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MilkBot® is a project to develop technology to quantify both magnitude and shape of lactation curves in a consistent and repeatable way. It is based on the simple observation that lactation curves vary, no doubt influenced by genetics, environment, and health, and tools for characterizing that variation are likely to be useful in understanding many problems in dairy herd management and dairy research.
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There are two essential components to MilkBot® technology.

  1. The MilkBot® Model

    This is a simple nonlinear algebraic model predicting daily milk production as a function of DIM and the four MilkBot® parameters, scale, ramp, offset, and decay. From fitted parameter values it is easy to calculated daily production at any day in the curve, or M305, persistency, peak milk, peak day, and several other metrics.
  2. The MilkBot® Fitting Engine

    Calculating fitted parameter values from observed milk production data is complicated by the fact that MilkBot is a nonlinear model, so the methods used for the more common linear models do not work. We have developed a variety of fitting methods, including a very powerful maximum-likelihood genetic algorithm that can fit a lactation starting from as little as a single data point. We provide access to fitting software over the Internet as a service.
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