Combining the knowledge and expertise of each organisation’s specialism, barn construction and ventilation in the case of ID Agro, and automatic feeding in the case of Lely, has resulted in a modular building. In this building, livestock farmers can store and load various ingredients of the feed ration in block, bale or bulk.
Livestock farmers can easily change the type of feed and its location, which allows them to respond perfectly to the changing seasons. A crane structure with a feed grabber is installed on the ceiling in the feed kitchen. This moves above the stored feed, from where it grabs feed from the correct location and deposits it in the mixing and feeding robot. It is easy to keep the open storage area clean with a tractor or loader.
The feed kitchen is available in different sizes. Thanks to the modular structure, farmers can install a feed kitchen that suits their farm. Capacity can easily be increased later by adding a module. The simple structure means the preparation and installation work required is limited. This reduces the foundation and construction costs. The feed kitchen modules are very compact, so they can be installed without a planning licence in a number of cases, although this depends on local legislation.
In the case of an existing cowshed, the local Lely centre, in partnership with ID Agro, can also install the appropriate steel structure on which the crane sections of the feed grabber are mounted.
At the moment, ten modular feed kitchens are operating in the Netherlands. This number will increase in the coming weeks with, among other things, an installation in Germany and a double kitchen in Denmark.
The modular feed kitchen is available immediately from Lely centres in the following countries; UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg, Germany, and Austria.