“If I knew then what I know now, I would have made the change sooner.”
Solving the problem of finding high quality, consistent labor doesn’t have to be a problem anymore. At least if you ask the producers at Friendly Acres in Attica, New York.
The dairy has operated since 1918 and 15 years ago the owners, Steve and Sue Sondericker started working with DeLaval and invested in robotic milking. They are now using 8 DeLaval VMS™ for their 480 cows and the herd is being milked 2.8 times a day. Production has gone up roughly 10 pounds per cow. It’s not just the DeLaval VMS™ that explains the improvement but the introduction of DeLaval Swinging Cow Brushes has also played its part in improving cow health, comfort and welfare.
“Before the installation of the DeLaval VMS™ milking robots, I was at the mercy of my employees to alert me to potential concerns. Too many times, issues escaped my attention because an employee wasn’t paying attention or didn’t care,” says Steve Sondericker.
With the automatic system and the ability to collect data Sondericker can see, at a glance, which cows need attention and he’s noticed that fewer cows are being treated.
“The DeLaval team was there to help us from the first conversation of how the barn design might look, the start of planning, to installation, start-up and guiding the cows into the robots during the first few days,” says Steve.
The only thing Sondericker family regrets is that they didn’t make the change sooner.