Why calf feeding with a teat is better

Meet Marie Skavnes, CowSignals Trainer and vet from Tine Norway. She is explaining
that feeding with a teat is better then from a bucket. Watch it and let us know what you think.

Comments (8)


Does the height of teat feeders affect the calves digesting ability? Say the feeder was hooked onto a gate on a lower bar so the calf is stooping its head to suckle compared with a higher bar on a gate where neck is extended upwards? My question is, can the posture of the calf while suckling impair/promote oesophageal groove closure?


in commercial dairy farm also we go for mother teat or a bucket in my farm we gave 2 litter per calf in the morning & 2 litter in the evening calf health is good .

Nicol Geerike

I always say to my farmers: "Give milk from the top and water from the bottom!"

Stephanie Hurstfield

I was on the same Cow SIgals course as you Marie and found this information really interesting and have since quoted you many many time on farm... Have also sent your video to your Calf Specialist at Massey Feeds :-)

Kerstin Mülller

The advice from Nicol is completely right as the oesophageal groove reflex is elicited when the calf lifts its head during drinking (as it is the case with the mother) and milk will reach the abomasum. When the bucket is standing on the ground the fluid (water) is draining into the rumen, where it should get.

Diego Carbonell

Hi Marie
I am a Gallagher electric fence distributor for Venezuela an Dominican Republic and have been working with the Milk Bar systems from New Zealand the last three years, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=232&v=cWBleGI5tJY . The height of the teat does influence the amount of milk that goes through the E groove, Nicol, you are correct that the water from the bottom and the milk from the top, Ben, the feeder should be placed at cow teat height, emulating nature as much as possible, about 60cm from the ground, too high and the groove will not close properly, is the stretching of the neck what closes the groove, there is a lot if information about the way to feed calfs here, check it out: http://www.milkbar.co.nz/RearHealthyCalves/UnderstandingDigestion.aspx

Anouk Brinkhoff

Thanks for all the responses again. Great to have various input!



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