Robotic Milking: What Is It

Robotic milking is exactly what it sounds like robots that milk cows. However, you’re probably picturing a robot from a sci-film. In reality, it’s small automated machines that do the milking. These machines are different from the machinery you probably currently use. Before we get into the article I would highly recommend seeing Fullwood Packo.

How Popular Is Robotic Milking

Robotic milking systems have been around since the early 90s. Yet, the systems and the overall industry has been experiencing tremendous growth. More and more farms are using robotic milking systems.

At the time of this writing, around two per cent of dairy farms in America are using robotic milking systems. In the Netherlands, the number is over 25%. The country is also where one of the largest robotic milking systems manufacturers reside, Lely. The company predicts growth of up to 15% over the next few years.

How Does It Work

There are a number of different types of robotic milking systems. Generally speaking, this is how the process works: Your cows enter a pen via a desire to relieve pressure in their udders. They’ll chew on food that’s being offered to them, as they are getting milked.

As your cows enter the pen, an ID tag is scanned. This is to let you see when the last time the cow was milked. You’ll also be able to see how slow or fast each teat dispenses milk, as well as what the shape of the udder is.

The arms of the robot stimulate the teats, while at the same time sanitizing them. This encourages the cow to let her milk out. There are suction tubes that attach to the teats and then the milking process starts. These suction tubes are guided to the teats via lasers.

Cows Seem To Like It

The truth is cows aren’t a fan of change, and they are comfortable when things are consistent. This is why it seems that cows are happier and calmer when they are introduced to robotic milking. Bear in mind that a period of readjustment is needed before cows are comfortable with the process. One of the best things is cows can choose when to be milked and the process is the same time after time.

This Is Good News For Your Yields

When cows are happy, the chances are they’ll reach their utmost potential for milking, which means good news for your bottom line. Furthermore, cows choose when they get milked, which can enhance your overall production.

Data On Your Herd’s Health

There are a number of robotic milking systems out there, but some are more advanced than others. In fact, some systems have wearable tech that tracks data such as behavioural and health metrics of the cows. Think of this tech as being a Fitbit for cows.

You can keep track of the steps your cows take, their food intake and much more. The data you collect can be used to boost the chances of your cows becoming pregnant. Also, the data will make it easier for you to spot whether or not your cows are unwell. You’ll receive the data via your laptop or smartphone.

Enjoy More Rest

Milking cows by hand is hard work and involve a lot of labour. Finding workers to help you out can be a major hassle, which is why you should install a robotic milking system. You won’t have to use your hands to milk your cows because the system does it for you. Your labour costs will be reduced and you can enjoy more time to rest or to focus on other areas of your business.