Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Robotic Cow Milker Field Trip

Our 4-H club went on the coolest field trip, we toured a dairy farm with a robotic milker. I am happy for anyone who is able to put this kind of milking parlor in because dairy farmers work long hours each and every day of the year. This means they can have a life outside of the farm, even if that only means going out for diner. This is the cows all lined up eating their lunch. They were very interested in us, not sure if we were checking them out or they were checking us out.  There are so many cows in this building that it isn't heated and you could almost go without a coat.  I say almost because it was about -15 below zero.

Every half hour this robot, which I called an automatic pitch fork, came by and moved the food closer to the cows.

This is what does all the work.  It has a sensor on it that recognizes the cow when it comes into the milking chute.  If it is time for her to be milked, she gets a treat, if not, no treat and she knows to move on and come back later. They said some of the cows are in the chute almost to the minute that they are able to be milked again.  

When she gets in the chute her udder get a good cleaning off with scrubbers and a sprayer.

Next a laser comes out to find the teats and the milker hooks up.  Some cows milk in as little as two minutes and some over 10 minutes.  Ten minutes is not ideal because a line starts form at the milker. Think of it as someone needing a price check in the check out line at the store and you already have all your items on the belt. 

This girl, who had the name Jumping Frogs Splash, yes they are named by the owners daughter, was wondering why all these people where watching her be milked. I think she sassily said, "Take a picture it will last longer." I told her I already did.  

The calves are also automatically feed.  No need to wait for the farmer to come around with the bottle, food automatically mixed and is available all the time.

The babies are all together where they are so friendly and wanted pets and scratches.  Dancer would love a calf so if she could have smuggled that one out she would have had it in the back of the car.

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