At the beginning of November, the last five robots went online. This was the third and final round of robots to be installed. All in all, this startup went very smoothly. There was a little bit of tweaking with the feedstuff that is put in front of the cows when they’re being milked, but as a whole, we had a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to help the cows transition. The cows have adapted really well to these milkers.
Now that all of the robots are up and running, we are still working through some of challenges of getting to know the different parts of the machines. One morning shortly after the last round of robots were running, the temperature dropped to around 12oF. It was a bit jarring to get down to those temperatures so early in November. The cold came on a Thursday night or Friday morning and we weren’t quite ready for it. My brother Darin was looking all over for heaters to put in the robot rooms.
The robot rooms and the office area for the robots have in-floor heating systems. The rooms aren’t heated using propane or gas. We will have a geothermal process that will take the heat from cooling the milk to be reused to heat the robot rooms and office area. When this first cold snap hit, that system wasn’t hooked up yet. Nothing ended up freezing, but it made for a really hectic morning!
Thanks again to all of our family, friends, neighbors and the agriculture community in our area for helping us get started and adjusted to this new chapter at Majestic Crossing Dairy.