small-scale dairy; humans

Small-scale dairy operations with room to grow

Although many experts say that a small-scale dairy don’t pay, there is room for the small operator to supply local markets. And everyone must start somewhere. The advantages of the modern milking machine are not really debatable; mainly because milking by hand, although feasible, is very time consuming, and hygiene is not as easy to control.

Small-scale dairymen are generally intimidated by the thought of costly milking machinery – but here is an example of separate units, from European company GEA, which can be purchased a unit at a time. A single unit, cluster, line and milk bucket is very reasonably priced. And farmers can add to the plant as finances permit. Centralising may make things easier when it comes to collection and transport of raw milk.

Any combination is possible – a few farmers could get together with this model, perhaps with each dairyman paying for one unit. Government funding may be worth exploring for this type of dairy.

These systems need power but solar power is not necessarily excluded.

For more information contact jaco.mostert@gea.com

The 12 stalls in this 6-cluster unit have been temporarily erected using available steel roundbar and gates. Rubber matting was laid on the concrete floor to stop slipping. The wide passage makes it easy for dairymen to move from stall to tank or cooler.
The 12 stalls in this 6-cluster unit have been temporarily erected using available steel roundbar and gates. Rubber matting was laid on the concrete floor to stop slipping. The wide passage makes it easy for dairymen to move from stall to tank or cooler.
A bar has been set into the stall, so that the udders of smaller cows are not too far from the clusters, which are at the back of the stalls.
A bar has been set into the stall, so that the udders of smaller cows are not too far from the clusters, which are at the back of the stalls.
This 6-point cluster operates on a high line vacuum and milk line. The high line works for this cow-abreast and on the ground system, although it may need a little more power to lift the milk up to the line.
This 6-point cluster operates on a high line vacuum and milk line. The high line works for this cow-abreast and on the ground system, although it may need a little more vacuum to lift the milk up to the line.
Big Holsteins and small Jerseys milk comfortably in the same stall layout.
Big Holsteins and small Jerseys milk comfortably in the same stall layout.
The cluster attached to a Jersey cow. For all that the animals were being milked in a strange environment, there seemed to be a high degree of milking ease, with cows appearing relaxed and calm.

The cluster attached to a Jersey cow. For all that the animals were being milked in a strange environment, there seemed to be a high degree of milking ease, with cows appearing relaxed and calm.
The stalls were set up in an existing shed open on one side. The shade is a bonus and the cows can be led into the stalls from the open side.

The stalls were set up in an existing shed open on one side. The shade is a bonus and the cows can be led into the stalls from the open side.
One cluster is shared between two stalls; with one cow milking and one cow waiting, the turnaround time is fairly quick and smooth.
One cluster is shared between two stalls; with one cow milking and one cow waiting, the turnaround time is fairly quick and smooth.
This bulk tank can hold 15 000 litres. It’s probably better to buy a bulk tank that a herd can grow into rather than incur the cost of upgrading your tank every time you increase your herd size.
This bulk tank can hold 2 500 litres. It’s probably better to buy a bulk tank that a herd can grow into rather than incur the cost of upgrading your tank every time you increase your herd size.
The small cooling plant.
The small cooling plant.
A single unit is very reasonably priced and is available from GEA – a company that operates throughout the southern region.
A single unit is very reasonably priced and is available from GEA – a company that operates throughout the southern region.

share this