Best-In-Class Cow Comfort in a Parallel
Published on Fri, 09/09/2022 - 10:24am
Best-In-Class Cow Comfort in a Parallel.
Article and photos provided by BouMatic.
Brian Harbers is the owner of Harbers Farms located outside of Alberta, Canada. Harbers Farms was founded in 1972 and has been active for three generations. Both his daughter and son are involved in the dairy. Today, 125 cows are milked daily thanks to the BouMatic Xcalibur™ 90LX parallel parlour that was installed in June 2018. The farm has experienced great results switching over from there old double four Herringbone parlour to the Xcalibur 90LX.
“Everybody is happier to come into the barn and milk now because things go faster, easier and with less cow interruption. The flow seems to be good into the barn now. We can even take on more cows now”. Brian elaborates that, “Overall herd health has improved. Cows don’t stand as long to be milked in the holding area. They move quicker through the system and milk out better.”
Brian was also proud to share that after milking in their new parallel the farm won a high-quality milk award from their dairy association. “A lot of it was because of the equipment. It washes better, sanitizes better and is easy to keep clean.”
But the cow health improvements he considers their biggest win. Even their veterinarian has remarked to him about how much of an improvement he has seen over the whole barn. The herd health aspect and the labor improvements has him very pleased with his choice of parlour.
Installed on the Harbers Farm is a Double-12 Xcalibur 90LX parallel with SmartDairy automation and, SmartControlMeters with TouchPoint, SmartEIDidentification system, Flo-Star MAX claws, AirStar DSL vacuum pump with variable speed drive, BouMatic Plate Cooler, Guardian Supreme washer, stainless steel jetters, and stainless-steel air cylinder detachers.
Parallels are a favorite for dairymen intending to maximize cow flow. The cow platform is wider than a herringbone parlour to accommodate the length of the cow. The cow can also easily walk into their milking stall in a natural position. She does not need to lift her head to get into place and can freely move her head during milking. Each stall position is enhanced with wide shoulder bumpers for her well-being. Large breeds fit comfortably in the 28 in. (71 cm.) wide stall.
With cows standing on an elevated platform at a 90-degree angle facing away from the operator area, it is easy to keep an eye on udder health and access the udder for prep procedures. The walking distance is shorter in a parallel and the access to all equipment brings a high functionality to the space resulting in a high rate of operator comfort and safety. The Xcalibur™ 90LX is available with a range of high-performance automation and milk sensor capabilities to best suit different styles of herd management needs.
The Xcalibur™ 90LX promotes fast exiting with a lift exit system vs. a tilt exit system. A cow must walk only one cow length before lowering the exit system instead of one cow length plus the added distance of the tilt exit fronts. This means the parlour building can be up to 6 feet narrower than a tilt exit parlour and still allow the same amount of exiting space. It provides a smooth and safe exit creating a calm atmosphere in the milking parlour.
The Xcalibur™ 90LX is designed for quick installation by providing modularized components to the dairy site for fast, efficient assembly. It is based on a quality construction that’s easy to install because it has a bolt together design that means a quick, uncomplicated installation. There is also no on-site welding of galvanized material eliminating the potential for corrosion. Directly mounted lift cylinders eliminate cables that wear out or bind over time. No Sequence Gate Posts facilitate easy loading for cows and unobstructed exiting from the stalls. The only posts in the ground are from the main support posts located every 4-6 cows.
BouMatic is dedicated to ensuring that dairy farm producers throughout the world can produce the highest quality milk most efficiently, profitably, and responsibly.