“The biggest thing is time. We are milking all the cows in less than half the time that we were in the parlor.”
Milking 650 cows at Baerwolf Dairies, LLC was taking eight or nine hours twice a day. Now that the job can be done in three or four hours, the family has found a schedule that works across the board for parents, kids, employees and cows.
In 2017, the Baerwolf family of Columbus, Wisconsin, made the switch from a double-10 herringbone parlor to the DeLaval parallel rotary PR3100HD. Just a month after startup, Rob Baerwolf, co-owner, already saw a difference. “I like the way the cows are going onto the deck,” he said. “They want to go on there, they are self-motivated. We like the calm, contentedness of the animals while they’re being milked.”
Baerwolf is confident that this upgrade in efficiency will flow into improved quality of life. “We want the whole milking process to be something more enjoyable. It can be hard to find people that want to help, so with this new parlor, it’ll be a more sustainable way of attracting good help,” Baerwolf says.
The 25-year DeLaval customers have also installed crowd gates and the DeLaval teat spray robot TSR – solutions that contribute to both animal health and efficiency on the farm.
Baerwolf says plans are already in motion for the kids, ages 7-14, to come back to the farm someday. “We wanted to build a parlor that would take care of our needs and the needs of our children,” he said. “This parlor should get us there. They can take it from there and decide what the future will look like.”