‘Go-around’ Cows Shave One Hour off Milking

NEW ZEALAND – Staff on a North Island farm now finish at 5:30pm each day thanks to doubling the number of ‘go-around’ cows on the rotary.
calendar icon 30 September 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

The Manawatu sharemilking enterprise saves 30 minutes each milking, 8 kilowatts of energy daily and 8 cubic metres of water from after increasing go-around cows from 10 to 20 per cent.

As well as saving $63 on electricity, staff and cows area happier, according to sharemilker Duncan Fraser.

Duncan and his partner Kim read in an article that research showed 15-20 per cent go around was more efficient and then attended a local DairyNZ Milksmart event to learn more and apply it to there 440 cow 36 bail rotary parlour.

“We have the time to be more organised and put plans together,” said Mr Fraser.

“I’m usually in the house for an hour and a half over lunch. I have a proper break for an hour and I now have the ability to spend half an hour focusing on the business.

“Speeding up improves cow flow. The cows hate waiting. They lose their nerve a bit if they are waiting too long for the cups-on person.

“When the staff aren’t stressed they treat the cows better because they’re not in a hurry to push cows up the race or in the yard.”

Kim said that shortening milking, as one of the more repetitive jobs on the farm, is a “real bonus”. : “In terms of the actual milking, fewer hours in the milking shed is a big win.

“It keeps the milkings consistent,” she said. Working at a platform speed for 20 percent go-around cows is really the maximum for efficiency and work routine. It can’t be sped up much more as you wouldn’t be able to keep up.

“Milking is also probably one of everyone’s least favourite jobs on the farm because it’s so repetitive. If you can shorten the time spent milking and get out and do other things – whether it’s work or personal, that’s a real bonus.”

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