“We have always used DeLaval equipment and products. I have always been happy with it and the service has always been good.” – Peter Theodore.
Like most young farming couples, Peter and Janette Theodore first started farming on Peter’s mother’s property in Colac, Western Victoria in 1982.
After purchasing their own 160 acre block and then joining it with Peter’s mother’s farm, the shed upgrades commenced, starting with an 8 unit and then a 14 unit double-up herringbone.
The acquisition of further neighbouring properties and more cows meant that they eventually moved to a 57 unit swing-over herringbone, however more improvements were in store still, with stall gates, cup removers and electronic pulsators being fitted to increase cow flow and improve milking time considerably.
As the herd size continued to grow, feeding his cows solely on 480 hectares of pasture was the next thing to change, and grain feeding was introduced to the farming system.
Finally, as 800 cows in the old herringbone system had become very labour intensive, Peter and Janette made the all-important decision in 2008 to build a brand new 60 unit rotary dairy with in-parlour feeding, cup removers and an Alpro herd management system.
During this past season, at full peak, Peter and his staff milked 800 cows in 3 hours, and his cows averaged 32 litres a cow.
The best thing in Peter’s mind about his new shed is the Alpro Herd Management system and its adaptability to improve how he manages his herd.
Automatic drafting is one of the key benefits for Peter, saving time with sorting of cows for insemination, pregnancy testing, drenching and veterinary visits. The system also detects cow heats, and even allows him to feed his cows individually, when required. Peter finds the Alpro system great for identifying sick cows which are highlighted to him by the Alpro ‘attentions’ report.
As Peter’s staff has become more familiar with the Alpro herd management programme, they are starting to generate their own new reports which is taking a lot of the guess work out of the farm’s cow management and has saved them a lot of time.
Most importantly, Peter states that the staff like the system and enjoy their milking roles and day to day tasks in the dairy, which is of high importance to him.
Peter views servicing as very important and so he has his plant serviced every six months with one full service, annually. He is currently putting in place an in-service agreement with his local dealership, Rhys Evans, which will help him to plan and budget into the future. It will also see service costs being forecast in advance and carried out without reminders and requests from Peter.
Peter believes that the new system has increased his ability to manage both his herd and his staff more efficiently. He also feels that “the system has also provided a good environment to work in and has increased property value, and value to the business.”
In their 37 year dairying career, Peter and Janette Theodore are very happy with the products and service of DeLaval, who in their minds has always been at the forefront of dairying technology.
Peter says he is “always happy with the service of DeLaval and Rhys Evans.” The equipment has always been efficient and of high quality and Peter and Janette plan to continue working with DeLaval into the future.