A happy cow is a healthy cow and that can certainly be said for the herd at Boggart House Farm.
Third generation farmers the Berry family have built and installed a luxury robotic-run milking parlour at their Barton farm where their 120-strong herd choose when to milk and unwind after a day grazing, complete with a personal grooming service.
And following the investment of the state-of-the-art technology, David, Sara and son Phillip are now selling their milk straight from the cow.
The family believe they are the first locally to sell their raw milk ‘Barton Brook Dairy’ from the farm in Station Lane, having finally opened the doors on their ‘cow shed of dreams’ just over 18 months ago.
Sara said: “The cows love it. They’re very British, they literally queue up just to come in.
“Ultimately this is a place for the herd, their quality of life is so much better and they are really content with the robots.
“The kit is so clever and as we no longer have fixed milking times, it offers so much more flexibility.”
David spent more than two years researching and planning the building and installation of the new milking parlour, travelling to Holland to learn more on the innovative farming practices.
The attention is in the detail - besides the robots, David designed a high pitched roof to produce a better air flow, fitted full length windows to allow more light and completed the barn with cedar wood panelling.
David said: “There isn’t quite anything of this calibre locally.
“We altered a few things just to make it more aesthetically pleasing – we didn’t want it to look like another cow barn.
“The neighbours wouldn’t have thanked us for an ugly building.
“It’s been a massive investment but the standard is second to none.”
And then there is the milk, described by Sara as ‘delicious’ which is richer, creamier and distinctive in taste. Not to mention some of the health properties, which are removed during the pasteurisation process.
The raw cows milk contains eight essential amino acids as well as proteins and minerals to stay healthy.
It is understood to give relief to eczema and hay fever sufferers and can actually help in weight loss.
Sara says: “People appreciate the health benefits of the raw milk. One lady visited us and said she had been recommended the milk for her young son’s eczema.
“She came back saying they had definitely noticed the difference.
“It’s easier to digest and a lot of people find it helps with natural immunity and helps with asthma and eczema.”
The Berrys are following very stringent measures under direction from the Food Standards Agency .
They finally moved from traditional pasteurised production to raw milk in November last year. The milk is sold straight from the farm.
David says: “It was a new challenge. We had seen how others across the country had done it and with the industry as it is and wanting a fair price for our milk it was something we wanted to give a go.
“At 7p a litre for the milk – it is just not sustainable. If I can make a go of this, feed the family and make a living – fantastic.
“There is nothing taken out, it offers numerous health benefits and above everything tastes so much better.”
Now it is a case of spreading the word.
Sara says: “A lot so far has been passing trade. People drive down Station Lane, are taken in by the new shed and stop by. We have had visitors to the areas and one family from Leicester, who came and bought a bottle and the next day were back filling up the car boot to take it back home.
“You can get your milk from the source. We’re here seven days a week, we’re here for customers anytime. And the milk is delicious.”
Sara adds: “We’re now looking at the possibilities of mail order as the demand is growing for it.”
The farm is also staging an open day on Sunday June 5. Visitors will be able to see the cows and their calves, as well as buy their milk.