"The quality of the equipment,
    the innovation of the automation
    features and the back up service
    is fantastic"

    Kenny Boyes

    Kenny Boyes

    I now look forward to milking!

    Kenny Boyes from Halfpenny Gate Road in Moira, Co. Armagh decided to install a new 30 unit parlour, the first of its kind in this country - a rapid exit with feeding. Kenny stated that his old parlour was "exhausted" and they were spending far too long milking in it - they were in the parlour for over 8 hours a day. Kenny started milking in his new parlour on the 16th November 2008 and is delighted with the new system, they now have more than halved the time spent in the milking parlour.
    Kenny is currently milking between 300 and 350 cows in approx 1 hour and 30 minutes with the washing up taking on average 20 minutes. The herd is a pedigree herd and is made up 50/50 of Dairy Shorthorns and of Holsteins. The Boyes' farming business was established by Kenny's late father Edward in the 1930's. Until recently the business was carried on by Kenny in partnership with his two brothers.

    The Pennygate herd are milked twice a day at 6 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. with two operators being present for milking. In total they have 3 people working on the farm; with one being part time. Kenny decided to go with Dairymaster as he had asked around and found that Dairymaster have a good reputation. Another important factor was that Dairymaster were the only company that had the ability to do a rapid exit parlour with feeding facilities.

    With the installation of his new parlour Kenny decided to include Auto ID and Milk Metres which he finds very useful as "at a glance you can see the volume of milk produced by each animal". He also opted for Automatic Cluster Removers which he finds extremely efficient as they prevent over/under milking of cows and it also saves a job in the pit. Kenny also comments that its great if there is a relief milker as with the ACR's it ensures that the cows are milked the same way every time no matter who is milking. An AutoWasher was installed which Kenny advises is another job less, everything is waiting for you when you step into the pit - you just press a button and it's all ready for you to start milking.

    Drafting and VoiceAssist (parlour sound messaging system) were also installed and Kenny finds them invaluable. In his opinion the drafting function "is the next best piece of kit after the parlour". He comments "It is so convenient and time saving. Now all cows needing attention are standing ready for you in a pen after milking - there is no need to go search them out in the shed".  

    The Boyes' also went with a diversion line that is feeding direct into the calves housing, which saves them the back breaking work of hauling buckets around the farm. Also, with the diversion line you can milk all the cows together, as you don't need to try to separate out a specific cow to wait until the end, so it is much easier.  

    Swiftflo Plus bailing has also been installed and Kenny comments that he thinks it's a great job as the cows get away so quick, in less than a minute all the cows are gone and they are ready to start on the next row. Feeding was installed on the parlour and Kenny added that with this facility cows get what they require, as they feed to yield; and thus leads to a more content cow in the parlour and assists in the training process of heifers. One of Kenny's main priorities was to have feeding and Dairymaster were the only company that fulfilled his requirements for a rapid exit with feeding.

    The average yield of the cows is 8,500 litres with the annual output of milk approx 3,000,000 litres. The Boyes' are feeding grass silage, maize silage, straw and concentrates and top up amounts of ration are fed in the parlour.

    United Dairy Farmers are supplied with the milk and it is collected every 2nd day. Calving is all year round and all young stock reared. Heifers are kept as replacements and the bulls are reared for beef.

    Kenny has known about Dairymaster for a long time, this year marks their 40th Anniversary! What attracted the Boyes' to Dairymaster is the excellent reputation of their name and the quality of the equipment. Kenny visited a vast number of different parlours before making a final decision. Out of all he had seen he was most impressed with the Dairymaster products.

    Kenny would have no hesitation in recommending Dairymaster to anyone as he comments "the quality of the equipment, the innovation of the automation features and the back up service is fantastic".

    In the next few years the Boyes' plan to expand slightly in relation to cow numbers with the main objective of the business to produce milk from concentrates. Presently the cows are inside from early August due to the weather conditions; however they are housed nightly on a full time basis. Although Kenny advised that he can see the cows staying inside more often in the future. He commented that when cows are inside you don't get as many fluctuations.

    Kenny concluded "I found Sean Reid of Cookstown Dairy Services very helpful in the initial stages as he gave me a lot of productive ideas. During the construction phase if there were any issues, all I had to do was made a phone call and there was always someone there to help. I am very happy with the parlour and I now look forward to milking".