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Function of automatic manure scrapers

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

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-029)
Authors:   Lars Erik Ruud, Øyvind Froknestad
Keywords:   Automatic manure removal, automatic manure scrapers, manure robots

Abstract. The objective was to investigate function of automatic manure scrapers in free stalled dairy herds, and the farmers‘ satisfaction with their equipment. Lists with farmers using automatic scrapers were retrieved from two retailers of farm equipment in Norway representing DeLaval and Lely robots. 52 farmers that had at least one year experience with their product were randomly selected, and included in the study. An interview was performed during the spring 2015 as a phone interview using a standardized questionnaire. The data set consists of 30 farmers with Lely robots and 22 with DeLaval robots. Mean herd size was 59.0 ± 19.5 (SD) dairy cows. Slatted concrete floors were used in 98% of the herds, whereas 2% had slatted rubber floors. For some reason, the robots stopped 37.6 ± 71.6 times per year without any statistical difference between the brands. Main reasons for stop, were “getting stuck” (72.3%), dirty position sensors (14.9%) and problems in relation to the charging process (8.6%). Mean age when changing the scraper blade (rubber) was 1.7 years.

Regardless of brand, results from this study shows that the farmers are very satisfied with their scraping robots, and as much as 100% would buy a similar product again. They were also satisfied with properties like the cleaning ability, durability, and safety as well as service requirements, even though tail lesions and broken legs had happened. There is reason to believe that an investment in such equipment positively influences also on total workload and claw health.

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