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Optimising cow traffic in automatic milking systems

with emphasis on feeding patterns, cow welfare and productivity

Melin, Martin (2005). Optimising cow traffic in automatic milking systems. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2005:63
ISBN 91-576-6962-7
[Doctoral thesis]

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This thesis comprises the results from three separate studies performed in the experimental automatic milking system at Kungsängen Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. In the first study, 30 high-yielding cows in early lactation were subjected to two different degrees of controlled cow traffic, and the effects on milk yield, dry matter intake, feeding patterns and voluntary visits to the milking unit and the control gates were measured. A model of mixed distributions for estimations of biologically relevant meal criteria from registrations in roughage stations was also evaluated. In the second study, the behaviour of 24 cows after they had been redirected in control gates was observed, and the cause of long redirection times from gates until they showed up in the milking unit was examined. In the third study, 9 cows were subjected to three different cow traffic systems in a carry-over design and the effects on cortisol concentrations in milk and ruminating patterns were studied. The studies showed that milking frequency and thereby milk production can be altered by different time settings in the control gates without limiting the daily feed intake of the cows. A high degree of guidance provokes social effects in the queue in front of the milking unit and in the feeding areas. It also makes it difficult for the cows to follow their natural feeding patterns. Judging from measurements of milk cortisol concentrations, controlled cow traffic was not stressful for the cows. Cows initiated meals with short intervals, which offered many opportunities to milk them. But the queue in front of the milking unit caused long redirection times, and the control gates failed to guide cows to high milking frequencies. Individual differences in feeding patterns and how cows respond to redirections in the control gates suggest that the control gates should be making decisions on an individual level.

Authors/Creators:Melin, Martin
Title:Optimising cow traffic in automatic milking systems
Subtitle:with emphasis on feeding patterns, cow welfare and productivity
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2005
Number of Pages:53
ALLPaper I. Melin, M., H. Wiktorsson and L. Norell. 2005. Analysis of Feeding and Drinking Patterns of Dairy Cows in Two Cow Traffic Situations in Automatic Milking Systems. Journal of Dairy Science 88:71-85. Paper II. Melin, M., K. Svennersten-Sjaunja and H. Wiktorsson. 2005. Feeding Patterns and Performance of Cows in Controlled Cow Traffic in Automatic Milking Systems. Journal of Dairy Science (Accepted for publication). Paper III. Melin, M., G.G.N. Hermans, G. Pettersson and H. Wiktorsson. 2005. Cow Traffic in Relation to Social Rank and Motivation of Cows in an Automatic Milking System with Control Gates and an Open Waiting Area. Applied Animal Behaviour Science (Accepted for publication). Paper IV. Melin., M., G. Pettersson, K. Svennersten-Sjaunja, and H. Wiktorsson. 2005. Chewing Activities and Cortisol in Milk of Dairy Cows in Automatic Milking Systems with Different Degrees of Controlled Cow Traffic. (Manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6962-7
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:dairy cattle, feeding frequency, automation, milking equipment, milk yield, behaviour, stress, glucocorticoids, animal welfare
Keywords:Automatic milking, feeding patterns, cow traffic, individual management, milking frequency, cow welfare, stress, cortisol, social rank
Permanent URL:
ID Code:865
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Deposited By: Martin Melin
Deposited On:20 May 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:19 Mar 2015 10:43

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