We needed to have someone who understands how rations, housing and robot settings affect cow behaviour. We are happy that the Advanced Robot nutritionists are on our wavelength and adjustments are made according to their knowledge and data gained from working with numbers robot systems.
Robot systems – Rationing Cows on Automated Milking Systems
Our Ruminant Specialists work with a number of dairy herds fed through automated milking systems (AMS).
Last autumn Advanced Nutrition launched the UK’s first dedicated robotic milking division to better service dairy farmers in this rapidly growing sector. Advanced Robot will build upon over 10 years of experience with robotic milking and offer farmers a tailored three point programme to encompass everything from robot settings, to nutrition, to health and shed design.
It is estimated that 8% of UK farms already use robotic milking but they also constitute 35% of new milking systems being purchased. In Holland 40% of dairy farms are automated with some Scandinavian countries as high as 50%.
Managing a farm with robotics requires a different approach from conventional milking.
We have found over the years the key to success is to begin by correctly balancing three key areas like points on a triangle – cow nutrition, cow health and robot settings. Any one of these areas taken in isolation can potentially knock the others out of sync. We regularly find dairy farms who have tried to use robot settings from another farm to solve issues but often this has only served to make the problems worse. Each farm is unique to itself with different forages, buildings, cows, production expectations and health challenges; therefore, a unique action plan is required to deliver results.
As a company we have been involved in dozens of new robot start-ups over the years from 50 cows all the way up to 500. An increasing number of larger herds have either installed, or are in the process of installing, a robotic system. Regardless of herd size our principles for success never change.
Healthy cows are paramount with a particular emphasis on healthy feet. Not only do lame cows eat less often but they also visit the robot less which affects the average number of milkings, and therefore milk yield as well as fertility. For this reason, we use Zinpro’s FirstStep® programme – a system for the assessment and prevention of lameness in dairy cows.
Getting the nutritional balance right on an AMS unit is something we have worked hard to perfect over the past decade. As on any farm there are basic fundamental steps which need to be followed. Balancing the diet both in and out of robot is critical to producing profitable milk and ensuring optimum visits. On most farms this balance needs to be struck between the mixed ration and in parlour feed but on others there may also be an out of parlour feed option or grazing gates. Again, regardless of what’s available, the Advanced Robot principles remain the same to ensure a healthy rumen and therefore a healthy cow, supported by a range of specialist products.
Different farm situations, diets, cows and yield aspirations will determine how the robots are set up for each individual farm. Settings which work well on one unit will not necessarily work on another unit, therefore a tailored approach is required. As a general rule a robotic system must beat a 3 x per day milking herd, therefore average visits of 3.0 or greater should be targeted with a milk increase of minimum 10% to cover the investment cost versus a conventional parlour. This should easily be achieved from less standing time (during milking), higher dry matter intakes and more milkings per cow, especially in early lactation.
We believe that by taking a total farm and having a complete understanding of the balance between cow health, nutrition and robot settings, will provide the key to unlocking true potential and profitability on AMS farms. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further details.
Benefits of working with ARN on Milking system:
- Drive intakes
- Increased milk yields
- Improved conception rates
- Increased margins
The introduction of Automated Milking Systems (AMS) can have significant benefits for your farm. However, their management can be complex and all too often we find that the AMS has not been fine-tuned to the individual needs of the business. Our team at Advanced Robot understand that every farm is unique, with different goals. Our services will benefit your business, drive forward productivity, put more milk in the tank and help provide you with a good return on your investment. Whether you’re thinking about installing robots, or you’ve already got them, our triangle concept will help you make the most of AMS technology. Our team will join the dots, make the right connections and get you on the road to success.
We offer the following robot services:
Are you thinking about robotic milking? Perhaps you are wondering if robotic milking is right for you and your farm? Why not take advantage of our experience at Advanced Robot?
We work with clients from parlour to robot systems and our feasibility study will help you decide the best course of action...
Advanced Robot Feasibility Study
If you’re looking to install robots on your farm, we’ll assess their viability and advise on any changes needed to ensure maximum efficiency. This feasibility study assesses:
- The environment
- The herd
- The farm team
- Animal health
- The farm’s business model & costings
- The ease to which robots can be introduced
- The impact of robots on profitability
The study will provide you with a comprehensive report, assessing any bottlenecks or potential issues. It will also indicate the potential increase on margins per litre.
Are your robots already in place? Do you want to find out how to make the most of your technology? Perhaps you are looking to increase milk production or to improve the health of your cows?
Whether you’ve had the system for a short time or a number of years, why not use the experienced team at Advanced Robot to identify where improvements can be made?
Advanced Robot Audit
When your robot system is up and running, we look past the training phase and assess your needs for the future. This detailed study highlights the three areas of the triangle - robot settings, nutrition, health and management, to look at a balanced way forward, unique to your farm.
Using a combination of tools to assess your unit against industry standards, the report will highlight areas for improvement, advise where we can make a difference to cow health and assess where margins can be increased.
We will look at:
- Robot milk permission
- Robot feed settings
- Building layout and cow flow
- Accessing robot milk data
Advanced Robot Blueprint
Whether you have taken our Feasibility Study or the Robot Audit, the final step is our Blueprint to success…
Using agreed objectives, Advanced Robot will prepare a detailed blueprint for your business. This will be a comprehensive guide to introducing robots onto the farm or to improve production with an existing Automated Milking System. The blueprint will layout the foundations to improve cow health and your farm’s profitability. The report will focus on a unique set of KPIs for your business and detail the tools needed to make them work.