Breeding Cows For AMS19 June 2013
AUSTRALIA – As Automatic Milking Systems are considered by more and more farmers, the issue of teat placement and robot friendly udders continues to raise concerns about herd culling percentages.
Reassuringly, FutureDairy has announced that few cows have udders that are unsuitable for robotic cup attachment.
The issue centres around farmers placing more emphasis on the robot’s ability to attach cups and the cow’s ability to walk voluntarily around the farm. AMS herd managers look for cow size and conformation of udder, rump and legs.
Peter Williams, from the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme, will explain how automatic milking may influence breeding decisions at this year’s Dairy Research Foundation annual symposium, to be held at Kiama on 4-5 July.
“I would encourage farmers with AMS to pay more attention to teat placement,” said Mr Williams.
“Over many years there has been an industry-wide trend to bring the rear teats closer together, resulting in the potential for rear teats to angle and cross over. This would make robotic cup attachment difficult.”
“AMS farmers who want to widen the distance between rear teats should select bulls from The Good Bulls Guide with a Rear Teat Placement ABV of less than 100,” he said.
TheCattleSite News Desk