GreenFeed - Large - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Under the current COVID-19 pandemic how does C-Lock provide installation and training of GreenFeed?
A: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions, C-Lock suspended the on-site installation and training for international clients until further notice. We are currently providing remote technical support for user self-installation, including paper-based instruction, demonstration videos and real-time customer one on one support.
Q: Can GreenFeed be adapted into automatic milking systems?
A: When GreenFeed is installed in the milking robot, the data produced is not of high quality vs. the results of a normal GreenFeed system, because of the cow's head movement behavior in the robot. In Huhtanen et al (2015), about 30% of the cattle could not be measured by GreenFeed in the dairy robot because some cows systematically refused to keep their head inside the feed trough. Sample dilution is the primary concern - we have only installed the GreenFeed the A3 because in most other models and brands of the milking robot, the feed troughs are so open that the GreenFeed system cannot work at all. The problem we noticed in milking robots is a matter of animal behavior, neither GreenFeed nor other methods can solve it properly at the moment.
Therefore, we usually recommend that potential customers use a normal GreenFeed, even if they already have a milking robot. GreenFeed can function well as a concentrate feeder independent of the milking robot.
Q: What is the capacity of a GreenFeed (number of animals measured by one unit)?
A: Under the free-stall barn condition, about 20-25 lactating dairy cows per GreenFeed unit; Under pasture grazing condition, 15-20 cows per unit if clients would like to get sufficient recordings from per animal per day.
Q: How does GreenFeed obtain a reliable estimate for CH4 emission (g/d)? How does C-Lock estimate this? Will GreenFeed average all individual visits during a specific time (e.g. a week), or will GreenFeed estimate the average once a minimum number of visits has been reached?
A: The general GreenFeed sampling strategy is to attract each animal to the unit several times per day at random intervals. After several days, emissions at varied times of the day can be precisely defined. The sampling interval for each animal can be controlled by controlling the time interval in which the animal received the allocated feed. Statistically, gathering large numbers of samples over long time periods significantly reduces uncertainty. Within a week of GreenFeed sampling, each animal’s diurnal pattern and average emission rates can be determined with a high level of certainty.
Q: How does GreenFeed work in extreme cold climates? At what outside temperature are there problems with the measurement?
A: Standard GreenFeed system can work very well within the temperature range from +40 to -20 degrees Celsius. For the extremely cold environment, such as the high latitude Nordic countries and Canada, we developed a cold weather kit option, which includes heated manifold, dish, and cold weather durable wiring.
Q: Which animal-specific data does C-Lock need for the calculation of the methane excretion per day (feed intake, milk yield ... etc.)?
A: The experimental animals will be identified by the RFID ear tags/neck collars, and you don't have to record any other animal parameters for the GreenFeed unit measurement and recording.
Q: Does the client retain ownership of GreenFeed measured data?
A: Yes, the clients have the ownership of all the raw and analyzed data recorded by their GreenFeed units.
Q: Can GreenFeed do measurement on animals with horns?
A: Yes, we engineered a special "Horned Animal Shell" for clients to measure the gas emission from horned animals.
Q: Which are the GreenFeed measurement ranges for CO2, CH4, O2 and H2?
A: CO2: 0 – 2%;
CH4: 0 – 4,000 ppm;
O2: 0 – 100%;
H2: 0 – 1,000 ppm.
Q: What additional sensors are available?
A: The additional hydrogen sensor is extremely useful for methane inhibitor studies as hydrogen increases dramatically with the use of certain inhibitors. The oxygen sensor is most useful for energy balance studies and determination of the respiratory quotient.