Dairy farmers enjoy a family Christmas
Family timeHis daughter Aisling is also delighted with the difference the robots have made. “This year on Christmas Day we’ll get to spend a lot more time together as a family, and we’ll be able to rely on the robots to keep the cows going during the day,” she said. Prior to installing the robots the family visited other Lely farms. “Anybody that had them had nothing bad to say about them,” said Bernard.
And sure, I can see it now. They’re in there 12 months now and they’re really flying and the cows are really used to them.”Of course every day is now easier for the Heaveys, not just over Christmas. “Before we got the robots I would have associated the farm with stress and a lot of work. I was overwhelmed by it all. Then I saw the idea of robots and the lifestyle. It’s changed completely,” said Aisling.
It’s all your own. You do it as you want to do it. It’s such a big help and there’s not as much stress at all.”Bernard said that encouraging the next generation was part of his decision to invest in automation. “I didn’t want them getting the hardship I was getting,” he said. “I didn’t want them to be stuck in a milking parlour.” He also believes that the robots will mean that he won’t have to retire as soon, and that if he ever got ill, Aisling could run the farm in his absence.
Benefits of automationDairy farmers across Ireland are realising the benefits of automation on their farm, not just for improving their work/life balance and having more time with their families and friends, but also from a performance point of view. Freeing up labour means that more time can be spent on managing the herd, spotting and acting on any potential problems. Lely farmers often comment that they can manage their herd more proactively since automating the time-consuming task of milking.
Adding a Discovery manure scraping or collecting robot can free up even more time as it works autonomously to keep the barn clean. Lely also offers feeding solutions with the Vector which can mix, deliver and push rations autonomously while the Juno can ensure feed is kept pushed up to the feed face.