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Question asked by Rick Sheelar recently:

"What's so special about your Brisket Bars and exactly how do they work?"

Glad you asked, Rick. Thanks.

Why the cows like it: 

  • They walk into a wide open space with nothing to limit their view, no cage, no cubicle, almost nothing to confine them

  • Big cows and small cows share space. Since they are not locked in at the front, (as they are with wiggley rails) they can slide this way and that a bit.

  • ...and if one of them gets all panicky, she knows she can get out - see below.

Key Design Feature - Automatic Indexing

  • Push a button and the Brisket Bar moves ever so slowly toward the cows. Since one cow alone can't hold the bar back she moves backward, then the next one and the next one, until all of them (well, most of them) have their rears where they belong - at the splash shield, where you can get at the udder.

  • How does it work?

  • Indexing pressure is adjustable from 25 psi for shorter bars and up to 40 psi for longer ones. Keep it higher when the bars are new, while you are training them, lower as they get used to it, usually after a few days.

  • Straight bar or curved indexing rails - which is better? Straight bar! Because they are not locked in, slide sideways, share space.

Key Design Feature - Rapid Exit - 

  • First push 'Index Out', then 'Brisket Bar Up'. Bar goes straight up and out they go. 

  • Ideally, there would be a 4" step down in the floor. Standard for all new installations. Something to think about for retrofits. Depends on how high your cow platform is right now. if less than 34" add a new floor with a step underneath the bars. Call before you make the final decision, need to discuss Hispanic milkers!

  • How does it work? 
 There's a cylinder inside the bar. (4" diam. all-stainless for bars up to dbl. 10s, 5"  
 diam. aluminum for dbl. 12s and dbl. 16s. Dbl. 20s work with two 10-stall Brisket 
 Bars.) Plus a couple of pulleys on each end with stainless air craft cable in-between
 As the cylinder extends it shortens the cable, pulling the bars up.

  • Important point - it's all inside the bars, away from the crud and the mud. There are no external mechanics. Nothing to get dirty, nothing to corrode, nothing for the cows to get tangled up in or chew on. Lift components are accessible for service thru a fold-down door, just remove five bolts.

  • Fabricated from all-stainless (304 no less, same as your bulk tank). Cow's saliva attacks galvanized materials, some times slower, some times faster, but eventually the saliva will get to it. 304 stainless on the other hand lasts forever.

With the Bars Installed Relatively Low... 

...and no fence in front of them, won't they jump over the bars?

                                                   Yes - No - Maybe

  No - they know it's milking time. Why would they jump? 
         May be - when they are new to the parlor. Especially when coming from a tie-stall barn. There's a consistent pattern - no one jumps at the first milking. A couple, three or four will during the second and third. After that, no more jumping - with an occasional exception. 

  Yes -  If you bring in a heifer that absolutely positively does not want to be in the parlor, she'll jump. Good riddance! Consider the alternative: if she can't get out, because she is locked in by the equipment, she'll go stark raving mad, kicking, fighting and bucking 'til something gives. Along the way she may hurt the milker, she'll hurt herself for darn sure and she may damage the equipment. Plumb full of adrenaline, you won't get a drop of milk out of her and besides, the parlor comes to a standstill with the milkers attending to the nut case.

Our view - Get her outta there! If you built the barn to our specs, there's a 'Return-to- Holding-Pen gate. Open it and invite her for another trip thru the barn. She'll stay the second time around. How so? She knows she can get out anytime she wants to. So, she thinks "Let's see what happens if I stay." And she does....

If you have ever seen a heifer hell-bent to get out of a parlor that was designed to keep her in - absolutely, positively, no compromise - and watch her get all tangled in those pipes or whatever in front of her, with no chance to get free and back out, you wish you were somewhere else, because you either cut up the parlor or you cut up the heifer....Not pretty.
Triangular-shaped Brisket Bar
Rapid Exit:
Brisket Bars are supported by only a couple of posts at either end, i.e. no posts to walk around, work around or clean around (no divider gates either!) If one of them goes down with milk fever, move her out of the way with the skid loader and keep on milking
Automatic Indexing. Brisket Bar swings toward cows moved by an air cylinder (upper left). Pressure is adjustable.
housing for brisket bar components
All operating components are inside the bar - away from the mud and the crud - and especially the saliva!
All-stainless HerringBone parlor - with Arm TakeOffs - Rapid Exit Brisket Bars - Automatic Indexing - Comfortable Cow Mats - Lots of Light and Ventilation - Great Stereo System - what a way to milk cows!
The bar hangs on a couple of 'Swing Arms' or 'Guide Channels'. Sort of like a pendulum.   
Each swing arm has a pivot in the center and an air cylinders at the top. As the cylinder pushes out at the top, the brisket bar swings toward the cows.

Brisket Bars | Front Ends for Dairy Parlor Stalls

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cows in dairy parlor - automatic indexing
dairy cow and triangular-shaped brisket bar
brisket bar allows rapid exit for dairy cows
all stainless HerringBone milking parlor
all stainless HerringBone milking parlor
Comfortable Cow Mats embedded in the cow platforms
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