- The free stall barn (and herd) is split in half and have all the same equipment. The automatic sidewall curtain system raises or lowers to regulate temperature, the design maximizes the use of natural sunlight and is a resource conservation feature.
- Double chamber waterbed mattresses provide comfort for cows while inside the barn and promote cow health and well-being. Each bed contains approximately 13 gallons of water and helps save on bedding costs throughout the year.
- Cow behavior is continuously monitored using surveillance cameras in the barn. There are 15 video cameras located in the barn.
- The automatic Alley Scraper periodically moves through the barn scraping manure from the barn. The manure is moved into a pit and pumped underground to a lined manure lagoon. Manure is then taken from the manure lagoon and is spread onto crop fields through a manure spreader.
- The automatic Cosmix feeder provides concentrate feed for the cows and records accurate information about feed intake for each cow. Feeders can be used to balance the ration for low and high yielding cows, and allows regular concentrate feeding.
- Automatic cow brushes help with the flow of cows through the robot by tempting dominant cows to the back of the barn. This offers lower ranking animals have an opportunity to go through the robotic milker. The brushes also clean cows by removing loose hair and dirt.
- Access to pasture from the barn is controlled by the automatic milking system via automatic sorting gates. Sorting gates are programmed to “grant exits” based on the programmed milking interval of each cow. Two-way split cow lane-ways are used to control voluntary traffic between pastures and the robotic milking barn.
- The GPS records the cow’s location movements and grazing activity every five minutes to determine how foraging behavior of cows react and adapt to variations in climate.
- A cannula is a window-like device that allows access to the rumen for extensive research and analysis of the digestive system of cows, that otherwise could not taken place with out it.
- Greenfeed modules for automatic sampling and quantification of animal gas emissions have been retrofitted to the milking stalls. The Gas Analyzer Located in the front of the robot distributes pellets and, each animal is identified by a radio frequency identification system (RFID). A fan draws air over the animal’s head and past its nose and mouth into a specially designed manifold and air handling system to measure Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) emissions every six seconds to observe changes in emissions produced from the different pasture types.
10461 N. 40th St.
Hickory Corners, MI 49060