Rakaia Island Dairies

Donald Engineering have installed three platforms for Rakaia Island Dairies. The most recent platform was completed in February 2018. Donald Engineering started working on the project at the end of November 2017 and worked around the Christmas period to have the project completed by the start of February.

The rotary platforms at Rakaia Island Dairies are a little different, as they’re approx. 70 bale internal rotary platforms. This means farm staff milk and operate the platform from the inside, with the cows facing out and if you’re on the inside, you can see the cows the whole time they’re being milked.

However, the cow entering and exiting the platform is a bit trickier than a traditional rotary platform. Donald Engineering also built a feed system that works with the rotary platform, so each cow, once it walks onto the platform, has a feed system that drops down in front of it, and on milking finishing, the feed box lifts up for that cow to be able to exit the platform.

Donald Engineering had a team of between 4-6 onsite throughout most of the construction of the rotary platform. There was a wide range of contractors working alongside them on the project. Rakaia Island Dairies is a large dairy operation in Southbridge outside of Christchurch, the area is made an island by the Rakaia river, which is split in two around the farm. Rakai Island has four dairy units, 34 full-time staff and 5500 KiwiCross cows while Woodstock has two dairy units, 900ha, 20 full-time staff, 3000 KiwiCross cows and 2500 young stock.

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