Modelling of heat stress in a robotic dairy farm. Part 3: rumination and milking performance

Ji, Boyu and Banhazi, Thomas and Ghahramani, Afshin ORCID: and Bowtell, Les ORCID: and Wang, Chaoyuan and Li, Baoming (2020) Modelling of heat stress in a robotic dairy farm. Part 3: rumination and milking performance. Biosystems Engineering, 199. pp. 58-72. ISSN 1537-5110


Robotic milking systems (RMS) have been demonstrated to reduce on-farm labour requirements and collect significant individual-level data in relation to animal health, welfare and production, but they are still largely underutilised. Studies on the relationship between heat stress, animal behaviour and robotic milking performance in a RMS are still insufficient. To model such a relationship, this study focused on analysing the data collected from a RMS system. Animal response indicators of heat stress assessment were rumination time (RT), milk temperature (MT) and daily milk yield (DMY). In addition, RMS milking behaviour, i.e. time of milking (TM), milking frequency (MF), milking duration (MD), milking speed (MS) and milk yield per milking (MY) were also monitored. A new index of rumination efficiency (REI) was created to evaluate rumination efficiency under heat stress, defined as the ratio between DMY and RT. Using multiple broken-line regression, it was found that a 1 °C rise in daily mean temperature could reduce RT by 5.12 min, decrease REI by 0.07 kg·cow−1·h−1, and increase low efficiency milking by 1%. Moreover, the study also found cows prefer to milk between 7:00–9:00AM, and 86% of milking events happened during this period. No significant correlation was found between heat stress and milking behaviour. However, delaying the first milking event of the day and controlling milking intervals to <4 h, was beneficial for REI and robotic milking performance.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 06:26
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2021 23:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: robotic milking system, animal welfare, heat stress, farm management
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080110 Simulation and Modelling
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4602 Artificial intelligence > 460207 Modelling and simulation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8305 Primary Animal Products > 830599 Primary Animal Products not elsewhere classified
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