How this Tipp dairy farmer developed a modern dairy unit to milk over 200 cows on a leased farm
When Bill Carroll set out to develop a modern dairy unit to milk over 200 cows on a leased farm at Gurteen, outside the tidy village of Kilsheelan his objective was to make it "as cheap and easy" as possible to do the job.
Completing the job for under €1,000/cow, including provision for a 50pc increase in the herd, was the target.
His success in achieving this is proof that labour-saving, efficient milking parlours can be had at a reasonable outlay.
Working within the existing structure on an old farmyard had a mix of benefits and constraints for Bill who said that "bells and jingles" that did not add to the profit line were not included in the plan.
The businessman, with interests in pig farming as well as dairying, said the 20-unit, 2ft6in DeLaval parlour with herringbone 50 degree zig-zag stalls and adjustable break rails, and scissor type exit gates has delivered "good value for money".
An auto-wash and heat recovery system - considered essential - were also included.
"You would nearly think we are sitting in a museum here, (in this farmyard) when you look around at all of the stone walls and we protected everything - we didn't touch any of the existing buildings and we completed the unit for under €1,000/cow."
Making the best use of existing buildings as far as possible delivered some cost savings for the unit which has a throughput of 209 cows in 90 minutes, including washing up.