WATCH: Milking 180 Irish-bred cows in the UK


Kingshay Farming AgriEPI Research Centre in Glastonbury UK is home to a new 21st-century high-tech grass-based robotic dairy farm.

The South West Dairy Development Centre combines innovative building design and management systems to create a highly efficient, low-cost dairy system, with the capital cost of developing the dairy from scratch amounting to less than £8,000 per cow (approximately €8,900), according to a spokesperson.

Features:

  • Fabric-roofed building is the first of its kind in the UK and measures 90 metres by 28;
  • Building designed to optimise cow comfort and ease of movement from lying area to milking to feeding;
  • Rotary cow brushes;
  • Rubber flooring;
  • Three GEA DairyRobot R9500 do the milking. Clusters are attached and complete a cycle of cleansing, milk let-down stimulation, fore milking and milk harvesting followed by post-dipping, all while the cluster is attached.
  • The building is 5 metres to the eaves and opens sided. Airflow is controlled by curtain walling; sensors measuring wind speed, rainfall and internal humidity within the building control the positioning of the curtain;
  • Mullerup automated feed kitchen - silage is loaded into the moving floor feed tables which then dispense pre-programmed quantities of each, along with concentrate feeds, into the rail-mounted feed dispenser which delivers the ration to the selected sections of the building up to 15 or more times a day;
  • Feed storage bins are mounted on weigh cells to enable accurate feed use;
  • Measured paddock for 6 hours - 4 fresh grazings every day.

Irish-bred cows

180 Irish-bred autumn-calving cows were supplied by David Clarke Livestock, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath last year; the firm visited the enterprise in recent weeks and captured this video.

In a post on Facebook, David Clarke Livestock said: "Production was 8250kgs of milk at 4.6% fat and 3.6% protein with a conception rate was 55% to first insemination."

Image source: David Clarke \ Youtube

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