I have some exciting news to share with you all today! We recently invested in some new technology at the farm and it has made farm life a breeze.
I’m not going to lie, this baby is pretty awesome.
Milk Taxi is a battery-operated milk delivery system that we use to feed our calves milk replacer. It can either mix milk replacer or pasteurize whole milk. We use it to mix milk replacer powder, deliver milk and water to the hutches and….the best part….it washes and sanitizes itself!
Prior to purchasing the Milk Taxi, we mixed milk replacer by hand and delivered milk bucket by bucket, eight calves at a time. It was time-consuming and involved a lot of bending over.
My back was not happy with me.
So, when a Calf-Star representative came over with a Milk Taxi for us to use in a trial, I was pretty jazzed.
I had never been so excited to feed calves!
The particular model we ended up purchasing holds 100L and allows us to feed sixty calves with just two batches. There are various versions of the Milk Taxi, so I encourage you to visit their website to find out which one best fits your needs.
We worked with Minnie Ward, Calf-Star and Doug Olsen, Mlsna Dairy Supply. They were both extremely helpful and showed us the ins and outs of the Milk Taxi. We haven’t had any issues with the Milk Taxi, but if we did I know they would be over to help in a second.
Alright friends, it is time to feed calves. I asked one of our calf-feeders, Brandy, to be my model for this post.
We feed our calves milk twice per day, 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. We start by filling the milk taxi up with hot water. We use the Milk Taxi’s digital screen to monitor temperature. We want the mixing temperature to be 110 degrees and feeding temperature should be just below that.
When the water reaches the desired level, we begin adding the powder. Next, close the hatch and hit the “agitate” button.
This thing works slick, it takes less than two minutes to mix up 100L of water and powder.
Once it is done agitating, we unplug it and head out to the hutches. We chose to purchase the self-propelled version and I am SO glad we did. A full tank of milk can be heavy as it is; insert mud or snow and you will be thankful for a machine with a little get up and go!
The digital pad on the Milk Taxi has six different settings for dispensing milk. Our younger calves receive a smaller amount of milk when compared to the older calves, so it is great to have these different settings that pre-measure and dispense the milk based upon our need.
There are a few different ways to dispense the milk. With the model we have, we can hit the “dispense” button on the dispensing handle,
On the digital pad,
Or on the handle used to push the milk taxi.
The “dispense” button on the dispensing handle does cost extra, but, depending on your facility, it might be nice to have. I am happy with it, but at the same time I think I could survive without it. The dispensing button on the handle used to push the Milk Taxi works just as well. But, like I said, it might depend on your facility.
As soon as we are done delivering milk to the babies, we head back to our milk house and fill the Milk Taxi with water.
Once she is full, it is the same process; each calf receives a particular amount of water.
It is not long before calf chores are done and we truck on back to the milk house. I plug the milk taxi in, fill it with hot water and prepare for the wash cycle.
This is the easiest part.
I attach the spraying unit, add water and detergent, close the lid and hit “WASH”.
Time for me to get some breakfast.
Truth. I am being paid to share this post, but I couldn’t be happier with Calf-Star’s Milk Taxi. It has cut our calf feeding time in half and requires much less labor. It also helps us remain consistent, no matter the season, temperature or who is feeding calves.
We have three different calf-feeders, so having a machine that maintains proper temperature, mixes exactly the same every day and cleans itself is money well spent.
This piece of equipment is a big investment, but it has cut our labor costs dramatically and will pay for itself within a year.
My only complaint? There isn’t a cup holder for my morning cup of joe. 🙂 Maybe the next model will have that feature.
I wouldn’t mind an iPod hook up either….just sayin’.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about this handy piece of technology, don’t hesitate to ask!