Effect of cow traffic system and herd size on cow performance and automatic milking systems capacity
¹Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Department of Production Management and Engineering, Nowoursynowska str. 164, PL02-787 Warsaw, Poland
²2Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Technology, Fr.R. Kreutzwaldi 56, EE51014 Tartu, Estonia
³Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Engineering, Kamycka 129, CZ 16521 Prague 6, Czech Republic
⁴Latvia University of Agriculture, Faculty of Engineering, Cakstes blvd. 5, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia
The objective of the current study was to investigate automatic milking systems (AMS) to find relationships between cow traffic system and efficiency of the AMS use. Milking records of cows from 11 Estonian dairy farms (46 AMS units) as well as data coming from four Latvian (7 AMS units) and two Polish (4 AMS units) dairy farms were analyzed to determine the system capacity. The highest capacity (milk yield per AMS unit per day) for Feed First cow traffic system (mean ± SD) 1,817 ± 276 kg was indicated in Estonian dairy farms. 142 and 255 kg more milk was obtained, respectively, compared with Milk First and Free cow traffic systems. Overall, average milk yield per cow per day was the highest with Milk First cow traffic system – 31.4 kg. It was 3.3 kg higher than with Feed First and 3.5 kg than Free cow traffic systems. The average machine-on time for milking was highest with Feed First traffic system, i.e. 85.3 ± 6.1%. However, the lower percentage of machine-on time for milking was observed for Free and Milk First cow traffic systems (76.4 ± 10.1% and 73.3 ± 7.2%, respectively).