The cow is identified by individual neck tags, lasers are used to locate the teats, they are prepped individually and then the teatcups are applied individually. On average, the whole process takes about 8 minutes so Rugg says one robot can do around 160 milkings in a 24-hour period. Now because a cow can choose [emphasis added] to be milked 3 or 4 times a day, the total number of cows milked will vary. “In a typical robotic facility, the average milking is 2.7 to 3.2 milkings per cow per day.” Rudd says that works out to 55 to 70 cows. The robot is also able to identify treated cows and will discard the milk, then wash the milker before the next cow enters. “It has a very, very sophisticated herd management system.” He says while the cow is milking, she is weighed, milk flow and quality is measured from each teat, “There is just a whole slough of management reports the farmer can utilize.”I like the fact that cows can choose (I assume a typo, though our cows could be damned choosy). And I think the consistency is key (as long as the equipment is reliable).
Rugg says the robot is not for everybody, if you have good hired milkers and you like dealing with those workers, that is fine. “The advantage of the robot is it is very consistent.[emphasis added] ” Rugg points to the fact it is always there and it milks the same way every time. Another advantage he feels is udder health in that heavy producers can choose to be milked 3, 4 or more times per day. “It really depends on the labor situation and each individual farm.”
Friday, April 04, 2008
What Will They Be Able to Do Next? (Cows)
This is a blurb, from Brownfield Network, on the robot milkers at dairy show in WI: