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40FIT Technology now starts with the first hour of life

Calves can now begin growing into highly productive cows from their first hour of life onwards with optimal support by pioneering feeding systems.


Engen, Germany, 11 September 2014. At this year's EuroTier trade show, Förster-Technik GmbH showcases the enhanced 40FIT feeding concept for optimal rearing results and the ColostroFIT colostrum management system, a new addition to the company's product range. With these enhancements, Förster-Technik now offers a feeding and management solution for every stage in the life of a calf, from the first hour of life, reinforcing the company's leading reputation as a calf specialist.

Renowned 40FIT partners emphasize acceptance of the system

As part of the 40FIT concept Förster-Technik has established a partnership with the leading producers of milk replacer and other animal feed as well as with veterinarians. Together, the advantages of an intensified feeding of young calves are presented. Significant improvements in animal health and subsequent milk yield are the direct result of it. Higher expenses in the rearing phase are greatly compensated by an increased performance as a dairy cow. This common understanding of modern calf rearing is exemplified through concerted actions and trainings between Förster-Technik and the 40FIT partners in the market.


ColostroFIT: first meal with a lasting effect

One important new product is the ColostroFIT colostrum management system for providing calves with vital colostrum for their first meals. In the spirit of the 40FIT concept, the ColostroFIT ensures that calves get off to the best possible start in life, giving them the perfect foundation for developing into a healthy and highly productive dairy cow. This is achieved by a perfectly hygienic handling of colostrum in special single-use bags and the destruction of pathogens in colostrum without affecting the antibodies which are so important for the young calves.

ColostroFIT was developed in collaboration with DairyTech Inc., a company based in Colorado, USA.

Various studies show that the risk of disease and mortality increases by 30% if calves are fed too little or no colostrum. A study conducted in France as part of a dissertation at the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering shows that farmers are well aware that newborn calves should be quickly fed sufficient amounts of high-quality colostrum. In practice, however, this is not what happens. Calves are fed insufficient amounts of colostrum or the colostrum is not stored properly.

Calves are born without the natural defenses common to other mammals. In cows, macromolecules (IgG and IgM) are not transferred from the mother's placenta to the calf

(Bostedt 2009, et al.). Calves are contaminated with

germs during birth and immediately require antibodies to fight these germs, which multiply quickly. As a result, the ability to receive sufficient antibodies quickly enough is a matter of life and death for a newborn calf.

The ColostroFIT colostrum management system is designed to solve this problem. It gives farmers tools for easily filling, pasteurizing, storing and safely feeding calves the correct amount and appropriate quality of colostrum.

ColostroFIT consists of the following products:

  • ColostroBag: Aluminum bag for safe and appropriate storage and preparation of 3.8 L of colostrum. To the bag a nipple or a flexible drenching equipment can be attached.
  • ColostroMat: Compact pasteurizer for gentle heating and pasteurization of colostrum. The device is designed for simple operation on a table.

ColostroFIT offers a wide range of benefits for the calf:

  • The system allows for quick administration after birth, so that maximum effectiveness is achieved.
  • By the pasteurization dangerous pathogens chains are interrupted. The next generation of cows is therefore not exposed to any unnecessary risk of infection.
  • Pasteurized colostrum reinforces passive immunization because it transfers IgG more quickly than non-pasteurized colostrum.
  • Calves receive specific antibodies for fighting 'self' antigens. With 60 minutes at 60° C pasteurization is adjusted in such a way that the pathogens are effectively decimated but the antibodies remain nevertheless unaffected.
  • Warm colostrum aids thermoregulation and satiety in calves.
  • Calves are supplied with energy for vital functions.

ColostroFIT offers many advantages for farmers:

ColostroFIT provides a clear workflow and is easy to use.

ColostroFIT is safe. Pathogens are killed thanks to pasteurization. The quality of IgG is retained and transfer of IgG from the mother to the calf is actually improved (Johnson et al. 2007 "Effects of Feeding Heat-Treated Colostrum on Passive Transfer of Immune and Nutritional Parameters in Neonatal Dairy Calves").

Thanks to a single-use aluminum bag, ColostroFIT ensures maximum hygiene.

ColostroFIT is cost-effective. It requires almost no cleaning and veterinary costs are minimized thanks to improved calf health. In addition, healthy calves are the basis for an optimal rearing performance.


CalfRail: new design and improved functions

The CalfRail minimizes work by feeding individually penned calves completely automatically up to 8 times a day. As an automated, timed system, the CalfRail moves along a sliding rail to each calf pen and dispenses a customized amount of feed in a controlled fashion. CalfRail consists of a mobile feeding station and a rail system. A Vario+ automatic calf feeder from Förster-Technik serves as a control and mixing unit.

The first generation of the CalfRail was already unveiled at the EuroTier trade show in 2012. It has been very popular with customers in Germany and abroad. Many systems have already been installed in Germany, France, Canada and China. Many more installations are planned.

At this year's EuroTier, Förster-Technik GmbH presents the second generation of the CalfRail, which has been enhanced in terms of design, functionality and user-friendliness.

To facilitate integration into already existing older pens, CalfRail now features a drive that can also make turns.

CalfRail comes with an automatic cleaning function that efficiently cleans the entire system, further minimizing workloads.

An intelligent heating system switches on the heating unit only when necessary. This significantly boosts energy efficiency and ensures an optimal feed temperature.

The CalfRail housing features a row of LEDs to facilitate monitoring of animals at dawn, dusk or in the dark, and also stimulates calves to drink.


The next automatic calf feeder generation

Vario+ and Compact+ are now in the CalfCloud!

The next generation of the automatic calf feeders is now Web-enabled by default. Equipped with an Ethernet port or an optional WiFi module, the automatic feeder can be connected to the Internet. Once the Internet connection has been established, device data and animal data can be stored in the Förster-Technik CalfCloud every night and retrieved, monitored and changed at any time.

To make this data as easy as possible to access, operators can use apps that work on any Web-enabled device such as a tablet or smartphone or a PC. These apps have a simple layout, are clearly structured and intuitive to use. As a result, they are a useful everyday monitoring tool.

The apps work on any standard mobile operating system and provide access to the Förster-Technik CalfCloud whenever and wherever the user wants to.


Further enhanced functions

Further improvements in practice are a higher storage capacity and processing speed of the processor and an improved RFID detection. In addition to the temperature sensor already known the button for teaching young calves is now directly integrated in the identification. It is very easily accessible and makes the training of new calves easier. Also included is an LED light that directly indicates claim or end of the current feeding.


MilchMobil+ now available in 120 liter version

The well-established 200-liter model now has a 'little brother' with a 120-liter capacity. Both models feature a new, easy-to-clean, rounded tank design and come with an electric drive unit, mixer, heating unit, portion control function, LED light, stainless steel tank cover, pivoting arm and integrated cleaning function. This makes the tank quick and easy to clean. The horizontal tank allows for ergonomic filling and is easily accessible. A fixable distribution aid allows quick and effortless feeding.

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Förster-Technik introduces pioneering 40FIT Technology.

Developing high-performance cows from the first day of life
Engen, 13 November, 2012 – At this year’s EuroTier, Förster-Technik GmbH, the world's leading manufacturer of automatic feeders for calves, will introduce 40FIT Technology, a new feeding concept for intensive calf rearing from the first day of life – including for individually-housed calves.
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