Tag Archives: robotic milking

xxx M. Soonberg, M. Kass, T. Kaart, R. Leming and D.R. Arney
Additional concentrates do not affect feeding times of cows, but social positions of cows do
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Additional concentrates do not affect feeding times of cows, but social positions of cows do

M. Soonberg¹*, M. Kass¹, T. Kaart², R. Leming¹ and D.R. Arney¹

¹Estonian University of Life Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition, Fr. R. Kreutzwaldi 46, EE51006 Tartu, Estonia
²Estonian University of Life Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Fr. R. Kreutzwaldi 46, EE51006 Tartu, Estonia
*Correspondence: maria.soonberg@student.emu.ee

Abstract:

In robotic milking dairy systems lack of control over intakes can be problematic for balancing the forage and concentrate portions of diets. This can lead to problems associated with high concentrate intakes and concomitant low forage intakes. To check this as a problem, the feeding behaviour of cows was observed: the number of daily visits to the feed barrier, the duration of these visits and actual feeding, of high and low yielding cows. The cows were robot-milked and fed a ration comprising, separately, concentrate feed from a robot and a feeder, and a grass/clover silage mix forage at the feed barrier. Individual variation in visiting times and times spent at the feed barrier were greater than the effect of level of production. There was no evidence that cows with higher milk yields are differentially motivated to feed from forage. But more dominant cows spent more time feeding than submissive cows.

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241-247 A. Laurs and J. Priekulis
Robotic milking of dairy cows
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Robotic milking of dairy cows

A. Laurs and J. Priekulis

Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Latvia University of Agriculture,J. Čakstes bulv.5, LV3001, Jelgava, Latvia; e-mail: armins.laurs@promedia.lv

Abstract:

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.

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