New colostrum-feeding kit is kinder to calves, and safer and easier to use

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The Trusti Tuber - Its design ensures tubing is safer, easier and more comfortable for the calf. It allows feeding to be done more quickly and with less stress for both calf and farmer.

Manufactured by Antahi in New Zealand, the Trusti Tuber starter kit consists of a mouthpiece which sits comfortably against the calf’s muzzle, through which a soft flexible tube is passed. Using markers of calf size and a stopper, the length of the tube canbe altered to ensure correct placement and positioning of the tip end. The mouthpiece and tube are easily held in the calf’s mouth using one hand. With the other hand, the 4 litre ergonomically-designed milk bottle can be raisedto allow the colostrum, or electrolytes, to flow down the tube and safely into the calf’s stomach.

Further design features include a clip on the side of the bottle to attach the mouthpiece and keep it off the floor, and the transparency of the tube allows better cleaning.

The Trusti Tuber was developed in New Zealand by vet Ursula Haywood who was finding her farm clients were reluctant to tube-feed calves, due to the associated stress and risk of tube misplacement. In trials the Trusti Tuber has been shown to almost halve the time it takes to tube calves and it reduced behavioural signs of stress by 88%.

The Trusti Tuber was developed to solve farmer concernsaround calf safety, calf comfort and usability with traditional oesophageal feeders.  The Trusti Tuber not only prevents bruising and injury to your calf, it also makes the procedure easier for you.

Trusti Tuber Trial Data – Trusti Tuber Vs Rigid Feeder

The trial involved 28 mixed breed and sized calves, all less then 4 days old, split into two groups so there were an even range of sizes and ages.  One group was fed with a ‘rigid feeder’ and the other with the Trusti Tuber, both fed 2 litres of colostrum.

 Time taken (secs) 73 132
 Kicks 1.6
 Vocalisation 0 2
 Post heart rate (beats per minute) 144 172
 Heart rate change 4 34
 Stopped early due to calf distress 0 6
 Number treated 14 14


NOTE: 6 calves (42%) in the rigid feeder group were stopped early (before the full 2 litres were given) due to exhibiting what was deemed too high stress behaviour.  Zero calves in the Trusti Tuber group were stopped early.  This has high practical implications on farm with staff often stopping early and the calf not receiving the full amount of colostrum.

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