Robotic milking

Chips

Member
Location
Shropshire
Haven't really got any pictures and cows are obviously in at the moment . One thing I think helps is that the A and B paddocks are in opposite directions with the barn in the middle . This way it makes sense to the cow once she is out to walk towards the barn when she wants to get to the next paddock IYSWIM.
Sometimes you see set ups where A and B are in the same direction and thus when the cow wants to get to the next paddock it doesn't make sense to her to walk back to the barn even though that is what she needs to do to access the next paddock.
 
I run an AB system with a full time buffer feed in the shed and so in effect it is like an ABCD as there is always an incentive for cows to come back inbetween each new grazing allocation . My A area is a poorer part of the farm than my B and so I never bother any more with putting a fence up in A as they will always been drawn back by the lure of getting to B . This results in only having to move a fence in the mornings as B is 12pm to 12am leaving afternoon routine as little as possible as usually I am squeezing it in while doing field work !
System works well in that it reduces work load over full time housing , makes less crowded in the shed which helps new heifers start volunteering to milk and obviously saves on silage requirements compared to full time housing although by not as much as a non buffer system would. The one downside is that the edge of hunger is no where near as much as non buffered cows and thus they are fussy at cleaning up paddocks . This used to result in a lot of topping and thus waste but as the fences and water supply gets better I am able to utilize this by following the milkers with the dry cows from mid season onwards.
On this system we rarely have to fetch any cows back from the paddocks until we get late into the season with long dark nights . Usually graze from mid March to mid November and can never wait to get the cows back out :)

What do you use as the buffer while grazing? And how many cows are you running that system with? Just wondering how big your grazing allocations are? Do they have access to the cubicles aswell of just access to the robots?
 

Chips

Member
Location
Shropshire
What do you use as the buffer while grazing? And how many cows are you running that system with? Just wondering how big your grazing allocations are? Do they have access to the cubicles aswell of just access to the robots?
buffer is round bale silage , home grown oats and blend and a bit of hay if needed fed through tub mixer. Full time access to cubicles . The buffer doesn't really change from the winter ration other than we usually don't have arable silage bales in the summer.
Allocation is just play it by ear so to speak. My farm goes from very steep rock to a more clay loam lower down and so depended on time of year and rainfall the area given per day would alter massively. Don't have time or desire for measuring grass so would be clueless to KG of DM.
 

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