Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Where do they get those wonderful toys?!...

Thanks to Bob for the distraction from studying wines in the form of an automated milking machine!

I know there is nothing new to milking machines...but how bout one that does Step A all the way to Step Z?

What really gets me about the system is the cows come in and out as they please (At least that is my understanding of  it).

Here's a clip for all the food (and science) g33ks out there:

While watching the whole process I noticed how very at ease the animal seemed with the process. Cows already seem lethargic to me, but if you have ever seen one trying to be "escorted" into a confined area you know they can get pretty wild.

I'm really interested in getting over to the farm at some point in the near future to visit and possibly get some samples of their product.

For anyone interested its Hendricks Dairy.


The O said...

Those robotic milking parlors truly are quite amazing. I've visited one myself, and it blew me away. While it's amazing how far we've come with the technology, it'll add to the already rising problem of family-run farms withering away. Only the wealthy super-farms and feedlots with absurd amounts of cattle will have the money to run an operation like this.

In regards to your comment about cows getting wild in confined areas, that only really applies to beef cattle. Dairy cattle are trained to be tolerant of handling and placed in confined spaces since birth. In fact, dairy cattle spent much of their lives inside. Not as much as swine, but they spend much more time inside than beef cattle.

The Foodist said...


Judging from the video (and I know its hard to do) would you say these cows are more at ease with the process then say a normal milking situation?

The O said...

From what I saw on the video I'd say no, but it leaves out everything between being hooked up to the machines. When in non-robotic milking parlors they aren't handled at all by people, and because they go into them daily during their lactation cycle, they become quite accustomed to it. The most stressful part that I've observed is being herded one by one up to the milking parlor. I can't seem to recall how it works getting them up in there in those robotic farms. I can surely ask of my food animal practitioner classmates though about that and overall stress levels of the cattle in normal vs. robotic farms.

The Foodist said...


The feedback would be awsome. Im in the process of scheduling a visit to the farm in the coming weeks so I may get to see it for myself!