Monday, May 11, 2015

Brown Swiss calf

April 21st.  We had a big great looking Brown Swiss heifer calf born today out of cow #5300.  It is kind of odd how excited I can get over a calf, but this one is really cool.  It looks great & I have always loved Brown Swiss cows & calves.

Here on our dairy my kids feed the young calves each night and even some weekend mornings.  Raising our kids on a dairy farm has been a huge blessing in our lives & we often get complimented on how hard of workers and strong our kids are.  We attribute much of that to the daily tasks that they accomplish here on the dairy farm. 

The Robots were moved into place in the flat barn built to house the AMS.  It is anticipated that it will take close to 3 weeks to get them up and start using them.  We are hoping to have the feed system into place that we can set the robots to "training" mode.  That will allow the cows to walk through the robot, and begin to know there is food at the robot.  Hopefully allowing the cows to get comfortable around the new flat barn will make for a better day when we start milking the cows with the robots. 
We are one of the first dairies in this area to invest in AMS.  Tom, our neighbor, was the first to get robots, and understands them much better than I.  Tom has been a huge help in calming my concerns as we start down this process. 
I don't profess to be an expert or even know a whole bunch about robotic milking systems, but I will try to explain it a bit to anyone who may be reading and want to know more about it. 

 All of our cows have a transponder on one of their front legs.  The transponder is an activity monitor and helps us manage the cows based on the activity that they are showing verses their normal activity baseline.  When the cow enters the stall to the side of the robot, it will read this transponder & know from the settings we have in the computer whether or not she is allowed to get more grain mix & be milked at this time.  If she is allowed, the grain mix will start to fill the feed bowl and the milking process will start. 

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