Robot milkers make for happier cows, increased production

Posted on October 31, 2023 | By Alex Graham | 0 Comments



“I call this ‘a cow-sized Fitbit’ because it knows how much they walk and it knows what their projected milk [production] of the day is,” explains Rothiemay Farms’ Jesse Mitham.

He’s holding a canvas belt, with a weight at one end and a transponder on the other, which his dairy cows wear like a necklace as they mill about the alleys of the 130-head farm just outside of Norton, New Brunswick.

Mitham, along with his father Bruce and mother Sarah, runs the family dairy and egg farm with the help of four other siblings who all grew up in the agriculture industry of southern New Brunswick.

Automation wasn’t as accessible back when Bruce and Sarah started the farm in 1981. Then, the constant labour of tending to the milking, feeding and cleaning schedules kept them close to home. Now, in 2023, automated technologies have not only liberated the Mitham’s strict morning and evening milking schedules, but have given the cows more autonomy too.

“I’ve got some cows in this herd getting milked 60 litres and they’ll get milked five to six times per day. And I have some cows in this herd only getting milked 10 litres… They only get milked once a day,” Jesse explained.

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