Farmer/owner: Hywel, Rose and John Roberts
Farm location: Gwyddelwern, Corwen, North Wales
Farm name: Tyn Celyn Farm
Herd: 190 Holstein Friesian
Milking system: Three Fullwood M2erlin robots
Date of installation: February 2015
Hywel Roberts has been milking since he left school, carrying on the tradition of his father and grandfather. John, Hywel and Rose’s son, is now the fourth generation to work on the farm.
Before the installation of the three M2erlin robots, 140 cows were being milked through a 25 year old 12 stall abreast parlour, taking up to 2½ hours twice a day. “The parlour we had was coming to the end of its lifespan and we had the choice of going for a new conventional parlour or robotic version” says John.
The family had been thinking about replacing their conventional parlour for around 12 months before the three M2erlin robots were commissioned on 2nd February 2015. The family’s decision to purchase Fullwood robots was influenced by positive comments of local Fullwood robotic installation dealer, D.A. Cotton and Son Ltd.
“Since using the robots, the cattle are milked up to 5 times a day” and rather than getting up at 5.30am every morning, Hywel checks the M2erlin herd management interface to see which cows haven’t presented themselves to the robot already.
The dairy cattle stay indoors and Hywel states “the cows are healthier being milked by robots in terms of mastitis and lameness. Cell counts and bactoscans have shown some improvement, and cow foot health has also improved”.
The family are impressed with the features of the pedometers and increased milk yield. “Our milk yield has increased by about 14% since installing the robots and we think there is probably more to be had. We were doing around 9,500 litres and we are today closer to 11,000 or 32 litres per cow per day.”