LAKE GENEVA, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A lot has happened on the dairy robotic milking scene. We're catching up with one family on how robotic technology has impacted its herd. In this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News Tom and Jennifer Leedle show us their robotic milking barn.
Last November the Leedle family of Lake Geneva decided to make a significant change to their dairy operation by doubling its herd size, constructing a new barn, and automating their facilities.
"We wanted to expand but we couldn't justify milking three times a day down there, it would be way too hard on everyone to try and get another milking out of them," says Jason Leedle, Co-owner of Leedle Dairy Farm.
The new barn is equipped with many innovations that require far less labor and time in the barn for the Leedles.
"The milking robots themselves are automated, and then we have two Discoverys that are alley pushers, manure pushers. We have one on each half of the barn. And then we have the Lely Juno that pushes up feed in the entire barn, " says Jason.
Since Jason is the only one of Tom & Jennifer's six kids to come back to the farm, the Leedles wanted to make it easier for him.
"There would be room to bring in other family members, it would make it better for him health-wise, over the years he wouldn't have so much of that wear and tear from all the repetitive motions in the parlor," explains Jennifer Leedle, Co-owner of Leedle Dairy Farm.
They've even built a new calf raising barn with an automatic feeder that's helping them manage their young stock.
"It tells you how much they consumed per day, it tells you how fast, what their drinking speed is, it tells you if they've pulled off the nipple and left and not finished," says Jennifer.
And all this technology is making a difference for their dairy operation; saving them money and time while increasing cow comfort and production.
"Over twenty-four hours every cow in the barn is averaging 3.2 milkings. So some are getting milked more than that, and some are getting milked less than that, but the average is 3.2," says Jason.
And that's Wisconsin Dairy News!
The Leedles did a lot of research before committing to going automated and have a unique barn; designed in quadrants with about 200 cows on each side, with robotic milkers occupying the center part that provides ease of maintenance and avoids redundancy with electrical, milk, and water lines.
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