The main reason we built a new parlour is that milking took about three and a half hours in the old situation so that is seven hours
a day that is spent milking. The factories that are selling robots they
showed it to us but on all the sites that we were there was also an old parlour with people milking and with people present in the barn 24/7 all the time.
So we said we don’t want to spend the entire day in the barn so that’s why we said that’s not suitable for us. And then all the farms that we visited that
had a Dairymaster were very satisfied with the milking and that was the reason we chose Dairymaster. When the concrete works were ready and the roof was up the parlour was here on time and the fitting crew was here when we needed them.
It doesn’t have to be fast but it has to be good and it was good and it was fast – it was both. We are in the machine room.
This is the vacuum pump that supplies the vacuum for the parlour.
There’s double pumps with an inverter on it so you’ll have vacuum on demand.
It will run the speed that you need so you save energy and you’ll have less noise. There’s a lot of milk left between the parlour and the tank and you want to have that milk in the tank as well. To get it out you have to have a system and
Dairymaster uses compressed air. The Air Purge cleans out the air so you have
clean air with no oil and no debris in it which is pushed in to the milk line and will
shoot the last milk from the parlour to the tank. It’s just a bucket of milk every milking that you have in the tank and not in the drain. This is a plate cooler. On one side the milk goes in and on the other side cold water goes in. About 20 degrees of cooling is done with this.
We got a water tank on top of this and water is pushed through and that water is then used for feeding the cows but first the milk cools down and the water warms up. With a big parlour, if you have a big herd and you got a lot of milk then sometimes one
filter is not big enough so that’s why Dairymaster supply the double filter – more capacity.
You can even change the filters during milking by closing the valve and then exchange one
filter during milking and then the other. We got a collection yard that’s big enough
to hold a group of cows. The backing gate will auto advance –
When so many cows walk on to the parlour the backing gate will come forward again so you don’t
have to push any buttons – it’ll just follow the cows.
And when the last one of the first group is on you can move it back up so there’s no waste
of time between the groups. The last of Group 1 is in, flip the switch
and then you can immediately start Group 2. So that saves us a lot of time.
The parlour here is a 50 unit rotary. It has pretty much all-options. There’s a hydraulic floor for the milker to stand on. There’s the entrance with Auto-ID. In the old rotary they had to turn and lock
their heads in to the troughs. It was more difficult then it is for a cow
to learn this system. They were used to this in 2 or 3 days. So they just go on and every cow gets a bit of feed. There’s double feeders so we can feed two types of concentrate. The Voice Assist will sound a message when a cow that is in heat walks on to the parlour. It’ll also call when a cow goes around twice. It helps also that the information is on the display; When you attach a cow you can also see it on the display. So that and the Voice Assist system together gives us enough information. The platform is just the right length so you can stand close to the platform, really close to the udder. The cluster has a smart start – you don’t
need to push any buttons. You’ll just lift it and turn it under the
udder. You don’t need to reach anywhere so just lift and attach. In the old rotary every round I had two or
three that would kick off or squeak or that you had to put a buck under the tube or something
like that… that was with a lot of cows. If you had an udder that was uneven you would
always have problems and with this system that’s reduced to nearly zero.
If you attach you can really rely that the cluster will stay on and the cow is milked
out properly. We got faith in the Dairymaster that they
have the right judgement in when a cluster has to be taken off and when you walk around you will see quality milked, clean, empty udders. Before we did not have teat spraying and Dairymaster had the option of the Auto Sprayers.
With this big rotary you would have one person dipping all the time so that person is now
not needed. The cell count went down from about 200 to about 100 and you can see that with the teat ends. Yes, there is a lot of improvement in that. There are some cows that are not finished in the 10 minutes on the platform so the Retention Bar automatically drops and she can go a second round. If you’ve got a cow and you say I want to
treat her or check her you can put the retention bar down and make her come around again so
you don’t have to go after the cows but the cows come back to you.
Most cows will walk off without help but if one does not off the Motivator will come on
and then push her off. They only have to do one or two steps back
and then the rotary will just turn them off. At the end of the return lane there is a
3-Way Drafting unit. We don’t separate cows by hand we will do
it with the drafting system. We wanted to improve the insemination and
the fertility of the herd… We would manually check 3, 4, 5 times a day.
When you see an active cow you would follow her and write down the number so we chose
the Dairymaster system because of the reliability of the data.
Now I only look to see does she have a MooMonitor. When she has one I can rely on it, that the
computer can tell at the end of the day that this cow is in heat.
The days between calving have really gone down when we started with this system.
With the MooMonitor you can really see a curve over several days and when and cow is in heat
the graph will go straight up. When the curve reaches its max then you know
this is about the time. Cows are automatically drafted you just have
to decide whether she is to be inseminated or not. Also, sometimes there is a cow which is inconsistent in days and you can tell from the curve that
you are seeing that this cow has another fertility problem, that she’s not just in heat.
She’ll have another problem. It’s so easy everybody can do it. See, cow is in heat. Everybody that is milking here is very happy
with the way that it goes, with Dairymaster, the way that it milks, the milk-out, the health of the cows and the speed of milking is a really big change. Yes we think this will hold for many years. If you want to buy a parlour you can’t go
buy a parlour without having seen a Dairymaster!