More days/mornings off or shorter easier day

DairyGrazing

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North West
The question is would you rather have a shorter easier working day and go home earlier or would you have more days/mornings off?

Ramble below.

We put 320 to 350 cows through a very nice and well equipped parlour but it's in an old building so exit is slow and handling is non existent. It's not going to last my career. Walls, tiles, troughs, rump rails and ceilings will need alot of work going forward.

It takes 4 hours in the AM and 3 hours in the PM, if all goes to plan. Everyone who's milks always says how nice it is to milk in it but it is a slog some days.

So I want to get the full timers hours down. At the moment a full time employee will do 56.5hrs one week and 61 hrs the next (every other weekend off plus away off every fortnight).

The rest of the farm work is quite simple and easy. We are not px our telehandler this summer. So feeding at the other farm will easier next winter as we can leave the old one there most of the time. It will amazing to have a second handler for the summer!

I asked everyone outside what thought. I didn't really much feed back.

I think the best thing to do would be to build a new parlour and knock 30/60 mins off each milking. Then shorten the working day.

The alternative is to employ another man at say 25k and everyone does less. We'd still have to put 50k into repairing the parlour and have no handling.

I can't think we'd be better off using that wage to pay for a parlour. 1-200k for the parlour kit 1-200k for the building, handling, backing gate, collecting and calving yard.
 

DairyGrazing

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North West
Your 34. Get the parlour sorted priority number 1. No point waiting 10-15 years to do it!
Should also should say we have 150 incalf heifers more than we need to help pay for it. Just hope they are worth something this Autumn. Knowing my luck the price will be down:X3:.

We need to put a 120ft extension on a cubicle shed. To keep all the animals here or I'd need to take more to the other farm. That isn't an issue as there is a 160 cubicle shed with crimp in it.

My only worry is that there seems to be a massive issue getting planning for livestock in Cheshire, Wrexham,Staffordshire. Something to do with ammonia in the air and not enough trees to absorb it?

Can't help but think to get the planning for the extension and build it in the Autumn then do the parlour next Summer.
 
From seeing other reports here and in the press, it is the livestock housing buildings that worry Planners, an upgrade to a parlour will/should be less hassle I would hope.

Ammonia and Trees? Sounds like eco PC nonsense, but one to be worried about into the future I am sure...:( Probably have to come up with creative plans for slurry disposal etc...
 

Jdunn55

Member
Should also should say we have 150 incalf heifers more than we need to help pay for it. Just hope they are worth something this Autumn. Knowing my luck the price will be down:X3:.

We need to put a 120ft extension on a cubicle shed. To keep all the animals here or I'd need to take more to the other farm. That isn't an issue as there is a 160 cubicle shed with crimp in it.

My only worry is that there seems to be a massive issue getting planning for livestock in Cheshire, Wrexham,Staffordshire. Something to do with ammonia in the air and not enough trees to absorb it?

Can't help but think to get the planning for the extension and build it in the Autumn then do the parlour next Summer.
Offer to plant some trees in exchange for planning and then get paid for the trees in the future as well?
 
Not to mention being better for the cows! Less hours waiting/being milked = more time esting/resting which in turn means more milk!
Exactly, milking really is dead time when you look at it and it should be minimised as far as practical. I won't ever understand folk who want to spend 7,8 or 9 hours a day stood in the pit, it's a waste of your time really.
 

DairyGrazing

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North West
A lot of rotary parlours gone in locally, in not especially large herds. Milking done well under 2 hours. Swap labour for capital.
Yeah I've been to see a lot on smaller farms with a rotary. Down side was most needed 3 milkers to get the best out of it in the morning then 2 in the afternoons if they had adf. They seemed to milk 90% of the cows super quick then it took at least an hour to milk the bucket cows and wash down.

Our dealer did a print out of all his clients parlours from the parlour software so no pub talk. It's was frightening how poor the real output was on some on the parlours big and small.

In terms of cows/hr litres/hr cows/man litres/man the stand out by far was a 16/32.

I've also seen some of the COPs for some of the farms with rotaries. Parlour maintainence was hefty on newish ones and savage on anything 10 years plus!
 

Jdunn55

Member
Yeah I've been to see a lot on smaller farms with a rotary. Down side was most needed 3 milkers to get the best out of it in the morning then 2 in the afternoons if they had adf. They seemed to milk 90% of the cows super quick then it took at least an hour to milk the bucket cows and wash down.

Our dealer did a print out of all his clients parlours from the parlour software so no pub talk. It's was frightening how poor the real output was on some on the parlours big and small.

In terms of cows/hr litres/hr cows/man litres/man the stand out by far was a 16/32.

I've also seen some of the COPs for some of the farms with rotaries. Parlour maintainence was hefty on newish ones and savage on anything 10 years plus!
Got told by a herdsman that his service cost is about £10,000 for a medium sized dairy master, he had it serviced on the Monday and I was there in the friday and 6 stalls were already not working again 😳

Stick to a herringbone imo
 
  • Wow
Reactions: Sid
Seen it before, old parlour ripped out, milker working in bail for 6 months of hell. Helping push cows into new parlour and told won't need you from now on.
Ridiculous when you think of it as the money is really made managing the cows, feed, cleaning up, routine stuff, heat detection, feet trimming/dipping etc, calves, sick cows, general cleaning and hygiene but no one seems to want to spend the money doing that, instead employ a bloke to drive cows around twice a day- madness.
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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