Robot breeding values

Robot breeding

  • Robot efficiency
  • Milking interval
  • Heifer habituation

Robot breeding values

To build a new parlor or to start milking with an automatic milking system (AMS) is a realistic question on many dairy producers mind. With advances in robot technology, more and more dairy operations are installing milking robots instead of a traditional milking system.

Important qualities for milking in AMS operations are efficiency, short fetch lists, and the habituation of heifers. Starting in April 2016, producers in the US can include the CRV robot breeding values in breeding decisions to help increase these qualities needed for efficient AMS operations.

"Reliable breeding values are the basis for sustainable breeding."
Dairy farmers Jos and Ingrid Knoef, Geesteren, The Netherlands

How does robot breeding values work?

By using the robot traits, a dairy producer can aim for a herd which optimizes milking with an AMS. When added to selection criteria that includes production and confirmation, the CRV USA robot breeding values gives dairy producers more control over their breeding programs.

The new CRV robot traits are presented as three separate breeding values: Robot Efficiency, Heifer Habituation, and Milking Interval. Robot Efficiency indicates how efficiently a cow completes milking after entering the robot. Heifer Habituation represents how fast a heifer adapts to the AMS. Milking Interval is defined as the time interval between two milkings.

Six million milkings
With the number of robotic milking systems rapidly increasing, the data used to create these breeding values was gathered through milking robots in The Netherlands. The available data has and continues to increase immensely, with approximately six million robot milkings a week from 500,000 cows on over 4000 dairy farms. That brings the total number of robot milkings available for the breeding value estimations to 600 million and increasing daily.

Read more detailed information how robot breeding values works.

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