“The efficiency and cow comfort during milking is really nice- not only just for the owner, but also for employees.”
Switching to a DeLaval parallel parlor has drastically reduced labor costs for Dan and Chad Bonikowske, owners of Bonikowske Farms.
Managing cow throughput is extremely important at Bonikowske Farms. With their new DeLaval parlor, Dan says they have maximized this efficiency, which in turn has helped reduce their labor costs. In addition, Dan says he notices that their herd’s somatic cell count has “reduced quite a bit,” and their “production did go up,” since switching to the new set-up.
Dan attributes their choice to go with DeLaval products to the reliability of their dealer. “The finished product [of the parlor] just looks really good,” he says.
The Bonikowske family also uses DeLaval DelPro™ farm manager software to aid in monitoring the status of their cows. “It’s nice to be able to go on the computer and look at each cow individually, so you can instantly see what is going on with the cow and make a decision from there on out,” Dan says. He adds, “It gives us a lot of information.” Additionally, DelPro gives the family piece of mind when it comes to food safety. “We can enter a cow number [into DelPro] that we do not want milked into the pipeline, and it will not let the employees milk that cow,” shares Dan.
Cow comfort is also a top priority on the Bonikowske dairy. Dan focusses in on, “knowing that the cows are being treated well and are comfortable.” To help this, the farm follows a very specific routine, “so the cows know every day what is going on and are comfortable when they walk into the milking parlor,” says Dan.
Dan and Chad are the third generation to own and operate their family’s dairy farm. He shares, “My parents, my brother and myself- that’s all we do. Our whole life is dedicated to the cows, to the land, to the farm.”