Cow to cup

Cow number 125 is always first to Stanvale Farm’s milk station each morning. Number 6389 is always one of the last.

“Cows are more intelligent than people give them credit for,” says Dairy Farmer Gordon Lockett. “They’re creatures of habit. They’re instinctive animals that understand routine and like consistency.”

Each morning the same herd of cows wait for Gordon at the milking gate before first light, knowing very well that those first in line are first out. Then there are the lazy ones, the ones that would rather sleep in and force Gordon to round them up every morning. His favourites are Blue Mac, Colin, and Fleetwood – named after the iconic band.

From 6.30am to 8am and 4.30pm to 7pm, 338 Holstein cows filter through Gordon’s rotary milking system. There’s a few moos and a lot of push and shove, but under Gordon’s watchful eye and that of his four-legged canine companions, it’s business as usual.


The cows are incentivised with feed, and each spend about nine minutes in one rotation on the merry-go-round with milking pumps manually fitted. Each cow will produce on average 25 litres of milk per day. In spring, the amount

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