On May 20, the 84 cows that called the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Cattle Center home, were loaded up and moved in with the 500 cows at the Dairy Cattle Research Center at Arlington. Two weeks later, work began to remodel the DCC which was built in 1956.
The $3.5 million renovation project involved keeping the footprint of the building the same. The inside was gutted and old silos were torn down. The renovation includes the following: a new double-6 herringbone milking parlor generously donated by BouMatic Inc., evaporative cooling ventilation system, 84 tie-stalls 49-inches wide and 72-inches long, two 18' x 60' silos, grain bins, feed mixing equipment, a manure handling system, teaching arena and an elevator.
There is also a cow yard where cows are let out twice daily after milking for exercise. Anyone driving or walking by on University Avenue can see Holstein cows exercising in downtown Madison.
"An upgrade was needed to provide better ventilation and living conditions for the cattle," explains Kent Weigel, UW-Madison Dairy Science professor and department chairperson.
The remodelled facility was designed by BWZ Architects of Madison with help from Weigel, Mike Peters who is herd manager at the DCC and is in charge of the dairy herds at Arlington and Marshfield Agricultural Research Stations, and Nigel Cook, DVM, who is a veterinarian and assistant professor at UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.
Cows began moving back to the DCC as construction was being completed in late January and early February.
In the new barn, there are 28 tie-stalls in one area and 56 tie-stalls in an adjacent area. Each cow has her own stall.