This particular dairy that we visited has two robots which milk their 120 cows. Each robot can milk about 60 cows, and that is with each cow getting milked 2 or more times a day. The robot is stationary and the cows learn over time that they must come to the robot when they want to be milked. It was amazing to see the cows waiting patiently in line for their turn. No one was having to push them into the stall where the robot was. They went in willingly and calmly stood in place. I was told that one way they entice the cows into the milking stall is with some feed that they like. As the cow enters the stall the robot scans their ID and records how many pounds of milk that cow produced and how often they are coming to get milked. As you saw in the video above lazors are used to visualize the udder and place the milkers. Since the robot never needs to sleep the cows can come to get milked at their own schedule. Some may like a noon and midnight milking while others may like milking at 7am and 7pm. This flexibility leads to calmer cows which increases productivity.
|Paul and my dad are walking down the large open barn where the cows and robots are.|
There was also a robotic scratcher that the cows could walk under for a nice rub down. Who doesn't like a nice back rub every one in a while. Another example how happy, comfortable animals will perform and produce higher quality products for us.
|David says hello to some cows|