We got up to 150 cows about 3 years ago and we were at a crossroads. Do we stay in or do we increase? The next generation all love cows. We’re a close herd with pedigree British Friesians. We decided to expand the dairy side. So we’re building up. We’ll be 320… 400 next year… and we’re looking to increase up to 600. So what parlour do we go for? We spent six months traveling the country looking at all types of parlours. Robotics were out because our cows graze and they just wouldn’t come back to robotics. We then went to the rotary and looked at several parlours. Fell in love with them. All the farmers we looked at they loved them. The cows looked so happy and quiet. Dairymaster was the parlour we chose because we love the stainless steel side of it. You can keep it clean… lovely pulsation on it. Also what I love the arm where the clusters come from. They raise away from the platform and keep them nice and clean. Right from the word ‘Go’, from the quote stage to the building they were very very professional. Any questions that I’ve thrown at the company they always come back with answers. Bacteria scans, TBC are low, everything is low. Cell counts are low. You’ve got to keep them as low as you can. And this is the best year for heifers coming in to milk, without a doubt. I’ve got heifers up to 37 & 38 litres and they aren’t Holsteins, some of them are Friesians. So they are doing really well. You have so much more time. Obviously you got a lot more cows coming through. It leaves you so much more time to look after the cows, that’s the best thing. Before, when you’d finish milking 10 hours a day, you still had a bit of work to do. It was just getting too much. But now, it’s no problem at all. You got time to do stuff now. They got it up as quick as you could get any parlour up I think And its gone absolutely like a treat and if we need them we know the backup service is there so… Absolutely superb, no problems at all. We decided we’d go with a 54 point. We wanted the infrastructure for 600 to 1,000 cows. And you can’t just put a rotary in, take it out and put a bigger one in… What decision you make, you are looking down the road for 20 years. I cannot quite believe how quick this parlour went up. A gang of guys came and it was virtually up in a week. The cows, they took to it. We pushed them in two days and they went in themselves on the third. Milking wise they looked very comfortable going around. We’re feeding on the platform because we’re giving a base of ration outside… maintenance plus 30 and we’re topping up with dairy cake on the parlour. So we’re milking every cow to her full potential and it seems to working very, very well. Now we’re in a rotary and it’s is quite luxury. The men have got time to look after the cows health-wise… foot trimming… and I actually got time to clean the parlor
and keep everything nice and tidy. The other big thing is the backup. Because we’re as east as we could possibly be on the British Isles we needed the backup. I was a big decision and why we picked Dairymaster and they certainly have delivered.