Automatic feeding systems (AFSs) enable more frequent delivery of feedstuffs compared to conventional feeding systems (CFSs). The objective was to estimate the effect of the feeding system (CFS versus AFS) and of the associated feeding and milking related actions on the visiting patterns to automatic milking systems (AMSs). The AMS log files of 20 Dutch dairy farms that fed total mixed rations (TMR) and milked automatically for the year 2009 were analysed: 9 farms used a CFS, 11 farms fed with an AFS. The effects of the feeding system on the mean daily AMS visits were determined using an F-test and on the hourly AMS visits using a restricted maximum likelihood (REML) analysis. To assess the effect of feeding and milking related actions on the AMS visiting patterns the patterns were decomposed into Fourier harmonics, the effects of the actions were analysed with transfer functions and lagged variables and parameters were estimated with REML. No statistical differences were found for the mean daily AMS visits between the CFS (2.567 milkings day-1, 2.056 refusals day-1 and 0.105 failures day-1) and AFS farms (2.614 milkings day-1, 2.483 refusals day-1 and 0.118 failures day-1). The cows at the AFS farms were milked significantly earlier (at 7:00 and 8:00 AM) than at the CFS farms. Feed delivery reduced the milkings cow-1 h-1 slightly and almost significantly in the hour of feed delivery, while AMS cleanings and fetching of cows had a more significant effect on the hourly cow visits to the AMS.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
Belle, Z., Andre, G., & Pompe, J. C. A. M. (2012). Effect of automatic feeding of total mixed rations on the diurnal visiting pattern of dairy cows to an automatic milking system. Biosystems Engineering, 111(1), 33-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2011.10.005