Cleaning quality and animal behaviour with the use of a dung-removal robot

The use of dung-removal robots on perforated flooring has not been widespread to date. Moreover, scientifically substantiated recommendations for their operation are lacking. In an experiment involving different cleaning frequencies with the Lely Discovery Mobile Barn Cleaner, floor soiling and the behaviour of the cows on perforated flooring were ascertained. The variant with an optimised cleaning frequency showed an improvement vis-à-vis the variants without, or with reduced, robot dung removal in terms of height of soiling and smear-layer formation on the flooring. The water-spray function enabled a significant reduction in the formation of smear layers. Although an interruption in feeding was observed in the case of dung-removal routes right at the feeding barrier, the difference between the feeding cows with and without robot operation was comparatively slight, and the cows generally returned to the feeding place after the disruption. The trials showed that the use of a dung-removal robot with a water-spray function is indispensable for the proper removal of soiling from perforated flooring.

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