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    "From the planning stage
    Dairymaster were exceptionally
    efficient to deal with, the speed
    of installation was fantastic"

    Michael Quirke

     
     
    Michael Quirke
     

    Milking time halved for this Kerry farmer!


    Michael Quirke farms with his mother Noreen in Farran, Milltown in Co. Kerry. The farming business was established over 100 years ago and it has been passed down through the generations most recently by his late father Brendan. While Michael was finishing school, his sister Dorothy in conjunction with Noreen were the full time managers of the farm. Michael finished his course in Clonakilty in May of 2006. Once that finished Michael then did a nine month placement on the farm of Noel Murphy, in Milltown Co. Kerry and has taken over the management of the farm at home since 07.  

    As recently as this time last year milking the Quirke's 75 Holstein Friesian herd used to take 2 hours morning and evening, this has now been cut to 45 minutes morning and evening with the installation of a 16 unit Dairymaster Swiftflo Swing milking plant. The reduction in milking time has freed up Michael's time so he can now concentrate on other vital jobs on the farm. With the old parlour it would have been more difficult to increase in size so they put up a new shed, this was done by Tom O' Connor from Coolbane in Killorglin.

    The main reason for choosing a Dairymaster plant was the reliability of the equipment. Michael did have an 8 unit herringbone Dairymaster parlour and could not fault the performance and reliability of the equipment. One of the main features of the plant that interested Michael the most was Dairymaster Swiftflo bailing. Swiftflo bailing offers unsurpassed cow control, for both training heifers and in order to prevent bullying in the parlour. Each cow has her own designated space that cannot be compromised which gives great cow comfort.

    The Quirke's went for Automatic Cluster Remover's as they see it as a great way of maintaining udder health, it also saves a person in the pit and they don't have to worry about a cow being under or over milked. They also went for the diversion line which means that they can divert milk effortlessly for calf rearing at the touch of a button. Dairymaster Automatic Feeders were installed which Michael comments are highly accurate and save a lot of time and work.

    Michael went with Milk Meters as they had them in the old parlour and now he would not be without them. Michael views the meters as being vitally important for each animal's health and welfare, with the meters they can see exactly what is happening. They went with a Dairymaster Autowasher as again it is a great labour saving device, all Michael has to do is push a button and he can rest assured that the plant will be consistently washed to the same standard every time.

    The Quirke's also have Dairymaster Automatic Scrapers however these were not installed at the time of the new plant they were installed over 20 years ago. Michael comments "they are a great job; we have never had any problems with them".

    The diet of the Quirke's herd is made up of silage and grass based diet and top up amounts of ration are fed in the parlour. Kerry Co-Op is the Co-Op that is supplied and milk is collected every three days.

    The Quirke's herd is a spring calving herd and they rear all the stock as they also have a beef enterprise on their outside farm. In total Michael and his family farm 152 acres of land and the main objectives for the farm are to maintain a good herd and obviously to make a profit.

    When asked if Michael would recommend Dairymaster he replied that he would without hesitation as "from the planning stage Dairymaster were exceptionally efficient to deal with, I received detailed drawings of the parlour which made it much easier for myself when working with the builders and on top of that the speed of installation was fantastic and I know that if I need it I will have round the clock service".