Robotic milking systems in today's commercial dairy barns are becoming a more common sight as farmers seek more consistent production, increases in labor efficiency, and to improve their margins.
Pamela Pearson, AgriNews Staff Writer, features the Eastern Ontario Schouten Farm near Richmond which uses nine robots to do the routine work of milking nearly 350 Holsteins. This third-generation farm manages about 800 head of cattle, and employs three full time farmhands.
The decision to expand the herd led to the family's decision to implement a robotic system and involved exploration of the variety of systems out there.
"The cows make their own choice to either rest, be milked or fed," said Michael Schouten. "We believe they are happier cows and in return, we get a better level of production and quality of milk. Research suggests that cows in a free stall environment with peers of same size and age will produce better."
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