Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WAVERLY (KWWL) -
This may not be the way your grandparents milked their cows, but it may be the wave of the future.
"It's an automate milking system or robotic milking," said Kevin Kueker.
Kevin and Cherish Kueker are third generation dairy farmers. They moved to robotic milking about a year ago.
"Our older facility was getting to the point where something had to be done either spend a lot of money to fix it up or build something new," said Kevin Kueker.
Kueker was interested in robotic milking since graduating from college. After looking more into it, they made the mechanical leap.
The concept of the robotic milking machine is pretty simple, when the cows are ready for milking they walk into one of the stalls.
A computer scans their ankle chip to see which cow it is and checks if she's been milked before.
"When the cow first comes in the very first time we measure the belly height and after that into the computer that tells where the camera comes in at," said Kevin Kueker.
The 3D camera is used locate the udder. Once it's found, the milking begins and the cow gets a little snack.
The Kuekers say one of the best parts about the robotic milking machine is that the cows seem to be happier.
"You know we are not having to push them around so much. They can milk when they want, eat when they want, lay down," said Cherish Kueker.
Kevin says the robot allows him to spend more time with his family.
"They still need to eat. They still go to the bathroom so you got to take care of that stuff too. It just gives you a little more flexibility. You don't have to be there at six o'clock in the morning or six o'clock at night you can just adjust to your schedule."
Robotic cow milking became popular in the United States about four years ago.
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