"Naarmann is a fair partner with whom we’ve never experienced any drama! The personal relationship is very friendly; for example, we can easily ask if Naarmann will supply us with a few products for a ‘Farm Day’. Conversely, we also like to take Naarmann customers from China for a tour of the farm – they have often never seen a cow. At Naarmann, we always speak directly with the decision-makers and do not have to deal with any administrative tomfoolery.”
Johann Büter, Hof Büter
The Hof Büter has been using a fully automatic milking robot since 2010. The dairy cows enter it on their own if they want to be milked. Within 24 hours, they give their milk three times. Unlike on-schedule milking in the morning and in the evening, the cows can then relieve their heavy udders whenever they wish. Before milking, the udder is cleaned with 22 degrees warm water and then dried. The milking robot automatically connects the milking cups to the four teats using laser scanning. The complete milking process, including cleaning, takes only 6 minutes per cow. The milking robot keeps track of exactly when it milks how much of which cow and what quality the milk has. So the farmer can immediately determine whether the cow’s udder is healthy.
The cows’ droppings fall through the grate floor into a receptacle, keeping the animals dry and free of infection. Eight times a day, a column robot cleans the entire floor – in a completely automated process.
In 2010, the Hof Büter invested 600,000 euros to build a modern cubicle stable with 65 feeding pens and 65 sleeping pens. The pens are upholstered with soft, six-inch-thick rubber mats. The roof is insulated against the heat of the sun and the retractable side walls provide a pleasant breeze in summer. A "wellness brush" grooms the cows’ coats when they nudge against it. The barn is lit by daylight-bright lamps in winter when the sun starts setting earlier. At night, a weak neon lamp lights the cows' way to the milking stall. The drinking troughs are always accessible to the animals and protected by a slalom system in the winter from freezing. The stable is camera-monitored and can be controlled via smartphone – extremely convenient for the farmer!
The dairy cows receive a feed mixture of corn and grass silage, morning and evening. Both are grown by Hof Büter itself. As soon as the dairy cow enters the milking stall, the robot scans it and assigns her own personal concentrate of feed from the concentrate silo. So each cow gets exactly the nutrients it needs to give good milk – and the farmer saves resources, as no food is used excessively. The concentrated feed comes from the local feed distributor.
Hof Büter breeds its own dairy cattle. For calving, there is an extra pen, which is padded with soft straw. If a bull calf is born, the farm sells it. The female calves are raised with their mother's milk for the first five days – only then the cow is milked again for human needs. A dairy cow calves for the first time after more than 25 months and (in the best case) will give birth to a new calf every year.