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Clinton, Knox farms install automatic calf feeders as tech evolves

A small calf steps up to an opening on one wall of the barn at Aghaloma Farms in Knox, sticking its head through the metal-lined opening that’s shaped like an oval pulled outward in the middle, and clamps onto a small tube.

In the small room next to the calf area, a machine is funneling milk replacer through the tube to the calf. Once it’s had 5 quarts of the liquid, the machine will stop sending the food its way.

When the calf enters the area to reach the computerized milking system, flanked by two guardrails, a black sensor box on its left reads a yellow chip in the calf’s left ear. The program keeps track of each calf separately, monitoring how much they drink. None are given more than 5 quarts and if they drink less, the farmers know to check up on them.