James & Gavin Baillie, Crumhaugh Farm
It’s a family affair at Crumhaugh Farm, which sits in the heart of South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The Baillie Family - Jimmie, Isabel, James & Gavin, manage their 255-cow milking herd from Crumhaugh Farm, Stonehouse and their youngstock from their home farm, Over Dalserf, Ashgill. The milking herd are housed all-year round and are averaging in at 10,700 litres, 4.2% fat & 3.4% protein, with a calving interval of 380 days. They are milked twice daily & being fed full TMR diet with no additional feeding.
Over the past few years, the cows at Crumhaugh have been having issues with digital dermatitis. Gavin said, “We had looked at several factors, including changing our footbath routines, changing the products we were using but we were still having too many cases of digital dermatitis”. The passages were being scraped once a day when the sawdust bedder was bedding the cubicles. Gavin added, “With the passages only being scraped once a day, we knew the main problem was the cows’ feet were too dirty and the passages needed scraped more often”.
Family is the main workforce at Crumhaugh and this was playing a huge factor in the labour required to be able to scrape the passages more. This is when the Baillie family began to look to dairy automation and invest in a ‘Lely Discovery 90S’.
The Lely Discovery is an automatic manure scraper for hard and slatted flooring in agricultural buildings. The robot can be programmed to work 24/7 to ensure that the passages are scraped to ensure the cows feet remain clean which in turn promotes foot & udder health.
When Gavin saw the promotion of 0% finance on the small barn equipment at Lely Center Kilmarnock, he knew this was his chance to make the move to dairy automation and see how it could help improve the foot care of his cows. Gavin bit the bullet and ordered his Discovery. He had no adaptions to make prior to the install with his dairy setup being relatively new. He was fortunate to have power source available for the Discovery docking station to charge the robot.
With the Lely Discovery installed just 4 months ago, in March 21, Gavin is astonished with the results he is already seeing for himself. He added, “The cows were significantly cleaner within the first week of the Discovery being installed. The beds were so much cleaner too”. The cows adapted well to the install; within half a day, they were used to the robot moving around the shed scraping the passages.
Looking back over the last year, Gavin was able to provide the following stats. Cellcount has reduced dramatically from a 120 average down to an average of 98. He added that his latest test recorded cellcount of 78. Although this was not the main priority for Gavin, it proves the Lely Discovery is playing a major factor in this decrease. Gavin added, “Mastitis wasn’t a huge issue for us, recently sitting with 13 cases per 100 per year, however this has also decreased down to 9 cases. This isn’t a massive decrease, but we are down to single figures which is great”.
The Lely Discovery has two routes that it completes within the sheds at Crumhaugh. It completes the main passages every two hours & the remainder of the passages are completed when the cows are out the shed in the milking parlour. It can be programmed to do more routes when they are required.
Gavin is delighted with the results of his Lely Discovery 90S. The main focus of the purchase was to scrape the passages more & reduce the dermatitis in the cows’ feet. The Discovery has not only managed that but decreased cellcount & mastitis for the cows too.
- Digital dermatitis decreased
- Cellcount & Mastitis cases decreased
- Cleaner Cows & bedding
- Saves labour, saves time