The Dairy Barn
For the longest time our cows were kept for shelter and milking in a traditional timber frame barn, with all the hay and straw stored above in the mow. Although charming and rich in history, it had its drawbacks and we were starting to get crowded in it, too.
In 2011 we finally decided to build a new barn to address cow comfort, labour and manure management, in that order. We settled on the compost pack barn design, where the cows have the least restriction of movement and are milked in a herring bone milking parlour. The barn is still located directly across from the yogurt house and the milk gets pumped via pipeline into the processing room.
The bedding material is wood shavings which absorb the manure and get raked with a cultivator twice a day. The heat of the composting process eliminates pathogens and weed seeds and the resulting compost is used to fertilize the crops we grow. Because the cows can move around and socialize at will, they can now express much more of their natural behaviour and are healthier for it. We have seen many improvements since moving into the new barn and are proud to show it off, if you'd like to arrange a visit.