Kibbutz lessons on how to milk 600 goats in one hour

By Natan Jeffay, December 27, 2012

An Israeli kibbutz-based company is changing the face of goat and sheep farming by introducing cutting-edge, digitised milking technology.

Cattle farmers have long used systems to closely monitor the quantity and quality of milk that each cow is producing, but as sheep and goats produce far smaller amounts, technology to monitor their milk has lagged behind.

AfiMilk from Kibbutz Afikim near Tiberius has been working on this problem for eight years, and has just installed what it believes to be Canada’s first large-scale milking and analysis system for sheep and goats. The system milks 600 sheep and goats an hour.

More than 400,000 sheep and goats are monitored by AfiMilk systems around the world, including in Britain, Spain, Italy, New Zealand and America. “The differences are remarkable,” said Tuscan farmer Luigi Farina. “We are able to have the situation of the herd completely under control.”

As well as telling farmers about the milk produced, AfiMilk systems give the detailed information on the health and fertility of each animal.

Last updated: 7:45pm, December 27 2012