Project: high-tech, high-welfare cattle housing unit
Location: Tow Top Farm, Cononley, West Yorkshire
Having made the bold decision to expand and modernise their dairy operations, the Yorkshire farming partnership of James and Julie Gooch and Caroline and Daniel Yarrow identified four key issues their plans needed to address: animal welfare, herd productivity, operational efficiency and minimum staffing.
Their overall aim was to create a high-tech, high-welfare environment for over 200 cows. The new unit was to incorporate the latest robotic milking machines.
The partnership had worked with Wolfenden before and contacted us again for this major project. The team was particularly interested in our new SUPA range.
Central to our work was the huge underground slurry tank we supplied. This was covered with concrete slats from our SUPA range plus other elements from our agricultural portfolio, providing beds on top of the tank to house up to 240 cows.
The project had its challenges, not least those caused by the gradient of the site – but by carefully customising our products to suit the landscape we were able to overcome these and complete the project within twelves months of receiving planning permission.
The new building has some exceptional features. Cubicle beds are designed to suit the sizes of the cow, which means they remain clean and dry. The cubicles themselves are designed so the cows can enter them and lunge safely. A robotic scraper ensures the cleanliness of the slatted floors, helping to maintain hoof health. All of these and many other factors vastly cow welfare and optimise yields.
Daniel Yarrow comments: “Wolfenden’s advice in the planning of the building gave us the confidence we needed to make this major investment. The new building works really well – and we’re working hard to make our farm a modern high welfare unit and a joy to work on.”