Trevor Wilson from Fermanagh recently decided to switch from sheep and sucklers to dairy farming. The Wilsons have 32,000 broiler breeder laying hens that need eggs to be lifted every morning.
As the morning time was already filled with lifting eggs, Trevor decided robotic milking would be his best option when switching to dairy.
“The eggs needed to be lifted every morning which meant it would be physically impossible for me to milk cows at this time too; hence, robotic milking was where we wanted to invest,” said Trevor.
When the time came to invest, Trevor was influenced by a number of factors. With the support from the local dealer, whom Trevor had a strong relationship with and the cow traffic system, Trevor wanted a feed first system – which DeLaval could provide.
DeLaval offers customers different cow traffic options: free access; milk first; and feed first. If you would like more information on these options, please click here.
“When I started to look at robots DeLaval is the most popular brand in my area and my neighbours gave me really good feedback about the robots. Most of these were the VMS Classic so then, when I chatted to my local DeLaval dealer, they showed me the new VMS V300,” Trevor commented.
I did look at other brands of milking robots on the market but when I saw the attachment on the VMS V300 it was unbelievable – you couldn’t put them on as quick yourself.
As a new entrant to dairy, Trevor has got off to a flying start and is happy with the system, finding it very labour efficient. In time, with more cows and more milk in the tank, he hopes to see more profitability.
Trevor openly discussed with DeLaval about his start-up experience and how well it went.
‘Every teat no problem’
“As a new entrant I had to buy my cows; I didn’t check them for teat placement before buying and I was a bit worried about attachment but the V300 found every teat no problem. There are cows you can milk with the robot but I don’t think you’d be able to milk in parlour,” Trevor said.
“When we had the start-up we expected it to be a disaster really as all these cows just arrived on the farm a few hours before, but it was fine.
“We started at around 8:50pm and by 11:30pm all the 20 cows had gone through with just a little guidance; we didn’t have to push any.
“The next morning I got up early and when I drove into the yard I could hear the robot milking away, and some cows had already been through the robot during the night,” he concluded.
For more information on the DeLaval VMS V300 click here