We get a small tour around the dairy farm. Off course we all get the chance to milk a cow ourselves, and we get to pet the newborn calves, but how Luc really gets our attention is with all the technology which makes his life and that of his cows a lot easier, and also makes his dairy yield greater than ever before.
First, we pass along the cow-wellness. There’s a washing machine for cows (without water), in which the cows come and clean themselves when they feel dirty. There even is a full-blown cow pedicure. This process all happens fully automatically and there is even a real cow's pedicure.
What also happens fully automatically is the milking of the cows itself. Luc has a milking robot, for which the cows are cueing in line in order the be milked by the machine. When a cow enters the robot, the robot checks whether it’s already time for that cow to be milked again. If that is the case, the machine is connected to the cow’s udder with the help of lasers and optical sensors. But not before cleaning it of course. And then, the milking can begin.
While milking the machine collects a whole lot of data: the milk temperature, lactose levels, milk conductivity, the fat and protein content, … With all these values, Luc can respond in an informed manner to the well-being of his animals. For example, he can trace if his cows have an elevated risk of udder inflammation and act on it using preventive treatment, which can prevent the need for antibiotics.
During milking the cow gets a portion of cookies from the robot. The number of cookies depends on the volume of the given milk: the more milk the cow gives, the more cookies that she gets in return. This also makes the cows deliver more milk in the long run. And for the cows: they really don’t mind.