Invention gains big reputation
A calf feeder now selling in 18 countries is yet another farming invention spawned from a NZ Agricultural Fieldays competition that has become a commercial success.
Less than a year after winning a major category in the Fieldays Innovation Awards, Cambridge couple Ursula and Mark Haywood have commercialised their Trustituber and Flexituber feeders in countries including the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan.
Ursula Haywood said their company, Antahi Innovations Ltd, had gone from strength to strength after the launch of its ‘‘kinder’’ calf feeders at last year’s awards at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.
Haywood, a Tirau dairy veterinarian, came up with the idea three years ago after observing farmers during calving seasons. Many farmers had told her that they disliked tube feeding.
‘‘There is some unforgiving equipment out there and I thought it could be done better. As a vet I knew about animal anatomy and I wanted to make a tube feeder that would be more comfortable and safer for the calves.’’
The feeder products took more than two years to develop and have a flexible tube and easyswallow safety tip designed to flex around a calf’s airway.
Haywood said they had seen a 90 per cent reduction in calf stress. when their feeders were used.
Making tube feeding easier on calves also made it easier and less unpleasant for farmers, encouraging them to treat sick or weak calves earlier, she said.
They received $5000 in legal advice and support from top Hamilton law firm Tompkins Wake after winning a commercialisation award.
Haywood said the support, mentoring and networking opportunities from the competition had been invaluable for their business.
Crowds usually throng at the popular Innovations Centre during the four-day event which last year attracted 130,684 visitors.
Entries are being accepted until May 1 from rural inventors.
Mark and Ursula Haywood are selling their calf feeder products in 18 countries.