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They Love Their State-Of-The-Art Parlor
The only thing that could have improved on the state-of-the-art milking parlor Ron and Mary Niedbalski put up two years ago was a flush system that used water recycled from the operation for clean-up.
Otherwise, the double 14 parallel design is the Nashville, Ill., dairying couple's dream come true.
"We love it," says Mary. "It's already paid for itself through faster and safer milking. Plus, because cows are milked above you, you're able to get a good look at their udders, allowing immediate detection of any potential health problems."
Still, Ron Niedbalski built his own flush system for the 40 by 40-ft. parlor. It sup-plies the 800 gal. of water necessary per day from water recycled from other operations.
"All the water we use in wash and cleaning cycles of equipment and our 3,000-gal. bulk tank goes into a drain in the parlor, then down into a 1,000-gal cistern outside the parlor. Rain runoff from the building's gutters also runs into the cistern," explains Ron. "A float in the cistern kicks on when water reaches a certain level, then transfers it to a 10,000-gal., 30-ft. high upright tank behind the parlor."
There are eight 1 1/2-in. high sprinklers with special homemade metal deflectors to spread the spray pattern placed every 4 ft. on each side of the alley. They're plumbed with 3-in. dia. PVC pipe laid under the cement. A valve on the outside tank delivers water through the sprinklers at up to 90 psi. A wheel inside the parlor allows the Niedbalskis to flush each side separately or both sides at the same time.
The system greatly speeds clean-up, Mary notes.
Likewise, the parlor, where cows are milked from behind, allows the Niedbalskis to milk 100 cows per hour with three people. That compares with 65 cows per hour with the double nine herringbone parlor the Niedbalskis used before. In that system, cows were milked from the side.
Operator safety is also improved since cows can't kick in the parlor because a manure gutter behind them prevents it. Milking efficiency is likewise improved since cows are closer together, requiring less time for the operator to move between them. Cows can depart their stalls in 3 or 4 seconds compared with 2 minutes before, thanks to a rapid exit feature.
The parlor features a revolving reel that prevents cows from moving forward once they're in place for milking. It releases quickly once the milking's done.
The Bou-Matic system came from Unverferth Equipment of Centralia, Ill. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron and Mary Niedbalski, 21127 North Carolina Rd., Nashville, Ill. 62263 (ph 618-327-8920).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2