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Robotic milking - is it for you?

Robotic milking - is it for you?

Robotic milking is increasing in Ireland as farmers upgrade their parlours and are potentially looking to reduce labour on their farms. Patrick Gowing, Teagasc Dairy Specialist discuses key aspects of robotic milking and what needs investigation before considering the robotic route

As with a change in parlour the change to robotics is a large capital outlay on any farm and takes careful consideration and planning before going down the robotics route.

Key areas that need to be investigated prior to going robotic milking are:

Farmyard design

Cows are constantly moving to the robot during the 24 hour period and this has to be carefully planned from a cross compliance point of view and also to get best use of the drafting capabilities of the robot.

Grazing infrastructure

Cow’s access paddocks normally on a 3 way grazing system or ABC grazing in a robotic unit. This takes different design rules to follow compared to conventional and is critical in getting best use of your robotic unit in grass based farm.


As mentioned already robots require a large capital outlay and therefore need to be carefully planned using the farm business planner to make sure the farm can afford the proposed investment.

On a special Let’s talk dairy webinar for new entrants recorded last year Stuart Childs and Patrick Gowing discuss all the above aspects of robotic milking. Watch it below 

You might also like to read Getting the basics right – Robotic milking  Read more from Teagasc on Robotic Milking Parlours

The Teagasc Dairy Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to dairy farmers every Monday here on Teagasc Daily. Find more on Teagasc Dairy here