In recent years, growth in the number of robotic milking installations on farms has been driven by the need for better labour management and also for improved quality of life for dairy producers. This chapter reviews published research on such robotic milking systems (RMS). Aspects related to barn design, feeding management and udder health in automated systems are covered. The authors’ field observations on RMS herds in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA, are also included. These comments cover feeding cows in RMS, milk quality and milk production using RMS and the economic considerations of implementing RMS on the farm. The authors conclude that the trend towards robotic milking is set to continue into the future and the per cent of dairy farms around the world using automation for milking their cows will further increase.
Table of contents
2 Barn design considerations
3 Feeding management
4 Milk quality and udder health
5 Field observations
6 Summary and future trends
7 Where to look for further information