St Peter's College
Erinwood Farm


In the early days of farming in Taikorea the milking was all done by hand . The first shed was just a rudimentary shelter that the cows could be tied up in while they were being milked

first shed:

The first true cowshed, which was built while Christie and Jimmy were boys

The cows themselves had cowbells on so they could be found in the bush if they wandered off .The first proper cowshed was built in 1911, it was run by a Blackstone steam engine as there was no electricity at this time.

It wasn't until 1925 (a year before Patrick Hehir's death) that there were power lines in the district and the shed was converted to electricity. It was many months before Patrick would turn on the switch to start the milking machines, as he was scared of the instant power.

The shed at this time was only four machines . It took along time to milk 40 cows compared to today, but it was lightning fast in comparison to how they had had to do it before.

Prize Cow:

James Hehir's prize cow, which gave up to four times as much milk as a regular cow

The shed was extended in 1938 to 10 sets of machines.

The plant was modernised in the early 1950s and a new yard was put on the side of the shed in 1965 .A washdown pump was put in at this time too and this dramatically cut down the time it took to clean up after milking as this had to be done with buckets and brooms.

At this time Christie and Jimmy were milking 120 cows and the milking would take from 1 ½ -2 hours.

Cows On The Track:

The Cows coming up to the shed for milking

In 1972 Christie, Jimmy and Chris built a completely new shed, a 20  a-side herringbone design, on the site of the old shed. This was necessary because of the amalgamation of the home block with Michael and Lizzie Hehir's farm .A new herd of cows were bought and 240 cows were now milked.

After a few five-hour milkings the cows got used to the new shed and the 240 cows could be milked in the same time as 120 cows in the old shed.


Kippy's current shed being built

The new shed was a much more hygienic place to milk cows in with the latest in plate coolers the milk was never exposed to the air or to birds from the time it left the cow to the time it ended up in the vat.

kippys shed:

Kippy's Shed

Christie retired from milking in 1969 when Chris came home after finishing school.  Jimmy retired in 1975 when Tim finished his schooling. In 1992 as both Chris and Tim had maried and had families a decision was made to divide the farm into two separate blocks. Tim built a new 18 a-side herringbone cowshed near the site of Michael Hehir's old 8 bale walk through shed.

our shed:

Tim's new cowshed on his block of the farm

Each farm now milked 130 cows but due to progress in breeding and feeding the cows, production from the farms had risen by 100 % over the last 30 years . In 2001 Tim and Cathy and Chris and Briona bought 40 hectares across the road. The installation of an underpass has meant that 180 cows can now be milked on each farm

Milk Factory:

The old Milk Factory down the road, which is now closed down

The production from each farm is now nearing 60,000 kg /milksolids per year. This is five times what a cow at the turn of the last century would produce, three times the production of a cow in the 1930s and twice the production of a cow in the 1960s.