CASE STUDY 8: New build - Robot unit
West Street Farm, Tytherington, Gloucestershire
New robot unit
In May 2016 Ivor Davey was on a study tour of grazing robotic milking units in Ireland. This trip was with DeLaval and Will Grey from West Street Farm, Tytherington was also on the tour.
Waiting at the airport to come home, we started sketching up initial ideas for a new dairy unit.
The aim was to relocated the dairy facilities from the village to the middle of the grazing platform. Working with several partners we identified the optimal site location and applied for planning permission.
This often takes longer than expected, so construction did not start until 2018, and cows did not start milking until autumn 2019.
The farm is an organic farm, so we needed to focus on the access to grazing, while maintaining access to the robots.
We chose to go for A,B,C grazing where cows have access to pasture for 8 hour periods before returning to smart gates and either going through the robots or direct to another grazing area.
The robots are in a check out layout which means all the cows exit through one race at the rear. The housing is to one side with a feed area and feed passage down the side. This also allows buffer feeding at either end of the season.
Behind the robots we have some handling facilities and segregation options.
The farm office is to one side, at a raised level offering a view over the robots and housing area.
CowPlan worked closely with both builders involved on the project. We were able to make many site visits and work with the team to ensure every detail was accounted for.
We installed Wilson Ag C50 post mounted cubicles, complete with Pasture Mat mattresses with the 30mm premium pad foam and pillow brisket barriers. We also installed the AquaTip drinkers.
As a management tool, we installed AgriTubel self locking feed barriers throughout.
We also installed a LDLP (long day light period) lighting system using LED lights on timers and lux sensors.