Our latest producer meeting was held at Court Farm where we met with 6 producers and were lucky enough to be invited on a farm walk. The Pugh family are made up of Calvin, Rachele, (mum & dad) Sarah and Rich (daughter and son in law) in recent years they have invested to future proof their business for the next generation. It was decided that they would need to update their Dairy Unit and after looking at the benefits that an automated system could give them it was decided that this would fit their business and they invested in 4 Lely Robots. The system allows the cow complete freedom and they choose when to be milked, when to feed and when to rest.
They looked at the options to keep the cows clean and remove the slurry. It was decided to add a slurry collector (LELY DISCOVERY) this is an innovative piece of equipment that moves around the floor of the Cow Shed collecting the Slurry on a pre-programmed route, this is less disruptive to the cows. This has had a remarkable effect on the cleanliness of the cows and has improved lameness.
They have an Automated Feed pusher (Wasserbauer Butler Gold) this enables the food to be pushed up in front of the cow more frequently including during the night. This gives the cow access to fresh feed and it also discourages the cow from sorting the feed when eating, this results in very little waste.
The family’s latest investment is an Anaerobic Digester 33kw, this provides a source of renewable energy as the waste is broken down into bio gas that is used to generate electricity and heat to power on-site equipment with surplus electricity exported to the national grid. The anaerobic Digester is fed using solely slurry from the cows, a waste product that is now saving them electricity costs and giving an added income.
Calvin and Rachele have given their whole lives to the farm, Rachele said “it’s a passion and we love our cows and wouldn’t have it any other way. We have made the business as cost-effective as possible but not to compromise our cows, our herd health and welfare is extremely important”. Since the introduction of Robots the cows are free to roam and have the choice to feed, rest or be milked when they choose, this has shown to increase fertility, reduce lameness and they have also seen a reduction in antibiotic usage as a result.
Calvin said, “It is now down to Sarah and Rich to carry it forward to the next generation”.
When we were lucky enough to be shown around it was easy to see how happy and relaxed the cows are.
HAPPY COWS produce great tasting nutritious milk.