Simplicity and robustness all in one place
Two years ago, the 120 cows of Gudenkauf Farms moved into a modern barn fully equipped by DeLaval. “I always wanted to go with a herringbone,” says Mike.
“I milked for 30 years in a stanchion barn and knew every cow – and that’s how I wanted it to be in the new parlor.” Things have worked out well: for example, somatic cell count has dropped from 250 000 to 110 000 cells/ml.
“I like the simplicity of the parlor and at the same time it looks very robust,” says Mike and explains that the new parlor allows for excellent loading times. “Positioning is perfect. At first, we were planning for shorter stalls, but our DeLaval representative convinced us to go with the 42-inch stalls.”
Another feature they like is the swing-up solution: a natural and comfortable way for the cows to exit. Mike also comments that the parlor is very well designed, not just for the cows but also for the comfort of the operators. “During the whole process, the dealer and DeLaval people took a keen interest in our requirements, trying to understand our perspective. Though we are not a big customer, we felt highly valued. There were some challenges with the layout, but they really helped us design this facility for the long term,” says Mike.
“We are really happy about how it has turned out. We also like the fact that the system is upgradable. The new parlor has also made us more efficient: we are milking twice the number of cows and in just half the time,” Mike says and adds that they are thinking about expanding the farm.