A dairy open day is being hosted by William and Annmarie Condon on their dairy farm at Rathmoyle, Lattin, Co. Tipperary on Tuesday 15th August, 2017 from 10.30am to 3.00pm.
William farms a herd of 80 Holstein Friesian cows with his wife
Ann-Marie and his three children close to the village of Lattin in South Tipperary. The Dairygold supplier is just back milking since January 2016, after the family farm had been leased out for an extended period.
William explained “My father John had a very bad accident 20 years ago and the cows had to be sold. I was too young to take on the farm at the time, but always knew I would come back to it”.
William finished school and spent 10 years working in Lisheen mines, before experience gained through contract machine work for local farmers, eventually led him back into dairying when the land lease expired. “It wasn’t the biggest step in the world to take” he says. “I had the knowledge of cows from my younger days and my parents John & Margaret are still around”.
William is enjoying the better fit the change away from shift work and contracting has given to family life. “I couldn’t be happier than to be back farming now though, when I was mining I could go underground in the morning and wouldn’t see daylight for a full week in the winter-time. Now there’s hardly a day that I’m not in the house with the family before 8 in the evening”
“We were short on winter accommodation so when TAMS 2 opened, I applied for the grant for a new 7-bay, 78 cubicle house”. The shed was finished in late November 2016 and William installed the EASYFIX Cubicles with EASYFIX Phoenix 25mm foam inter-locking mattresses. “I don’t say this lightly but I genuinely couldn’t be happier with the EASYFIX cubicles” explains William.
A Dairypower pro-clean ratchet scraper system was also installed in the new dairy housing unit. The scraper system is hydraulically operated, which means fewer moveable parts and considerably less risk of breakdowns.
He is delighted with the hygiene and very impressed with the level of cow-comfort they provide. “There was one wet week early in the spring this year where we were buffer-feeding silage inside after evening milking”. “Not all the cows chose to eat the silage but every last one of them lay down! When I saw that they were keener to lie in the shed than in the field I knew the EASYFIX Cubicles were the right choice for the job!” William had no problem spending a little extra on the comfort and peace of mind the Easyfix Cubicles gave “If you were to lose one cow stuck in a steel cubicle, that would be an awful lot of the difference in price straight away”.
In the yard, an old dairy was converted in late 2015, with the addition of a second-hand milking parlour and bulk-tank installed, just in time as the first cows calved in January. William explained that the parlour does the job for the moment, but that he has plans to upgrade down the line.
William and Annmarie Condon are looking forward to welcoming their family, friends and other dairy farmers to the Dairy Open Day.
New dairy entrant Ciaran O’Connell is now milking 80 cows with his wife Teresa on the East Clare hills above Ardnacrusha. The O’Connell Family are hosting a dairy open day on Thursday 17th August, 2017 from 10.30am to 3.00pm.
For further information on dairy open days contact us.