South Island dairy goat farmers still have no large-scale market for goat milk some 18 months after a Chinese-backed processing plant began to be built -- with some fanfare – at Ashburton.
The automated platform is designed specifically for goats.
It has an integrated feeding system offering five different feed allocations, which makes feeding different flocks on the same farm easily achievable; and it alters feeding regimes based on variables such as inclement weather.
The system uses a head locker that securely holds the goat in place and allows accurate reading of the animal’s ID tag, and a stainless steel feed bin that can be easily emptied or cleaned.
In operation, entry boxes regulate goat flow onto the platform, ensuring no empty bails during milking and preventing goats from crowding into bails.
ID tags are read in each milking stall and the data is fed into a herd management system.
The parlour has automatic wash system, allowing better cleaning of plant, and a glycol snap chilling system that chills milk to 4oC before it enters the vat.
An extra feature of the parlour at the Milkabit Farm is a floor that can be raised or lowered to suit the height of the farm worker. It is 4.5m wide so the operator can work on several bails without having to step off the raised floor.