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Field Observations on Barn Layout and Design for Robotic Milking

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Sixth International Dairy Housing Conference Proceeding, 16-18 June 2007, (Minneapolis, Minnesota) (Electronic Only)  701P0507e.(doi:10.13031/2013.22804)
Authors:   Jack Rodenburg, Harold K House
Keywords:   Robotic Milking, Automatic Milking, Voluntary Milking, Dairy Barn Layout

Based on survey results, labor efficiency, convenient one man operation, free cow traffic and cow comfort are among the priorities of robotic milking farms in eastern Canada. When herd management is focused on these priorities the criteria for barn design are different from traditional freestall barns designed for parlor milking. Grouping, training and handling strategies have a major impact on barn layout. Since many questions about ideal management strategies remain unanswered, practical barn layouts that can be readily adapted to different management options are presented. In a separate project two years of experience with a robotic milking dairy located more than 6 hours from technical service support is described. With excess milking capacity, a stock of parts, additional training and satellite video and computer linkages this farm has successfully milked 68 cows without interruption for 28 months using a robotic milking system without the support of a technician.

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