Introducing automation to dairy herds requires a cautious approach considering cow behaviours and gradual transitions. Evolving dairy industry automation offers diverse options, but effectively integrating technology with cows presents challenges. Understanding cow behaviours is vital, as to is aligning chosen automation with their environment and routines.
One end of dairy automation features fully robotic dairies, where cows approach milking robots independently. Adapting involves incremental changes, letting cows explore machines. Some robotic milking machines even have training modes, familiarizing cows, often with feeding incentives.
On the other end are devices like barn sweepers, teat sprayers, sorting gates, and artificially intelligent-powered crowd gates. A cow-friendly transition is essential. Recognizing cows as both habitual and individual is vital as dominant cows influence the herd during transitions.
To learn more about this with real-life cases read Warwick Cross’s article published in AgProud and Progressive Dairy here.