A tube-feeding system has been introduced to the UK by Dairy Spares. Developed by New-Zealand company Antahi, the Flexi Tuber includes a head-strap that helps to hold the tube in place in the animal’s mouth and makes it easier to administer colostrum/milk/rehydration fluid.
It is suitable for use when feeding calves, adult sheep and goats, and cattle up to 200kg liveweight.
The system has been designed to ensure tubing is safer, easier and more comfortable for the calf. It also allows feeding to be carried out quickly and with less stress for both animal and producer.
The feeder consists of a mouthpiece with a plastic crosspiece for easy positioning in the animal’s mouth, and on which it can chew during feeding. A soft feeding tube is passed through the mouthpiece, and the swallowing action of the animal directs the end of the tube over its airway and safely into the oesophagus.
The length of the tube can be altered to ensure correct placement and positioning of the tube end. The mouthpiece can be held in place with one hand or, for hands-free feeding operation, it can be securely attached to the animal with the head-strap.
The starter kit – which includes the mouthpiece with head-strap, a flexible feeding tube, a four-litre ergonomically-designed bottle, and a teat – retails at £60 + VAT.