“With the rotary, we can milk faster. The cows don’t have to stand as long, which is a big benefit for the them.”
In 2018, Sluys Holsteins built a new milking facility with a 50-stall DeLaval PR2250 rotary. The dairy also upgraded its cow comfort with a new, sand-bedded freestall barn for 550 Holstein cows. The result: better animal welfare, happier employees and greater work efficiency.
Not too long ago, Wen Sluys says he reached a fork in the road – either get better or get out of dairying. Wen decided to dig in, after all, dairy farming is what he knows.
Wen immigrated from The Netherlands in 1988 with his parents and five siblings. That same year, he started milking 10 cows in a tie stall barn and gradually expanded his operation to 425 cows. The issue of overcrowding steadily popped up, forcing Wen to do something about the milking facility he’d outgrown.
“I needed to get better – more efficient, happier employees, better animal welfare standards – or I had to get out.”
Wen opted for a DeLaval PR2250 rotary – perfect for medium- to large-sized dairies looking for increased work efficiency. His 50-stall rotary moves in a steady rhythm, allowing employees to monitor and manage milking, fertility and mastitis from the in-parlor IDD interactive touchscreen connected to DelPro farm management system. “Cows that need attention can be sorted with the DSG10 sort gate right away,” says Wen. “I like this feature.”
Sluys Holsteins added more than 100 cows to its herd after moving to the rotary. The increase in cow numbers hasn’t affected milking time. According to Wen, they now milk more cows but in the same amount of time as the old parlor – or even less.
In his experience, Wen understands that successful dairy farming is about people and cows. “Making things better for the cows and the employees is important. If I don’t look after my cows, the cows won’t look after me.” And it’s the same for people. “Happier employees make for better employees,” says Wen.