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June 2016


Rail system for stanchion barnAgrAbility staff in Pennsylvania frequently help farmers make modifications to their dairy barns or milking parlors. This past month, the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians helped one dairy farmer install a rail system and automatic takeoffs in his stanchion barn. This modification made a huge difference in the farmer's productivity and greatly decreased his pain levels.

Rail system: this system acts as carrier for the milking units and allows for the use of automatic takeoffs. With this system the farmer does not have to carry or lift the milking units. The units run on the overhead track from the milk house to the stalls where the cows are milked. The units can be easily attached to the milk pipeline and attached to the cow while the weight is still held by the rail. This reduces the wear and tear on the individual's back and shoulders.

Automatic takeoffs: with the rail system, automatic takeoffs can be installed. Automatic takeoffs release the milking unit from the udder of the cow when she is done milking. The unit is also pulled up and away from the cow, ready to be moved along the rail to the next cow. This reduces the amount of squatting and bending that is required to check the cow and remove the milking unit. Even a conservative estimate shows that automatic takeoffs can eliminate squatting or bending up to 100 times per day. That really adds up over time and can conserve joints.

Submitted by Abbie Spackman