VIDEO: Cows decide milking regime

Robotic milkers handle chores while a robot keeps feed accessible

LACOMBE, Alta. — Two robotic Lely milkers were the subject of numerous videos taken March 7 at Chubanna Holsteins when tour groups associated with the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar visited the farm.

Andrew and Anna Wildeboer operate the 100-cow dairy with help from one full-time and a few part-time employees.

Andrew is also an auctioneer and Anna is managing four children between the ages of 10 years and five months so her time for dairying is also limited.

The couple operated a dairy about one hour away from the current site, but when Andrew’s brothers decided not to continue farming, he and Anna moved back to the home place and expanded the barns.

“We farm about 900 acres with my dad. We buy all the feed from him at this point. We farm it together but Dad owns all the land. We own the dairy here,” said Andrew.

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The cows decide when to approach the robotic milkers, and tend to do so about three times per day. They receive part of their daily ration each time they visit the milker, with feed supply governed through an electronic transponder in their collars.

Additional feed is provided in feed bunks.

Chubanna cows are registered Holsteins, who produce 42 kilograms of milk per cow per day, on average.

Within the freestall barn, they are given a total mixed ration of corn and barley silage, haylage, dry hay, ground barley and pellets.

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