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Cattle building design and layout

Last post Thu, Jan 15 2009 15:19 by sjk. 5 replies.
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  • Fri, Jan 9 2009 13:22

    Cattle building design and layout

    I have previously only rented land and buildings for my 25 sucklers, but I've recently bought some land and plan to put up a couple of sheds this year.  I am aware of the issues to consider re: ventilation, but if anybody has any views or links to examples/discussions on yard layout, preferred shed type, designing for future expansion and any other things to consider I'd be very interested to hear about them.  I am starting from scratch so I want to get the design/layout right first time, I'm planning to put up a big-ish shed for the cows (100ft-50ft) and a smaller shed for rearing calves, probably 60ft x 30ft.  Particular things I'm currently pondering include......having an outside concrete yard for the cows? sheds with one open side and a 4ft cantilever overhang as opposed to closed in ones? good/bad experiences with livestock building companies.  Any thoughts welcome




  • Fri, Jan 9 2009 21:39 In reply to

    Re: Cattle building design and layout

    We had a shed put up about a year ago with an open side and we have found that the only problem (well more observation than problem) is that over the winter the bullocks that we have in there have all grown long fluffy hair becuase they are exposed to the cold.


    Good luck with getting your sheds put up :)

  • Sat, Jan 10 2009 12:40 In reply to

    Re: Cattle building design and layout

    open or closed sheds is dependant on where you are.

    most important thing  is to be out of the wind ,or draughts which are much worse.

    i rented a shed some years ago which was built wrongly end on to the prevailing wind. the ends had no doors, and the wind howled thru it. the cattle never did in it.

    what made it worse, was it was a wet area, and the rain bew in almost way down.

    my own cattle accomodation is 200 ft by60 ft wide, with only 22ft covered. it is in a dry sheltered area. this holds 100     450kg bullocks

  • Sun, Jan 11 2009 3:36 In reply to

    Re: Cattle building design and layout

     Check out Dr. Temple Grandin's brand new book:

    Don't be put off by the title! She is very practical and has more experience of designing livestock housing/handling facilities than anyone else on the planet...

    Temple Grandin, one of the most influential advocate of humane livestock treatment, has spent her life developing stress-free facility designs and standards of humane management. Grandin is a voice of reason explaining the benefits of keeping animals calm through every phase of their lives - benefits that include safer working conditions, higher yields of marketable meat, better-quality meat, and, of course, more humane conditions for the animals.The first half of "Humane Livestock Handling" reviews the natural behaviour and temperament of cattle. Working with the animals' natural instincts, Grandin describes low-stress methods for moving cattle on pastures, paddocks, and feedlot pens. Slow, controlled movement reduces stress and fear, resulting in calmer, healthier cattle. They eat better, are less likely to become sick, and do not run into fences and gates, injuring themselves and bruising the meat. Calm cattle are also far less likely to injure the humans working with them.The second half of the book is packed with construction plans, diagrams and detailed designs for putting Grandin's ideas into practice. Featuring plans for everything from gate latches to chutes, corrals, and sorting pens for full-scale facilities, there are designs that can be used in both large and small operations. In fact, half of the cattle in North America are already handled in systems designed by Grandin, and the demand for humanely processed meat continues to grow. Temple Grandin's systems are quickly becoming the industry-wide standard.


  • Tue, Jan 13 2009 9:05 In reply to

    Re: Cattle building design and layout

    I've just ordered that book, it looks very useful!


    Thanks everyone for your feedback

  • Thu, Jan 15 2009 15:19 In reply to

    • sjk
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Jul 26 2007
    • Kent, UK

    Re: Cattle building design and layout

     The thing to remember is making it acessable for vehicle and also think about what you want to to in the future as there is no point cramming everything together so you use the least amount of field or or cram it on to a bit that isn't very good for a field as that is something that my dad wishes he had done a bit differently as when he had the buildings put up in the 70's they were ideal now we are doing more with the tractors etc he wished he had left more room to go inbetween with a tractor etc and made it easier for the lorries coming in.

    But above all you should go for what suits you as what is ideal for someone else might not be ideal for you.


    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
    Groucho Marx
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