Yesterday the Lowry Family and Penlow Farms hosted an open house to let friends and neighbours tour their new barn and robotic milking system.
Article and photos by Bob Lesser
Over 800 folks took the opportunity to have a close look at the Lely Astronaut A4 system in action.
The system is built around the free-cow traffic approach. The cow decides when she eats, gets milked, or lies down, with sufficient barn space to allow her to behave more naturally and increase her well-being.
The system enables the cows to self-milk up to 6 times a day around the clock, with the average being just over 3 times. On her own initiative the cow enters the walk-through unit, the teats are sterilized and stimulated, then a 3D camera monitors movement for perfect arm position to ensure fast detection and attachment.
The system tracks the health of each cow and can alert the farmer to any potential issues.
While enjoying great home-made chili, coffee, muffins and doughnuts, the visitors observed the system in action, spoke with company representatives, and discussed the latest in farming technologies with each other.
Technical information from the Lely website.