Cows & feeding
The SRUC Dairy Research and Innovation Centre has two units based on a 252 hectares farm area, Crichton Main and Acrehead.
Crichton Main houses the Langhill Breeding study with 40 years of selection for milk solids production. Acrehead houses facilities for nutrition and precision livestock farming research.
We also have capacity for research with dairy replacement stock. There are 250 milking Holstein cows at Crichton Main and a further 220 at Acrehead, plus replacements.
The rest of the land is sown as grass for grazing and silage, but a number of other crops are grown to meet the needs of different experiments, for example beans, red clover, forage wheat and forage maize.
Studies can be with grazing and/or housed cattle - either dry and/or lactating.
SRUC Dairy Research and Innovation Centre is supported by a team of specialist technical staff who are responsible for implementation of all experimental protocols and work alongside a dedicated team of 7 farm staff. SRUC Research is accredited to ISO 9001.
- Automated milk recording through either herringbone parlours or robot milking systems
- Individual recording of feed and water intakes using automated roughage feeders
- Weighing facilities
- Hand-held methane detector for enteric greenhouse gas studies
- A range of precision livestock tools (e.g. thermal imaging and other temperature sensing; accelerometer-based activity monitors; rumen pH boluses)
- Using computerised parlour and feeding system, we are able to measure yields, feed and water intakes
- The use of laser methane detector (originally used in mining) can assess greenhouse gas emissions from cows on different diets
- ‘Hoko’ feed and water bins measure what our cows eat and drink, but changes in individuals’ intakes can be used to flag up warning of possible disease
Langhill breeding study
The project's database provides 40 years' worth of scientific records for research.