The secret to longevity in most things lies in a strong foundation. The same is true for dairy cattle. Sound feet allow the cows to carry out their daily tasks, like walking comfortably to the milking center. Reduce or eliminate time spent fetching cows by preventing lameness.
Angie Ulness, an educator at the University of Wisconsin Division of Extension, says lameness can be quite prevalent in robotic dairies. Footbaths should be a minimum of 10 feet long, so each food gets two steps in a solution. They should also be 12 to 24 inches wide and at least a depth of 4 inches so dew claws are submerged.
Footbath solutions should be changed every 150 to 300 cows, depending on cleanliness. Copper sulfate, Formalin and Zinc sulfate are all possible solutions. Placing a footbath on the exit of the robot can streamline the cleaning process.
Read more on foot cleanliness and robot dairy efficiency here.
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