Facilities at Pawton Dairy

Overview of Pawton Dairy

View of Pawton Dairy

The new facilities at Pawton Dairy were built in 2003, following the decision to up-grade and build a brand new state of the art facility, capable of milking and housing 1100 cows. Pawton Dairy was previously run as an arable unit, and building on a green field site depended on extensive research and planning.

Having witnessed the scale of the dairy operations in California, and admiring the set-ups and ease of management that the facilities allowed, much of the set up at Willsbro is based on these . Having imported many of the key elements, and design features they admired in California, the farm provides an environment well suited to the high levels of cow comfort they set out to achieve with minimal input of labour.


Cow Housing

Matthew Scraping Feed

All cows are cubicle housed, even the show team. The best 40 cows at any one time are housed in the same group, they all receive the same diet and lie in the same cubicles. This apart, the unit primarily houses cows in groups of 200, split according to stage of lactation, the cows are housed in 4 foot wide deep bedded sand cubicles.

Each group has 200 cubicles and 200 locking yokes, ensuring every animal can rest or feed at the same time. The locking yokes allow all vet work and AI to be carried out while the cows are feeding, eliminating the need for races or crushes. Each passage is flood washed up to eight times a day, the dirty water is then filtered to retrieve sand and then pumped out to fertilise the grazing and silage land.


60 Point Rotary Parlor

Cows On Rotary

A 60-point rotadec was installed, whilst Boumatic milking equipment was fitted. The cows are milked three times a day and can accommodate 350 cows/hour.

A strict milking routine is adhered to.



At Willsbro we believe that five key elements contribute to profitable production - Management, Environment, Genetics, Health and Nutrition. Each plays a vital role in the general well being of the herd, and none is more important than the other. Willsbro is very much a family run farm, and each member plays a valuable role in making it a success.

Our focus is, and continues to be, to breed a profitable herd of long lasting beautiful and functional cows, that repeatedly put milk in the tank and go back in calf year after year. Leading sires are used, and each cow is individually mated according to her strengths and weaknesses, we strive to breed them better each generation. Feeding the dairy herd at Willsbro involves the use of as many locally grown feedstuffs as possible, supplemented with commodities and additives that make economic sense. The health of the Willsbro herd is of paramount importance, regular routine work, such as scanning, sexing, and foot trimming is undertaken by Robert and Mathew, and there are a number of protocols in place to ensure .optimum herd health when it comes to milking routine, dry cows and fresh calved cows.