How Much Does A Lely Robotic Milker Cost

Cow comfort With the Lely Astronaut A5, you achieve optimal freedom of movement for your cows. With free cow traffic, the cows decide themselves when to eat, drink, relax or be milked. Features such as the hybrid arm and the I-flow concept contribute to the cows’ natural rhythm and increase the milking robot’s capacity. A healthy and stress-free cow means more milk in the tank.

Maximizing daily milk per robot is important to maximize profit. In a four robot system using 2% annual wage inflation and a 20-year time horizon, net annual income increases approximately $4,100 for every 500 lb increase in daily milk per robot. Currently some US farms are consistently harvesting in excess of 6,000 lb of milk per robot daily. This is achieved by a combination of high daily milk per cow and a high number of cows per robot (often over 60)

A healthy and stress-free cow makes for more milk in the tank. That is why the Lely Astronaut was designed for cows. One of the features of the milking robot is the unique I-flow concept, which provides a straight route for cows. This means that the cows can easily enter and exit the robot when it is time for milking, and can be milked more rapidly. This increases the capacity of the robot.

Milk Production Change When Transitioning To Robots

The primary driver for the change in milk production with RMS is a change in milking frequency. de Koning (2010) found that robotic herds had production increases of 5 to 10% compared to milking 2X, but production decreased 5 to 10% compared to milking 3X. In our survey, the average RMS milking frequency was 2.8 with a range of 2.4 to 3.2. To optimize efficiency, the goal is to have high milking frequency in early lactation and lower milking frequency in later lactation.

What Drives Robot Profitability?

Milk production per cow, milk produced per robot per day, labor savings, and length of useful life are the main factors affecting RMS profitability. The primary disadvantage is the capital investment of $150,000 to $200,000 per robot that will milk 50 to70 cows each. Most historical data shows milking robots are less profitable than conventional milking systems. Advances in robotic technology, improved management skills, and higher labor costs may change these results.

How Many Cows Per Robot?


A Lely robotic milking system can milk 60 cows per robot or more, with an average of 2.6 milkings per cow per day. These figures are dependent on factors such as milk speed and production. Typically a robot can achieve 180 milkings per day with a goal of harvesting 5000 pounds of milk per day.

When Was The First Robot Installed?


On a global level, the first-ever milking robot was installed by Lely in the Netherlands in 1992. The first milking robot installed on a pastured-based system in the U.S. was in New York state in 2007. This paved the way to acceptance on dozens of pasture-based systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Are Milking Robots Water And Energy Efficient?
Yes, studies have shown that it uses less than a conventional milking system.

Can Robots Be Installed In My Existing Facility?


Yes, we have been very successful retrofitting existing facilities from tie-stall barns to multiple-barn facilities as long as there is adequate space to install the milking robot, and for cows to enter and exit the milking robot. Many times, the only change in the cow’s world is how she gets milked. She eats, sleeps and socializes in the same environment.

Can You Achieve Labor Savings Or More Flexible Schedules In A Robotic Milking System?


Robots offer a great deal of freedom and flexibility of lifestyles and labor. Labor requirements vary based on management style, herd size and needs. Lely’s goal is help you become more efficient and flexible with labor and your time.

Can I Transition My Existing Cows To A Robotic Milking System?


Experience shows that with even the most content herds, cows in robotic milking systems become more relaxed and easier to manage. This is due to free-cow traffic systems and cows having the freedom to choose their own milking times. With 24-hour milking, timid cows can avoid higher ranking cows which cause a lot of stress in a herd. This system allows all cows to realize their full potential and offers a stress-free and more natural environment for a cow.

Is Robotic Milking Profitable?

A milking robot will prove a 36% labour saving on a dairy farm throughout the year compared to a conventional milking parlour, according to Teagasc’s John Shorthall. Tipperary, the Teagasc Walsh Fellow said the profitability of the system is dependent on the cost of the conventional parlour.

How Much Does A Robotic Dairy Cost?

Mr Giura said the sums did not stack up when it came to investing in a robot that realistically could milk only 40-50 cows a day, at a cost $350,000-$400,000 (fully installed).

How Many Cows Can A Milking Robot Milk?

Guidelines suggest one unit is sufficient for 65 lower-yielding milkers. However, Holsteins producing 10,000l+/lactation need less pressure and more space. Therefore, stock about 55 cows per robot.

How Does A Robotic Milker Work?

With sensors, milking cups attach to the teats of the cow from underneath, after sanitation to minimize mastitis. The robot then continues to milk the cow until finished, detaches from the cow, and she is free to go from the machine.

How Many Cows Can A Lely Robot Milk?

60 cows
A Lely robotic milking system can milk 60 cows per robot or more, with an average of 2.6 milkings per cow per day. These figures are dependent on factors such as milk speed and production.

How Many Cows Can A Robot Milk?

The robot has the capacity to milk up to 80 cows, and by next spring it will be milking 73 cows. Currently, the cows are producing between 27L/day and 28L/day and they are visiting the robot – on average – three times/day.

How Much Does A Cow Milker Cost?

According to Midwest Dairy, “There are approximately 9.31 million dairy cows in the United States. The average herd size is 187 cows.” The cost of a robotic milker is between 150,000 and 200,000 dollars for 50 to 70 head of cattle.

How Do You Manage Treatment Or Separation Milk Cows?


Colostrum cows or cows on milk separation can remain in the main herd. When such a cow is milked in the robot, the milk is diverted to a second milk tank or collection buckets and the robot is rinsed post-milking to ensure there is no contamination between cows. Once the withholding period has finished, the cow’s milk will then be automatically sent back to the main consumable milk tank. 

Do Cows Produce More Milk In A Robotic Milking System?


A recent study from CRV Netherlands concerning 13,800 dairy farms and 1.3 million cows, shows that Lely milking robots achieve an average of 10% more milk per year than conventional milking systems and 4% more compared to other milking robot manufacturers.

How Do I Find Out If My Existing Facility Can Be Retrofitted For Robotic Milking Or If I Should Build A New Facility?
In most cases, your current farm layout is suitable for Lely robotic milking systems. Your local Lely Center will visit your farm to determine the suitability, and provide a personalized design and layout to suit your farm and its needs.

As An Organic Producer, Can I Divert Organic Milk From The Milking Robot To Feed My Calves?
Yes, you can divert milk directly from the milking robot through a pasteurizer to your calf shuttle or calf feeder as needed.

Does Lely Have A Solution To Get My Cows To And From The Barn To The Pastures And Return To Be Milked?
Yes, the Lely Grazeway selection box is used for steering the grazing system. Correct allocation of feed in the robot, grass per day and the promise of fresh grass every 8-12 hours motivates the cows to come back to the robot to be milked.

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