Following in his father’s footsteps, son Gavin now runs the family farm along with his wife Gillian. With 400 acres to manage and a 130 cow herd to care for, labour has always been intense to ensure all the work is covered.
Labour intensity made the decision at Crawlaw. Home to Mr & Mrs Gavin Barr, agriculture has always been in the blood at Crawlaw Farm, Galston.
In the past, the scraping of the cubicle shed was undertaken by one man and a bobcat. This was a task that was done twice daily, taking on average an hour out of the day. With several factors taken into consideration, Gavin decided to investigate his options to have automatic scrapers put into his shed. When given the available choices, it came to light that due to the nature of his shed, chain scrapers would not be able to accommodate his needs and cover all the areas that were required to be cleaned.
Gavin and his father then decided to make the move to robotic barn equipment and purchase the Lely Discovery 120 Collector. The design of the Collector means it vacuums the manure up into its tank, rather than move the manure forward with it. An additional benefit of the Collector is the spraying of water in front & behind as the robot glides along. Water being sprayed in front of the Collector increases the manure intake and spraying the water behind leaves the floor wet, giving additional grip for the cows.
When the decision was made, the install of the Lely Collector was simple and the eight routes for the cubicle shed were programmed for the Barr Family. Gavin added. “The Collector is managing all the spaces we require to be cleaned that the chain scrapers wouldn’t have been able to”. “The cows have adapted well to the robot being in with them 24/7, it has actually made them quieter and easier to work with”.
More benefits that Gavin is experiencing with the Collector is the cleanliness of the cows, making the twice a day milking more pleasant! The sawdust beds are cleaner, with minimal manure being brought onto them which in turn has reduced the udder health problems such a Mastitis. Overall, Gavin added, “We have less foot problems with the cows, less digital dermatitis which is also a saving”
The Barr Family have no hesitation on confirming the Lely Discovery 120 Collector is a dream come true at Crawlaw Farm. Saving the time on labour daily, it now allows their full-time worker to concentrate more on the cows and manage the other daily tasks that agriculture brings.