Cows get their sea legs on the Rotterdam Floating Farm

Cows get their sea legs on the Rotterdam Floating Farm

You may or may not remember the news about the world’s first floating farm in late 2017, but now the farm has finally welcomed its first cows, 32 red-pied cows. The cows are doing well and are not seasick.

Floating Farm Rotterdam

The Floating Farm in Rotterdam is a world’s first and is extremely innovative. It’s 27m2 and counts three levels. The lower level, on the floating base, houses the factories and a visitor’s area and shop. The factories will process the raw cow milk, rainwater collected from the roof and cow urine and manure. Once processed, the manure will be used as fertiliser to grow feed for the cows.

The second level consists of a cow garden, a robot for food distribution, one to clean up manure and another for milking. There is also a visitor’s lookout on this level. Next to the farm, you will find floating solar panels in the shape of a milk bottle. At night, the milk bottle will light up one row at a time, so it looks like the bottle is being filled up- cool, right?

What do the cows eat?

As the farm aims to be as circular as possible, the cows’ feed will consist of waste products for around 80 percent. This includes things such as grass from football fields, grains from breweries, potato peels and bran from mills in Schiedam. Grass will also be produced on site for the cows using LED technology.

When and where can you buy the milk?

The farm will be producing and processing milk and yoghurt and this will then be sold in regional Lidl supermarkets. If you visit the farm, you’ll also be able to get raw milk from the tap. However, an exact date for when you can expect to find these products in the supermarket or even visit the farm is not yet known.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Ed Davis 03:20 | 19 May 2019

This post is very scary. At the turn of the century in the US, cows were fed spent brewery grains with major negative impacts. Cows are designed to eat grass (high fiber & minerals, low protein and fat). "[G]rains from breweries, potato peels and bran from mills..." do not fit this profile. I understand these proposals are preparation for the potential sea rise issues of the future. It may be more fruitful if projects focused on creating a more vegan world as animal production takes a lot of space, loses about 90% of the plant biomass energy to creating and maintaining the animal, uses more energy inputs, and uses a lot of freshwater.

WorzelGummage2 18:05 | 29 June 2023

In the near future, 10-50 years, atmospheric CO2 will become too low for plant growth in the open. At 400 ppm its already a approaching critical low. 1000-1200 ppm would be an optimum. At 300 ppm, major crop fails worldwide will occur. At 200 ppm, all green plant life will start to die from suffocation. Green produce will only be available from controlled and enclosed sources, supplied with sufficient CO2, (''Greenhouses'') so this is probably the only way that cow produce will be available, in the future. All the 'centralising' of CO2 production, is preparing for this.