Richard and Willem Vendrig
"I was extremely impressed with the quality of everything – pulsators, milk lines; all the welding"
An exceptionally high standard of quality in every aspect was the deciding factor behind the construction of a new 100 bail goat milking parlour in Ontario, Canada.
Owner, Richard Vendrig, recalls that when he decided to change farming direction “from cows to goats” he visited New Zealand.
“I wanted to see New Zealand goat farming systems first hand and took time to visit Waikato Milking Systems’ headquarters which is located in Hamilton.”
“I knew they had recently developed a goat milking parlour and wanted to compare it with others I’d seen in Europe.
“I was extremely impressed with the quality of everything – pulsators, milk lines; all the welding. Every aspect had quality written all over it. At the time Waikato weren’t manufacturing an outside milker but they listened to what I wanted and promised to keep in touch.
“Six months later I got an email from their International Sales Manager, Grant Wisnewski, saying they’d extended the range of small ruminant dairies and were now able to provide exactly what I wanted. I was delighted – and impressed – and went ahead and ordered a 100 bail goat platform.
The new parlour was commissioned in April 2018, initially milking 1500 goats with an ultimate goal of 9,500.
Standing in his new parlour, Richard Vendrig says he is delighted with the choice he made – of platform and the move to milking goats.
“I started milking cows in the Netherlands with my parents 30 years ago. We were milking 20 cows. In 1994 I left for Canada and we developed a new dairy farm milking 320 cows. We later investigated developing a dairy operation in the United States but, unable to get a permit, we returned to Canada and purchased our current property - then a cash crop farm – and started to develop a goat milking facility. We’re permitted to milk up to 9,500 goats, but we’re not there yet.”
Richard Vendrig said the construction of the new parlour went very smoothly. “I was extremely impressed with the Waikato team who installed it and who worked closely with our local dealer. They did a very high quality job.
“The new parlor was commissioned in April 2018 so we had to transition the goats from the 20 swing-over they were used to, to the new rotary platform.
“The psychology of goats is very different to cows – they are sensitive, intelligent and very, very social – so it took a bit of time to get them used to the new parlour. However, the Waikato parlour has been designed to appeal to their nature with an entrance race which gives them clear vision through to goats on the other side of the platform so they quickly adjusted.
“In hindsight, they settled really quickly and are now very comfortable on the platform. They love the rubber floor, never get scared, make very little manure and don’t want to come off at the end of milking.
“We are milking twice a day and don’t push it, one person milking around 1200 goats per hour followed by cleaning etc.
“The staff like the new parlour although it meant less hours milking; it was taking nine hours to milk 1500 cows in the old swing-over and now it takes two! That’s freed the team up for other jobs around the farm so they’re happy.
“The impressions of quality I gained when visiting Waikato Milking Systems has been confirmed in every aspect of this parlour; the quality shows, it’s unreal.”
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