This article was originally published by Progressive Dairyman on July 18, 2016
As an architect, I’m often asked to envision the “barn of the future”. I reply that the future is here, considering the availability of robotic milking stalls, herd management software, cow and milk monitoring systems, along with a myriad of other solutions. The most value for dairy producers is realized, however, when those innovative tools are integrated into facilities designed with the big picture in mind.
The integrated robotic farm of the future delivers high levels of automation and provides valuable data for optimum productivity. It also goes a step further to proactively manage herd health and milk quality through premium consumable products. The best barn designs will not reach their full potential if consumables such as detergents, teat dips and liners are made with subpar raw materials. The overall result may be more milk harvested, improved labor efficiency, better cow health, and balanced lifestyle.
Click the image below to see a complex of facilities that consist of a conventional rotary parlor with freestall barn. Two robotic barns contain eight total robots sharing one milk house. Transition cows are also included. Managing them in the same facility that they will be milked in typically leads to improved productivity.