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Wolfenden’s approach to cow comfort is a perfect fit for ambitious farmers

Since starting out as a small farm shop selling fruit and veg in the late ‘80s, the Green family’s Penshaw Farm Shop has grown to include tearooms, a bakery, and an award-winning butchery for the Farm’s own beef, grass fed lamb and pork products. Having decided to further expand into dairy – to sell fresh, local milk through vending machines at the Penshaw Farm Shop – they looked to Wolfenden in their quest to install a complete dairy management solution, with herd welfare and cow comfort as the top priority.

Jake Green, of Penshaw Farm explains,
“We made the decision to expand into dairy because, while we could have bought milk in to offer in our new vending machines, that doesn’t sit well with our ethos – to bring local, sustainably grown products, with minimal mileage and a low carbon footprint, to the public. And this is what our customers love about our farm and our food. Given that we genuinely care about ensuring our livestock are happy and have the best environment possible, when we were researching options Wolfenden were the natural choice for us, with their own focus on Supa Happy Cows and herd welfare.”

The new dairy set up at Penshaw Farm will house 70 cows, initially, allowing for a second unit on-site to expand the herd to 120, and Wolfenden have specified their own cutting edge concrete products, all designed for optimum cow comfort and herd productivity. Wolfenden’s range includes SUPA products: Supa Strong slats, and Supa Deep and Supa Wide slurry channels – all of which ensure optimum efficiency in the collection of slurry, for cow comfort and emission reduction. At Penshaw Farm, the slatted storage tank, complete with slurry management system, is 10ft deep, providing eight months’ slurry storage.

As an official distributor for EasyFix, Wolfenden were able to recommend to Jake a full range of cutting-edge herd welfare products into the build, including top-of-the-range beds with the best possible mattresses as well as headrests with the thickest foam available – all to ensure that the new herd will be comfortable and happy. The selection of EasyFix’s Evolve feed fence, a flexible feeding system giving the cows a completely natural feeding position, further demonstrates the Farm’s commitment to providing the new herd with the best possible environment. Partial rubber matting means their hooves are protected on rubber, reducing the possibility of injury or discomfort.

A robotic milking parlour is a key aspect of the new unit, along with robotic scrapers to minimise disruption to the herd, pushing up silage five times, daily – which will also benefit farm workers’ welfare and efficiency, cutting down on labour. The unit structure is the highest spec available, with built-in flexible and controllable ventilation, for optimum temperature and airflow control in all seasons. Prior to the herd moving into the new unit, Jake is already looking at additional enrichment options to ensure the cows will be as happy and well-cared for as is humanly possible – meaning better welfare as well as greater productivity.

Richard Moody, managing director at Wolfenden, comments on the project,
“It is encouraging for British farming to see ambitious farmers expanding into dairy, and we are delighted that Jake recognised our ethos, here at Wolfenden, and chose to work with us. All our products for dairy and slurry management are designed with cow comfort and herd welfare at the fore, and from the outset. As a UK distributor for EasyFix, we have been able to expand our product offering – we can confidently say that Wolfenden are now the one-stop-shop for dairy housing and optimum herd welfare. We look forward to working with Jake and the team at Penshaw Farm, as their herd and business continue to expand.”