The innovative idea of the Peach Teat designed by Robert McIntyre remains a classic example of Kiwi ingenuity.
The factory that Robert first established to manufacture the Peach Teats in late 1993 was located in a shed on his dairy farm in Hunterville, New Zealand. The conditions were a little primitive, to say the least, but this small start gave him the experience to develop the teat further, and the numbers sold steadily grew, until Peach Teats became the best-selling calf feeding teat in New Zealand. The early designs of the teat, the internal valve and the precise positioning of the two milk openings at the tip of the teat were conceived while Robert spent many hours with various materials in the bath tub. He knew that if a teat could be devised that worked just like a real cow’s teat the calves would feed much more naturally, gain weight faster and eliminate the common problem of mouth ulcers caused by the existing teat’s hard rubber.
Now marketed by Skellerup Industries, Peach Teats command an estimated 60% of the New Zealand market, something Robert puts down to the simple fact that ‘calves love them’. He says traditional teats are less rewarding because when a calf squeezes the teat most of the milk goes right back into the container, whereas Peach Teat’s unique non-return valve holds the milk in the teat. The valve also simulates the action of a real cow’s teat, moving all the time while the calf is suckling. This means calves get more milk for less effort.