Just one person for milking: a requirement for one couple with 96 dairy cows
With the vision to double their herd size, Valéry and Christelle Ferey, farmers in La Manche/France, analysed what they needed in order to reduce the milking time and to have only one milker instead of two. All for a feasible investment and maintenance costs, they chose a 2 x 16 milking parlour with a DeLaval MidiLineTM ML3100 one-person milking system.
Since they started up in 2013, Valéry and Christelle Ferey have seized the development opportunities offered by their dairy cooperative. "We have had the chance to integrate the Isigny Sainte-Mère Cooperative which has allowed us to nearly double the amount of milk produced in three years increasing from 70 to 96 dairy cows." The farmers cultivate 120 ha, 25 ha of wheat, 30 ha of corn silage and 65 ha of permanent and temporary pastures. "Our perspective is for the two of us to stay on the farm with a herd of approximately 100 cows." In order to have a weekend off once a month, they have a substitute milker. Holidays? "Since we set up, we haven't had any, but we will eventually", say the farmers smiling. With the increase of the herd size, the milking time had become unsustainable.
"The two of us were in a 2x5 with automatic cluster removers. We spent 5 hours per day, i.e. half a day each!"
The farmers have converted their straw bedding free barn into 104 cubicles barn without expanding the building. The DeLaval ACD120 cable scrapers automatises manure scraping. A new milking parlour has been set up in the former manure storage facility. It was chosen for "just one person milking, to gain time and to free up one person to feed the animals during the milking." It is a 2 x 16 milking parlour with a DeLaval MidiLineTM ML3100 milking system. "During visits, we have seen that just one person can milk by himself with good throughput." Its long entrance alley ensures that the cows can enter and turn into position easily. The farmers have also noticed how comfortable the milking is. "We have been able to try the arm and use the Harmony™ cluster which is really very light." The angle shape butt pan coming into the pit also contributes to the milking comfort as the udder is very close to the milker." The lower maintenance and servicing costs with the single-equipment milking system as well as the efficient service and fast responsiveness of the DeLaval dealer ended up convincing the farmers.
After just one week, the cows had become used to the new system and the work time had already been reduced by a good hour per milking. If the farm gets even bigger, the milking can be increased by doubling the number of milking clusters without having to extend the milking parlour. It is also possible to add another twenty cubicles in the former holding pen.