Where Cows Milk Themselves

#Robots

Fri, Apr 25th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Although farm automation is nothing new -- the above video from How It's Made is several years old -- the technology is now being rapidly adopted by farms "across New York’s dairy belt and in other states." The system allows the cows complete freedom to decide when and how often to get milked and, perhaps most surprisingly, the cows like it, too.

The Bordens expected a dip in production as their cows got used to the machines. But the cattle were quick learners.

“It just clicked,” said Susan Borden, Tom Borden’s 24-year-old daughter. “One day we came in and they had started milking themselves.”

Sure enough, on a recent Friday, the Bordens stood watch as cows lined up in front of the closet-size devices; each quietly allowed the machine to wash and scan its underbelly with lasers before attaching mechanical milk cups.

The cows ate the whole time, then moved along when the machine was finished. Nearby, another new device, a Roomba-style robot, pushed feed toward cows who lounged in a pen or lay on straw mats.

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