Rista Gård started crossbreeding in 2012 and decided to go all in ProCROSS in 2016. Today, the oldest three-breed cow of the herd is 4th lactation. During the time they have been crossbreeding, they have expanded the herd from 40 cows to 200 and changed milking systems twice. Today they have three milking robots and are waiting for the fourth to be delivered. He is very happy with his ProCROSS animals.
"For those who are unsure if ProCROSS is a suitable robot cow, today our cows have a milk flow of 3 liters/min, which is higher than the average”Kenneth Tweet
a great cow adapted to robots
Kenneth says that the animals work very well in the robot, they have a high appetite for feed and are therefore happy to go to the robot to get concentrate. This also means that they do not look at and fiddle with the robot arm.
“Most animals need a short time to learn the system, they are very easy to milk in,” says Kenneth.
The teat placement of the crossbreed cows is good and with Montbeliarde as the sire they have good rear teat placement. “For those who are unsure if ProCROSS is a suitable robot cow, today our cows have a milk flow of 3 liters/min, which is higher than the average,” Kenneth says.
“It will work fine with ProCROSS. Younger animals are strong, tough, and forward so they do well in the robot. But they’re not mean, they’re curious.”
Cows that work well in the herd and with those of us who work with them is important to Kenneth. Good milkability, nice udders and easy calving also make them work well in the robot. He likes the temperament of the animals and that they are very friendly and social. They have very good hooves and a drive to get out on the pasture and eat.
“We have increased cow numbers but not increased our recruitment places. So, we have a lot of older animals in the herd,” says Kenneth. And continues, today we sell about 40% of our heifers before three months of age and we have also sold some first calvers. Despite this, we have a surplus of recruits.
Although it’s easier with ProCROSS than with purebred breeding, you can’t just drop the breeding work. Kenneth points out that it is important to have a plan for what you want the animals to look like in the future. He takes help from Växa in his breeding advice, which is currently about strategy and focuses on herd level and groups of animals.