High hopes for 2013 as parlour extension is finished
The last few weeks have been busy for the time of year because I have extended the milking parlour by two more units. This will bring me up to a 10-unit parlour.
Like so many of these jobs, the thought of doing them is worse than the actual job itself. It did involve a few slower-than- usual milkings as some inquisitive cows wondered where their space and freedom was gone, but things are getting back to normal now.
The main rails and concreting is done and I have been promised the two units will be working before Christmas.
The Dairymaster parlour was installed in 1996 as part of a new building on a greenfield site. I decided to go with two second-hand units so that they will blend in with the existing parlour. I am also thinking about installing the automatic teat-dipping system, but I must check out the cost of it.
I couldn't have put in any more units as there is a wall at the back of the parlour that adjoins the slatted house. I have left just enough space between this wall and the parlour that my small tractor can move around the parlour.
The new milk tank is up and running well. It certainly is a lot easier to wash as there is no brush or elbow grease required. I thought I might have had to put in a bigger hot water heater, but so far it seems to be adequate.
A new 6t V-mac meal bin was also installed. It has replaced a lot of shovelling of nuts to fill the parlour hoppers.
I claimed back the VAT on the milk tank and the meal bin and I must say I was very impressed with Revenue, which had my original invoices back and my claim processed within five days.