CalfWise Individual Locking Head Bails

CalfWise individual locking calf head bails have proven to be very successful on many farms in South West Victoria. The consistent, stress-free feeding regimen has shown health benefits and increased growth in dairy calves as well as enabling more efficient use of staff at feeding time. The locking head bails also allow for the utilisation of accelerated growth programs which rely on individual milk feeding systems.

Dairy calves in Australia are pre-dominantly reared in groups from birth until weaning. This results in the communal feeding of milk which may be once, twice or three times daily in non-automated systems. Feeding milk to group reared calves can be stressful and inefficient for both calf and operator because calves drink at differing speeds and can compete with each other for teat space. As a result, feeding calves may become a time consuming job, requiring multiple staff, to ensure that all calves receive their daily allowance of milk, which still cannot be guaranteed. In group feeding systems, it is difficult to identify slow or incomplete feeders, which can be an early sign of sickness. Such calves may not be picked up early enough which can increase their risk of morbidity and mortality.

The concept of locking head bails for the feeding of calves is not new. They were used decades ago with variable success as the designs differed greatly. They became out of fashion as more convenient methods of group feeding calves were developed. However, there are consequences to convenience, with research now suggesting that our dairy calves are not being fed to reach their true potential. Recent methods of feeding calves in large groups are proving to be no longer suitable to achieve maximum growth rates in the long run.

The Vet Group’s CalfWise team has developed a “tried-and-tested” locking head bail design for feeding dairy calves. The model has been developed using information and feedback from our dairy clients, which has been essential in developing a design that is both strong and functional. Other commercially available head bail designs can be over-engineered and complicated, resulting in unnecessary expense and weight. At The Vet Group we have chosen a simple and practical design, with minimal moving parts. The result is less cost in the manufacturing process and less maintenance after installation. The end product is robust and of exceptionally high quality.

This proven design has been very successful on many farms in South West Victoria. The consistent, stress-free feeding regimen has shown health benefits and increased growth in dairy calves and more efficient use of staff at feeding time. The locking head bails have also allowed our clients to utilise accelerated growth programs which rely on individual milk feeding systems.

Why choose CalfWise individual locking head bails?

Better calf health and growth rate

  • Each calf receives a known consistent volume of milk.
  • Slow drinkers, with no underlying disease, can be kept with their age group. This enables a true all-in all-out system with improved biosecurity.
  • Early identification of sick calves, allows early treatment and increases the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
  • May help in the prevention of cross-suckling behaviour.
  • Supports accelerated growth programs where calves are fed a known volume of milk.

Reduces labour costs by simplifying calf feeding

  • Calf feeding becomes a one person job, regardless of pen size or number of pens.
  • No competing for teats, bunting or stealing of milk ration.
  • Does not matter how fast or how slow each calf feeds.
  • Easy-to-use design, minimal staff training required.
  • Safe, fast and effective delivery of milk to customised single feeders.

Proven product quality

  • Australian-made in South West Victoria, enabling local pick up and reduced freight costs.
  • Robust, built-to-last product made of high quality galvanised steel.
  • Tried-and-tested design which overcomes the historic design faults with locking head bails.
  • Can be fixed or hinged allowing easy access to pens for machinery to remove soiled bedding.
  • Customised to suit any shed size, with any number of head bails per pen.
  • Can be hung at any height to accommodate different breed sizes.
  • In-built access gates are available to allow easy access to pens.
  • Single Peach Teat feeders are available, mounted on customised frames. These allow fast and efficient placement and removal of feeders, along with easy cleaning. 
To purchase Individual Locking Head Bails and other CalfWise products go to shop.thevetgroup.com.au or ring 1300 838 700