Robot feeder

French company Jeantil’s robotic feed distributor demonstrates that robotic feeding, like robotic milking, is a reality.

Robot feeder

Jeantil specialises in the distribution of forage and has designed a distribution robot which can load, mix and distribute full feed rations for cattle, processing up to 12t/hour. Introduced at this year’s SIMA Show in Paris, the system also comprises a fixed mixing station and a control station. It can prepare any kind of feed ration consisting of maize or grass silage, hay, alfalfa, straw bales, supplements, grain, soya bean, canola seed, minerals and liquids.

Another important feature is that it can be adapted to work in existing buildings. The robot is also quiet, thereby improving the well-being of the animals. The farmer can control the mixtures through a graphical user interface, adjusting the quantities of food products to the various batches, as well as the cutting and mixing times.

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The distribution times can be changed throughout the day in order to optimise the ingestion and rumination of the cattle. As with robotic milking, this system is probably still a few years away for the SA farmer, but it should give pause to anyone who thinks dairy farming can only be a labour-intensive operation.

Standard components

The fixed station is composed of a feed mixer and a main conveyor, on which supplying components are set. These can supply any kind of food product, such as wrapped bales, straw, maize silage, various supplements, and so on. Each element is equipped with a weighing system. This enables it to precisely unload the required quantities onto the conveyor which carries the various products into the feed mixer.

The control station allows you to manage the rations for each batch of cattle on the farm. Each module is built using a standard machine from the Jeantil range, specialised in one task. The units comprise a high capacity feeder, a bale unroller with shredders, a mixing section and a food storage silo.

Precise & adaptable

The robot distributes the requested ration precisely for all of the farm’s sites. It can adapt to any kind of ration, dry or wet, for dairy cows, heifers or beef animals. The feeder has a capacity of 5m³ and is equipped with two shredders, a feeding conveyor on the right or left hand side and a weight indicator system that adjusts the distribution rate. The carriage is battery powered with a low cost wire-guided system.