Better grazing opportunities with a mobile milking robot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


Although grazing of dairy cows is very common in the Netherlands, the number of grazing cows is decreasing. Mobile milking robots might support grazing, in particular in situations of large herds, in remote grassland areas and in extensive natural grasslands. In the Netherlands, a stand-alone mobile milking robot has been developed using caterpillar tracks. Every day, this milking robot moves to a new part of the pasture and every two days concentrates, fuel, water and milk are separately transported from and to the mobile milking robot. The system was tested in the 2008 grazing season using a herd of 35 dairy cows. During the 2009 grazing season the project was scaled up to a herd of 60 cows on an area of 20 ha peat soil. In 2009 a strip grazing system with controlled as well as free cow traffic was used in order to increase the visit and milking frequency. The mobile milking robot was capable of managing a 60-cow herd grazing 24 hours while producing a rolling milk average of 7500 kg cow-1 yr-1. The challenge is to improve the milk yield per cow and year by increasing the milking frequency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication23th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Kiel, Germany, 29 August - 02 September, 2010
EditorsH. Schnyder, J. Isselstein, F. Taube, K. Auerswald, J. Schellberg, M. Wachendorf, A. Herrmann, M. Gierus, N. Wrage, A. Hopkins
Place of PublicationZürich, Switzerland
PublisherEuropean Grassland Federation EGF
ISBN (Print)9783869440217
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event23th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation -
Duration: 29 Aug 20102 Sep 2010


Conference23th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation


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