Whilst we have more than one dairy at Bannister Downs, thanks to the completion of our new facility The Creamery (2018), some of Our Girls now enjoy a new, world-class experience – milking in our voluntary automatic, rotary dairy. The dairy at the Creamery is a 24-stand De Laval automatic milking rotary (AMR) with a voluntary milking system (VMS). The first of its kind in WA, our robotic dairy is an amazing facility which is now at the heart of Bannister Downs Dairy, while we continue to learn about its benefits and how Our Girls adapt to and enjoy its features.
How does it work?
When Our Girls feel like being milked, they wander up the laneway from their paddock to the smart gate at the dairy where their electronic ear tag is scanned. The smart gate knows which cows have or not already been milked recently, and lets them through to the dairy platform accordingly. Before milking commences, the first robot washes the udders of each cow before she moves around to the next robots, which will fit the individual milking cups to each (4) teats so the milking process can begin. The milking system measures and records how much milk each individual cow is producing in real time. The robotic dairy can also let us know immediately if there are any early signs (deviations) which may indicate that one of Our Girls could have be in the early stages of an infection or some other sort of health problem based on the quantity of her milk and how well she milks. This enables us to provide appropriate care without delay, and often avoiding medications due to the early detection.
When milking is completed, Our Girls are rewarded with a feed ration with includes suitable minerals and vitamins to make sure they have a balanced diet in case there are any deficiencies in their pasture. After eating their grain ration, they then look forward to heading out to a new paddock and although they are free to come back to the dairy, the ‘smart gates’ won’t let them be milked again until an appropriate amount of rest time has passed.
Meanwhile, their fresh milk is piped just 10 metres away to our processing facility within The Creamery where our milk is processed and prepared for delivery.
“Since we’ve developed our AMR milking system, we have found that it’s allowed us to return to individual attention on cows. We’re able to really zero in on what’s happening for the individual cows, which is really rewarding on a few different levels as a dairy farmer.” – Mat Daubney
If you are looking for the closest location to purchase your Bannister Downs Fresh milk, creams and flavoured milks, head to our store locator where you will find a list to choose from, according to your most convenient location
Designed over several years by Bosske architects and constructed by Perkins Builders (Bunbury) the Creamery was a large and exciting project for everyone involved. Apart from winning several design and construction awards, it is a wonderful place to see our girls each day, to process, fill and dispatch our products daily and to do our best to look after our team and customers from our administration. Click here to read in more detail