Robotic milking of dairy cows
Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Latvia University of Agriculture,J. Čakstes bulv.5, LV3001, Jelgava, Latvia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In countries with developed dairy farming milking robots are gaining wide popularity. The first milking equipment of this kind was installed in Latvia in 2007 and found interest among partitioning animal breeders and among scientists. The main feature of the milking robots is that cows can be milked independently, without human assistance and “on demand”. The aim of our research was to state how often the cows visited the robots, and to compare the load (capacity) and quality of the obtained milk to traditional milking equipment. In our experiments, the cows visited the robots 2.9 times a day, on average. Two robots that served a group of 73 cows were loaded to 65%. Therefore, the capacity can be enlarged to 110 cows. With the use of robots, milk quality indices were higher than milking with stall-type equipment with parallel location of animals.