I've been milking for 3 weeks now and it's been a hectic 3 weeks. I've finally got a moment for a quick update.
I'm really happy with how the cowshed is operating. The second hand milking plant runs really well, the cows are walking on to the cowshed happily & I've learned how to manoeuvre the cowshed through gateways and up and down hills, while keeping both gateways & the cowshed in one piece.
It's funny how over the last year I have thought about how to design various parts of the cowshed & pondered every little detail. Yet it only took 10 minutes of the first milking for me realise I had made mistakes with the layout of equipment etc.
I'll be honest, the first milking did not go to plan. I have bought 7 Heifer cows. They had just calved and they have never being milked before let alone on a mobile trailer with no yards to contain them.
I wised up for the second milking & came prepared with some gates, that I set up as a makeshift yard.
I managed to get the cows on to the platform & milk them. Although they didn't always face the right way.
The cows are now used to the cowshed and the system. Cows love routine, so I've kept everything the same.
I turn up at 9am every morning, the cowshed is always in the next days break of grass. I run a portable electric fence around the cows to stop them tearing around the paddock. After milking they always exit the cowshed onto a new break of grass with a bin full of meal.
When I arrive the cows are usually waiting for me at the entrance of the cowshed. I've done away with the gates that I used as temporary yards now & I just use portable electric fences at the entrance.
I'm not able to sell any of milk at the moment as I haven't got my food safety paperwork sorted yet (thats a long & painful story).
I'm just putting the finishing touches on the processing room & the pasteuriser over the next week or so & hopefully we will be selling milk in the not too distant future.