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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Change is never easy, and the shift from milking in a parlor to robotic milking is anything but simple, but for Dan Barnes of Barnes Black and White Farm in Shoreham, Vermont, the addition of robotic milking to his dairy operation has come with big rewards.

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Understanding the many components that make up a milking vacuum system and recognizing how vacuum function integrates with the entire milking system is key to achieving an optimal milk harvest.

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More and more farms are transitioning to the world of robotic milking. During the preparation for this transition, farm visits will be made, drawings will be looked at and questions will be asked regarding numerous aspects of the project.

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Since I sell milking robots as well as parlors, I often have the opportunity to discuss the differences with dairies considering a change. The motivation to upgrade milking equipment or facilities can be to milk more cows, add beneficial technologies, reduce labor, improve quality of life or enhance the owners’ quality of work (freeing up their time to do more valuable activities).

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Six months. 182 days. Seasons change. Holidays happen. You might exchange shorts for insulated coveralls and endure daylight saving time. A lot happens in six months.

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The Oct. 1, 2017 issue of Progressive Dairyman features Tom McClellan of McClellan Farms Inc. who achieves an average milking time of 3.9 minutes per cow. See images of his operation below. (Photos by Julie Ashton.)

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