VIDEO: "Since the renovation, all cows lie more and milk production has greatly improved"
In the picturesque village of Aldemardum (Oudemirdum) in Friesland, amid the beautiful nature of Gaasterland, farmer Sjoerd Brandsma runs an organic dairy farm and ice cream farm with his family. With around 100 cows on 73 hectares of land, Sjoerd decided it was time for a thorough renovation of his barn. This led to a positive transformation that benefited not only his cows, but also his milk production. We spoke to him about his experiences.
Decline in milk production, cow comfort and hygiene
Sjoerd noticed that his cows were no longer comfortable in their cubicles and were often standing with their hind legs outside the cubicles. This resulted in several problems that had a knock-on effect. It affected not only milk production, but also cow welfare and hygiene in the barn. It was clear that change was needed.
Bigger cows require wider cubicles
To address this challenge, Sjoerd turned to Gosse, Area Sales Manager at Royal de Boer. Together they analysed the problem and it soon became clear that the cubicles needed to be widened to offer cows more comfort. "Sjoerd's cows have grown over the years and no longer fit comfortably in the cubicles. As a result, they preferred to stand rather than lie down," Gosse explains. "We went back to the drawing board and decided to install new, wider cubicles with serrated tubes."
A renovation with immediate results
Although the new boxes meant fewer berths were available, Sjoerd trusted Gosse's expertise and followed his advice. The installation of the new cubicles was completed quickly and the results were immediate.
"Since the renovation, all cows are lying down in the morning," Sjoerd proudly tells us. "This is not only a beautiful sight, but it has actually led to improved milk production and fewer claw problems in the cows." These positive results show just how much impact a renovation can have on a barn's performance.
The benefits of barn renovation
Sjoerd's barn is a great example of the benefits barn renovation can bring to dairy farmers. Besides the examples mentioned, there are of course more benefits. We list some of them below:
1. Improved cow comfort: comfortable cubicles and a well-designed barn environment promote cow health and welfare.
2. Increased milk production: a comfortable and stress-free environment, where cows like to lie down, can significantly improve milk production.
3. Fewer health problems: well-designed barns reduce the risk of claw problems, reduced fertility and damage, among others.
4. Improved hygiene: an efficiently designed barn can simplify hygiene and maintenance.
5. Future-proofing: an updated barn is not just about improving the current situation, but also opens the door to sustainability and growth opportunities for the future of your dairy farm.
6. Improving labour efficiency: renovating a barn can have a positive effect on labour efficiency because it can streamline and improve work processes.
Thinking about renovating your barn? Don't hesitate to contact us!