The Mulder family from the Netherlands have been using the new Trioliet Triomatic T15 feeding robot in their barn since March. When used with the Triomatic T30 feed kitchen, this system is called the Triomatic T35.
The family is extremely satisfied with the new system from Trioliet. “Everything works as it should. The cows are healthy and happy, and you can see that from the quiet in the barn. It also saves a huge amount of time. Before I used to spend at least two hours a day feeding. Now it takes me half an hour at most, which is a considerable saving. That is time that I can use well”, says Nik Mulder.
The Triomatic T35 automatic feeding system has now run for eight months to the Mulders’ complete satisfaction. The robot feeds five different groups in the new barn, where the two production groups, 145 dairy cows in total, are both provided with fresh feed ten times a day. In a few months the barn will be ready for the calves, when the feeding robot will also run outside in the farmyard between the two barns.
The robot runs on an electrified rail, so it is constantly supplied with power and the robot cannot deviate from its route. The Mulder family’s feed kitchen is made up of five bunkers, in which maize, grass and straw are stored, and a stainless steel mixing auger dispenser bunker for by-products. The system operates on the ‘first-in-first-out’ principle. The feed that is loaded first is also the first to be fed to the cows.
Harry Mulder: “There is always fresh feed at the gate and therefore a lot of activity in the barn. The cows get the right amount of feed, which results in healthier and more productive cows. What is more, the feed can be loaded with great precision, and up to 1-2kg, even with small rations.”
Father Harry (57) and son Nik (28) run their company together. In 2011, they decided to build a new barn. “At the time we had 125 cows, but we wanted to expand to 210 dairy cows. It was a real journey, and we had many choices ahead of us. This was also the case when choosing a feeding system. Previously we worked with a Triomix self-loading mixer feeder. An excellent machine, but its capacity was no longer big enough. We did some research and eventually came to the conclusion that the Triomatic T35 suited us best”, says Harry Mulder.
The saving in labour that it delivers is huge. Previously it took me 2½ hours a day to feed 125 cows. Now loading the bunkers only takes me three hours a week, saving me 12 hours each week”, says Nik.
Choosing the Triomatic feed system was not a decision to be made overnight. Father and son compared a range of automatic feeding systems from various suppliers, yet a number of features proved decisive when selecting the Triomatic T35.
Nik Mulder: continued “The automatic feeding system with bunkers is a well-organised system with few rotating parts, and therefore less hassle. We found that very important. Also, we soon wanted to feed in two barns with one system. The automatic robot is perfect for that. Moreover, we can feed between 500 and 700 livestock units (LSU) with a Triomatic robot, and that way we can save a considerable amount of time. Overall, with this system we are well prepared for the future.”