Scenic Rim Robotic Dairy
Our farm has seen many transitions – our grandparents Hal and Rita Dennis started out in the 1930s milking cows by hand. They would be astonished to see our LELY robotic milking system today…
- 1930s - Cows milked by hand through Box bales
- 1949 - machine milking with the introduction of electricity
- 1972 - introduction of a 6 a side Herringbone
- 1991 - we start using a 50 platform Rotary, milking 360 cows (making us the second largest dairy in Queensland at the time)
- 2007 - we built a 10 a side Herringbone
- 2010 - installed Queensland’s first Lely ‘Astronaut’ robots
- 2011 - installed a fourth robot, with 250 cows
So, how does a robotic milking system work?
The Lely robots are basically machines which have been built around the cow. The robotic system allows the cow to choose when she is milked. The cows are trained to enter the ‘robot’ by a placement of grain feed. Each cow has an electronic tag, which the robot ‘reads’ when the cow enters, she is given a reward of feed grain according to her level of production.
The robot cleans her teat, attaches the milk cups, then begins milking.
Why the robotic system is better for our cows…
A unique set of milk quality measurement tools is located inside the arm of the robot just beside the udder. During the milking, the milk is continuously monitored providing us with vital information on mastitis, fat and protein and lactose to manage milk quality and cow health.
This allows us to respond quickly if the cow is sick or pregnant, and it also helps us achieve guaranteed optimal milk quality.
Our cows choose when they want to be milked
Normally, all the cows are herded in to be milked at the same time, whether they are ready or not. With our robotic system, the cows can enter the robots when they are ready….it’s a much nicer way to do things! It also means that our girls spend more time on the pasture, eating grass than they used to :)