Our milk is produced in a top-end milking parlour

25 October 2023 | Int. Livestockhousing Guide |

Back in early 2022, business owners Atte and Hanny Wiarda-Galama switched from cows to goats. A massive change which the couple have simply taken in their stride. Their 900 goats are milked using the very first SAC 2RO on the market. The 2RO is an outdoor rotary milking parlour. “Milk quality is excellent, and the goats are comfortable during milking. We really enjoy the milking process.”

Although Atte and Hanny had never milked a goat before, they knew exactly what to expect from their new parlour, which is integral to the success of the farm. They had seen the first demonstrations of the 2RO outdoor milking parlour, which SAC engineers were constructing at the time. “They made an exception and allowed us to watch,” explains Atte, sat at their kitchen table in Raerd, Friesland. “We were convinced this was the perfect system for our farm before even leaving the demo.”

The final 2RO design was yet to be fully realised. This was in the summer of 2021, still a few months before the couple switched to goats. In early 2022, Atte and Hanny started milking their goats using the new 2RO system. “In reality, we received the trial version,” says Atte, laughing. “It worked brilliantly from the start. A few adjustments were needed, but nothing major. From day one, the goats were milked correctly. Our partnership with SAC, and the support we’ve received, has been excellent.” When the parlour requires an update, a mechanic is always on site. “They stay until cleaning processes have finished, to assist with any potential faults.”

Fast and efficient milking
After a year of use, Atte and Hanny describe the rotary parlour as robust and fitted with proven technology. “Milk quality is excellent, and the goats are comfortable during milking. We really enjoy the milking process.” Their enjoyment is enhanced by the QuickUp; the teat cups that are easily applied to the goats from the platform. Ergonomically speaking, the patented QuickUp system has many advantages, as it only requires a vertical movement to attach the lightweight cups It also offers many advantages for the goats. “Every type of goat can be milked; small, large, tall, short and different types of teats.”

The rotary milking parlour allows the farmers to stay in the same place for the entire milking process, while the goats are rotated at a constant speed. “It’s similar to the rotary parlour we used to milk our cows for twenty years,” says Atte, adding that they always work together when milking the goats. “One of us works in the parlour, while the other manages feed and other tasks.” The goats are quick to arrive, as they can’t resist the treats we use to entice them into the rotary parlour.”

The new system was built in the existing barn, and includes a waiting pen where approximately 600 goats can be grouped. “The maximum waiting time for the goats is 45 minutes, any longer is simply too long,” explain the goat farmers. “Ideally, the goats should be back in their own barn as quickly as possible, where they can eat, lie down, relax, and produce more milk.” It takes little more than 90 minutes to milk the entire herd, clean the milking parlour and feed and care for the goats. “The milking process has to be fast and efficient, which is something we’d already learned with our cows.”

More information: www.sac.com

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