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Robot cows are on the move

Tue, 10/06/2015

The success of a robotic milking system depends on four good feet to get each cow to the robot with ease.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Jack Rodenburg“Healthy feet are absolutely critical for success in robot barns,” said Jack Rodenburg from DairyLogix Consulting in Ontario, Canada. During his educational seminar at World Dairy Expo, he pointed to research that showed a drop in robot visits and a rise in the number of fetch cows when lameness was prevalent in a herd.

“Fetching cows” is a new labor demand for producers milking with robots. Fetch cows are cows that don’t visit the robot for milking voluntarily. The number of fetch cows typically runs between 2 to 10 percent on robot farms, noted Rodenburg.

This number can escalate when the incidence of lameness rises. Thus, timely and effective treatment of lame cows is a necessity in robot herds. Read more

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