Horizon Updates


Milking Failures Reduction Advice

Find out how Horizons new Failure reduction advice can help you reduce your failed milkings and why it is so important to keep failures to a minimum.

Horizon July Update.png

Why is it so important to reduce milking failures?

Did you know that when milking failures increase it can impact cow welfare, your time and your business? A milking failure is defined as a cow that comes into the robot but does not complete milking This takes up space that another visit could benefit from and repeats an attempt at the cow’s own visit. This can mean that she can drip milk without being harvested, the teat end can stay open, risking mastitis and increase the risk of cross contamination in liners (they do not wash if the cow did not complete her milking). Repeated failures can reduce her incentive to return to the robot. Most of these cows need finding, collecting and possible supervision during their next milking, taking up your precious time. Repeated attempts can even shut down the system in a critical alarm. Successful reduction of failures results in:

  • Increasing free time: on average a failed milking takes an additional 8 minutes of box time
  • Improved milking performance and increased robot efficiency
  • Reduced consumable costs: less washing time, reduced water and chemical consumption
  • Lower electricity consumption
  • Reduced misalignment of the robot arm and/or jetters.
  • Milking cups staying cleaner for longer

How can I reduce my failure rate alongside the Horizon Failure reduction advice feature?

A good target to reach is < 5 failures /day. Checking failures twice a day is recommended, to prevent rising numbers. Your Horizon report “13 – Failed Milkings” can indicate a possible reason for the failure occurring. These are illustrated in the figure attached (Fig. 1).

Horizon July Update 2.png
Figure 1: Horizon Report 13 - Milking Failures. The Visit Result column indicates why the failure occurred

Regular maintenance of the cow and robot can prevent failures, such as ensuring clean teats, singeing udder hair and tail clipping, cleaning the laser detector and robot arm and ensuring that the cow stands still and firmly in the box (rubber matting on the robot floor can help). Your local Lely Center farm management support team are skilled in investigating failure challenges, so make sure you keep their contacts handy! Effective failure reduction can mean healthier cows, less time wasted by the robot and you and a more efficient dairy.