[11 March/Stuff NZ]

Zeddy, a company producing an automatic supplementary feeder will be selling their product in Fielding at the Central District Field Days. The feeder scans a cow’s ear tag and then dispenses a tailor made diet. Feeders have been designed, trialled and manufactured in less than three years and designed to deliver dry feed to cows, calves, sheep, goats and deer. Once an animal approaches the feeder, a signal is sent to the digital cloud which holds information on what type and how much feed a particular animal is entitled to. Food is dispensed in small amounts until the animal stops eating, walks away or another animal pushes it out of the feeder. The feeder then records what the animal has consumed. Kate Gwilliam, Chief Executive of Zeddy reports that this means smaller, less dominant animals can access their share of supplementary feed.  During trials, smaller animals gained weight, creating a more balanced herd and minimising wastage of feed. The Zeddy system can be accessed from the farmer’s phone or computer, allowing them to tailor regimes and notifications. It can provide supplementary feed to about 250 calves or between 200 and 300 cows a day.