Fresh Yorkshire Milk

The Old: Herringbone Parlour


The New: Robots

What is the difference? 

  • Conventionally, cows are milked every 12 hours regardless of milk production
  • Robots let the cows decide when they want to be milked - up to 6 times a day at the start of their lactation, reducing to just every 18 hours towards the end of the lactation
  • This means the cows are never under or over milked, which is better for the cow and her udder!


How do they work?

  • The cow is tempted into the robot with the promise of some food (and the desire to be milked)
  • When the cow enters the robot, her collar tells the robot who she is
  • The robot then decides whether the cow needs to be milked - it may be too soon after her last milking in which case the gate will open and the cow exits
  • If the cow needs to be milked, the robot will provide food and start the milking process


  • The cows teats are cleaned using brushes, this also stimulates the udder to release the milk
  • The teats are then located using a laser and the milking cups are attached to the teats
  • As each teat finishes milking, the milking cup is released
  • When all 4 teats have finished, the teats are sprayed with a teat spray to prevent infection
  • The cow then exits the robot

What are the benefits?

  • The main benefits are to the health of the cow


  • Each quarter of the udder is never over or under milked, ensuring optimum udder health
  • The equipment, both brushes and milk cups, is washed between each cow to ensure that infection is not passed from cow to cow
  • The milk from each quarter is individually analysed, meaning that incidences of mastitis can be picked up and treated quickly
  • In addition to monitoring milk production, the robot also monitors movement and feeding patterns, which can provide early indication of a sick animal, allowing early diagnosis and treatment

  • The other main benefit is that the herdsman can spend more time looking after the animals, rather than standing in the parlour