Grazing, tips and tricks

Practice has proven that robotic milking and grazing is a successful combination. Nevertheless it requires a different management approach and a correct focus, whereas visit behavior plays a vital role. In this article we will discuss about researches, influencing factors and various tips and tricks.

Management, Grazing


Automatic milking with Lely Astronaut milking robots is based on free cow traffic. Applying grazing does not change this concept; the motivation of cows voluntarily visiting the milking robot does. Previous research already pointed out cows quickly adapt to grazing and a slight influence on the various KPIs.

Basic principles
- Ensure preventative hoof care is carried out as lame cows often cause problems. Good health ensures that a cow is more active.  
- Avoid collecting cows at the same time each day. Cows may get used to being fetched, so avoid this as much as possible and use other management tools (such as field size) to lure them back inside. This reduces queuing up of cows at the robot. 
- Don’t break the rhythm of the cow, apply strategies for a longer time.   
- Keep cows closer to robot at night and let them travel further distances during the day. Cows are more inclined to travel in daylight hours. 

Ensure as well the farmer as its cows are ready for grazing before the grass really starts growing and use grass types that start slow in spring. Training cows can be done as discussed in this article.

- Cows needs water to produce milk, so don’t make them thirsty but provide full access to water in all the paddocks.
- Let the water do the work. Create leaving troughs at gateways to encourage locomotion. If positioned at opposite end of field cows are less likely to travel.

Lely Farm Management Support