A brisket board prevents a cow from lying too far forward in a free-stall. Yet, it must allow her to extend her legs comfortably over the top of the board.

“When cows lie down, they like to stretch their legs over the top of the brisket (board),” says Nigel Cook, veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. “We need to allow them to do that.”

According to Cook, a brisket board should meet the following criteria:

1. Provide a smooth, rounded edge.
2. Extend no higher than 6 inches above the stall surface.