Never before had any French dairy farm been the hub of such tremendous activity. No fewer than 8,000 visitors travelled to the heart of Brittany on September 24 and 25 to attend the open day that Lely had set up, together with its Lely Center network, at a dairy farm in the municipality of Bréhan. This major event enjoyed broad interest from the international and regional press, including coverage on television.
On this dairy farm, there are four Lely Astronaut milking robots A3 Next to milk a herd of 180 cows. A Lely Juno robot pushes roughage at the feed fence every two hours, an automatic barn cleaner Lely Discovery guarantees a clean barn as well as cow comfort, four Lely Luna brushes make sure that the cows are well brushed and comfortable, the Lely L4C lighting system also contributes - through a kind of 'light therapy' - to the cows' wellbeing and finally 250 Lely Commodus cubicles offer the herd the comfort, as it were, of a five star hotel.
In the new barn of this farm, which actually comprises three separate dairy farms, all recurring operations have been fully automated. The milking robots and other automated systems ensure optimal cow wellbeing; 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
The three dairy farmers have operated from some clear-cut starting points: optimising day-to-day operations through automation, presence of one person on Sundays to meet French legislation, improving the technical performance as well as ensuring the production of quality milk for an economically optimal cheese production.
Contrary to the Dutch and Danish dairy business, dairy farms with more than 150 cows are still rare in France. Therefore, the success of this event was not only related to the fact that this is the first 100% automated dairy farm in France, but also had to do with the size of the herd.