The Bennett family of Valley Venture Farms, LLC has a hard time focusing on just one benefit of their robotic barn. After installing 2 Voluntary Milking System (VMS) robotic milkers, cow health and comfort improved.
Teat ends are described as perfect due to thorough prep, fast milk let down and quarter take offs. This helps keep mastitis cases low. However when there is a case, they are able to treat it sooner thanks to the software built into the VMS.
Somatic cell counts have dropped from approximately 160,000 to 115,000. Milk production is up, with some cows giving more than 100 lbs per day, and labor costs have decreased.
Though the robots have improved the milking process, the overall barn design has also contributed to improved cow welfare. A great example is vet check day. The family segregates the cows that need attention by entering them into the computer. None of the cows are stressed ahead of time since the sort gate separates them after milking. They don’t suffer the typical drop in production that occurs with the stress of moving cows.