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Thread: Advice on Dairy Unit

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    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Advice on Dairy Unit

    I am in the middle of building a small dairy unit at an out farm, I was just wondering if anyone would like to share some things they would do different if they had it to do again, or even some things they have done that they are glad they did.

    Any advice however small is welcome, as now is the time to try and do it as best I can to make life easier in the future.

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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    remember in the future it might not be a SMALL unit, be futureproof , don't build yourself into a corner and put as big a parlour in as possible, the less your in that pit the more you can do elsewhere, have you considered a robot(s)

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    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    I have started with the parlour down one side of the cubicle house with the intention of having another cubicle house mirrored on the other side at some stage.
    I got the lely man out to advise me if I decide at a later stage to go the robot route, it just ment leaving a little more space at the end for the entrance to the robot, the extra space will be nice for the cows exiting the parlour too so I don't mind loosing a few cubicles.

  4. #4

    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    what do you class as a small dairy unit theses days???? how many cows would you need to be milking to make a living now??

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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    Keep it simple. Concentrate on getting the slurry storage right first. Try to do without any technology, it will only break or not work as you hoped. Gravity is your friend! Keep scrape passages as wide as possible so you don't need scrapers. Feed concentrates only on the parlour. Design the whole system so every job can be done with a small pivot steer loader feeding,scraping, bedding etc. no other machines are needed.

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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    I have started with the parlour down one side of the cubicle house with the intention of having another cubicle house mirrored on the other side at some stage.

    Keep all the cubicles one side, have your calving boxes the other side with doors/gates straight in to the collecting yard behind the parlour.

    As others have said make your parlour as big as possible and/or dig the pit/build the parlour so that adding a few more units in the future is only an assembly job with no additional building work.

    Also as been said, make passages as wide as possible and have good natural ventilation.


    Also good to be able to shut the parlour right up in frosty weather so possibly a roller shutter door at the back and an insulated roof however good ventilation is wanted in summer so we have a full width pivoting window at the front to let plenty of air in.


    Between parlour and cubicle shed you want a good handling set up with plenty of penning so you can draft cows out as they leave the parlour for vet, AI, feet or whatever.

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    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    Quote Originally Posted by markpentre View Post
    what do you class as a small dairy unit theses days???? how many cows would you need to be milking to make a living now??
    Well i am going to build for 60 cubicle spaces, The dairy cows aren't the only income tho. I will be leaving it so that I could easily double up the cubicles on the back side off the parlour if I want at a later stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by ju99 View Post
    Keep it simple. Concentrate on getting the slurry storage right first. Try to do without any technology, it will only break or not work as you hoped. Gravity is your friend! Keep scrape passages as wide as possible so you don't need scrapers. Feed concentrates only on the parlour. Design the whole system so every job can be done with a small pivot steer loader feeding,scraping, bedding etc. no other machines are needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by RED BULL View Post
    Keep all the cubicles one side, have your calving boxes the other side with doors/gates straight in to the collecting yard behind the parlour.

    As others have said make your parlour as big as possible and/or dig the pit/build the parlour so that adding a few more units in the future is only an assembly job with no additional building work.

    Also as been said, make passages as wide as possible and have good natural ventilation.


    Also good to be able to shut the parlour right up in frosty weather so possibly a roller shutter door at the back and an insulated roof however good ventilation is wanted in summer so we have a full width pivoting window at the front to let plenty of air in.


    Between parlour and cubicle shed you want a good handling set up with plenty of penning so you can draft cows out as they leave the parlour for vet, AI, feet or whatever.
    Thanks for all the advice fellas.

    So far I have got the tank and slats on, went for 14' cubicle beds and a 9' single row against the parlour wall, good space at either end of the shed to let them walk either side to get to feed. the tank is the full size off the shed. have feeding on the opposite wall, have one spare bay at the end the full width of the shed which one bay square will be used for the dairy with the office above. I want too keep all simple as you say, its the little details that I want to get right first time.

    The plan will be to feed in the parlour and just set round bales along the feed barrier.

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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullyvernon View Post
    Well i am going to build for 60 cubicle spaces, The dairy cows aren't the only income tho. I will be leaving it so that I could easily double up the cubicles on the back side off the parlour if I want at a later stage.





    Thanks for all the advice fellas.

    So far I have got the tank and slats on, went for 14' cubicle beds and a 9' single row against the parlour wall, good space at either end of the shed to let them walk either side to get to feed. the tank is the full size off the shed. have feeding on the opposite wall, have one spare bay at the end the full width of the shed which one bay square will be used for the dairy with the office above. I want too keep all simple as you say, its the little details that I want to get right first time.

    The plan will be to feed in the parlour and just set round bales along the feed barrier.
    Any pics Tullyvernon???

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    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    Quote Originally Posted by NH8360 View Post
    Any pics Tullyvernon???
    I got a new phone at Christmas there so have no pictures on it, but I have some somewhere. Its not too exciting atm just loads of concrete!

    Hoping to get the roof on asap so I can get started on the parlour.

    The plan is to do the frame myself and fit parts of a 2nd hand parlour I have bought, then when its running I will add the parts of our existing parlour to the rear.

    If anyone has any pics handy of their parlour frame would be great to see.

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    Re: Advice on Dairy Unit

    If I was designing a new unit I would not put any cubicles at the back of the feed passage. So when cows go out of parlour you can have fresh feed for them and no cubicles for them to lie down allowing time for the teat canal to close. Also then when you are finished milking you can then turn your attention to cubicle cleaning and bedding.

    If you are ever considering putting in a robot scraper in the future leave all gates with 2 feet of clearance underneath.

    Put alot of effort into getting good handling pens right near the parlour. This area is just as important as the parlour itself. A sort gate is currently on my wish list.

    Aim to have a proper collecting yard without cubicles if you have the space.

    Dont put cubicles right up against the end walls, reason being at some stage in the future you might want to get some sort of a bobman machine, so if you can drive straight in and out with at least 3 metre of free space for turing at each end it will make life a whole lot easier.

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