Meet and Greet - Robot Style : An Update on the Cows of Hillside Farm

The saying with robot barns goes like this...

3 days = No sleep

3 weeks= They kind of know what's going on

3 months= Things are rolling along

My version would go something like this...

3 days = Coffee!!!

3 weeks = I guess this is going okay?

3 months= Yes, the fetch list is short!

This week marks 3 months since we moved into the new barn so I thought you all might enjoy an update.  

The general stats are something like this:

Milking Cows - 160

Milkings/ Cow/ Day - 3.2

Milk Production - Up 12 lbs/ Cow/ Day

Fetching - 3 times a day with mostly fresh cows under 14 days, they seem to get the hang of it after that. Otherwise there are about 5-7 cows to fetch herd wide, they are usually the same culprits.

While the timeline has not felt so cut and dry to those of us working in the barn everyday, when you take a step back it is easy to realize how much progress has been made in just a few short months. 

We are beginning to freshen several cows back in and you realize how much easier things will continue to get. 

The fresh heifers do require some time, but don't they always? The good news is they love the grain and often sneak back in when were not looking to see if they can get some more. 

With all that being said, I'd like to introduce you to the lovely ladies who are paying for all that fresh red paint! 

Meet 1997. First calf heifer and lover of the cow brush.

64 days in milk, 85 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 2.4 times/ day with no assistance.


Meet 1515. Oldest cow in the herd.

400 days in milk, 55 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 2 times / day with occasional fetching.


Meet 1863. Troublemaker.

130 days in milk, 121 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 4.4 times/ day with no assistance.


Meet 1880. Loves pampering.

205 days in milk, 99 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 4.3 times/ day with no assistance.


Meet 1622. Gentle girl.

20 days in milk, 111 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 3.4 times/ day with occasional fetching.


Meet Bandit. Lazy dog.

Terrified of the robots.


Meet 1755. Chubby lady.

10 days in milk, 100 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 3 times a day being fetched every time.

In the past few days she often will be waiting by the robot when someone arrives and walks right in without being touched.


Meet Junie. My buddy and lover of buckets.

34 days in milk, 87 lbs of milk, visiting the robot 4 time a day even after a bout with ketosis and a DA. She also has 4 "refusals" a day, meaning she comes to the robot too early 4 other times besides her 4 milkings. 


Meet 2010. Shy girl.

89 days in milk, 80 lbs of milk, has never been to the robot voluntarily. 

We fetch her 3 times every day and love her anyway.


Meet 1921. The wild one.

261 days in milk, 69 lbs of milk. 3.3 visits to the robot per day.

With the exception of this photo, I have never even seen this cow since start up.

She prefers her space and obeys the rules, fine by me.

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Comment by Betsy Fleury on November 6, 2014 at 7:53am

Love your pictures and cow descriptions! Thanks for sharing!


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