Caldermeade Farm was settled in 1875. It was originally a premier beef and cattle property. Today, it is a fully operational commercial dairy farm and cafe. Caldermeade Farm and Café is very unique because it enables visitors to watch a milking and learn about how a dairy farm works.
Historically, cows used to be milked by hand, but in today’s fast paced, modern world, they are milked using technology. The dairy industry has moved from using milking sheds with wooden back out stalls, to walk through dairies, to herringbones and, now more commonly, the rotary dairy, as seen at Caldermeade Farm and Café.
At Caldermeade Farm up to 400 Holstein cows are milked twice daily (4.30am and 3.30 pm). Two operators take approximately one hour and twenty minutes to complete the process, each cow being on the rotary milking platform for about 10 minutes. The whole operation can be watched from a comfortable, glass fronted viewing room and provides a good insight into the workings of a modern dairy farm (note: and entry fee may apply).
While the mechanics of milking cows have not altered significantly from the days of hand milking, modern dairies are dramatically different having transitioned from milking parlors with wooden back-out stalls; walk through dairies and herringbones to today’s preferred method – the rotary dairy.