Most dairy farms are now well into calving. With a good number of cows calved, an important job to now complete is the calibration of your feeders.

Overfeeding or underfeeding cows will have different impacts on your herd, with over feeding a waste and potentially expensive, while under feeding could impact on production.

Grass or grass silage is the main feed for dairy cows, but concentrates are required to supplement cows and to give cows the essential minerals they require.


A simple, but often not completed job, is the monitoring and calibration of concentrate feeders in parlours.

Feeders are generally set up to give a quantity of concentrates determined by a farmer.

Usage and dampness, along with a number of other factors, can impact the amount of feed actually being fed.

It is not unusual for a number of feeders within the row to be dispensing different amounts.

To determine whether this is the case, a simple method is to place a bucket under the feeder.

Allow the concentrates to fall into the bucket, and then weigh the contents. This will determine if your feeder is giving the correct amount or not. This method should then be repeated on all the feeders in the milking parlour.

Once this has been completed, the feeders should be adjusted to the correct levels. If the rate of feeding changes, you should repeat the test to ensure the amounts are correct.


It is also a good time to inspect your feeders and determine if any are damaged or require repair when completing calibration of the feeders.

Something as simple as a hole in the lid or a lid not closed properly can allow moisture in, which can then clog the mechanism.

This is often a simple fix, but can be easily avoid by just ensuring that moisture can not gain easy access.