Last week, we shared Karsten Jensen’s robotic milking story in the March 2nd blog, Lely Astronaut A4 users tell their story – Karsten Jensen.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Gaylord Bernard and Emmanuel Decorse, managers at Gaec de la Voivre farm in France. They currently milk 60 cows with one Lely Astronaut robotic milking system.
Why did you opt for a Lely Astronaut A4 milking robot?
We opted for an Astronaut A4 milking robot after one of our colleagues had to retire. After visiting several robotic farms (with robots of different makes), we opted for the Lely Astronaut A4 because of Lely’s wide experience in robotic milking, as well as the milking robot concept itself (the unobstructed entrance and exit for the cows, swinging feeding trough, quick teat attachment).
What are your experiences with the Astronaut A4 after three months of milking?
The first three weeks of start up were exhausting. However, the robot gives us flexibility and enables us to react quicker than before with our cows (mastitis detection, acidosis). The cows are also calmer and production has increased by approximately 5 kg/cow. If we could turn back the clock, we would have opted for robotic milking earlier.
What is the main advantage and which result improved the most compared to your previous milking system?
The increase in milk production by approximately 5 kg is a big advantage. In addition, we have more time and have freed ourselves from the constraint of having to milk our cows every day at 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. We also experienced a new type of contact with the cows and we think feeding ration management adds value to our farm.
Would you advise a fellow dairy farmer to opt for a Lely milking robot as well?
Yes, because it works well and also because the local Lely Center team is very experienced in farm management support as well as in service. The response time is very short and we can call them at any time.