Dairy cows in a shed eating silage© Tim Scrivener

A free tool that calculates the minimum air inlet and outlet in livestock buildings could help livestock farmers improve ventilation in sheds.

The online calculator has been designed to provide a quick and easy way for farmers to health-check their buildings and make sure their animals are getting the fresh air they need.

The tool from roofing manufacturer Marley Eternit incorporates data provided by AHDB Dairy.

It can be used to check existing building ventilation provision and also help in the planning stages of new building projects.

See also: How to avoid common dairy housing pitfalls

Adam Botterill, sales director at Marley Eternit, urged farmers to work out airflow in their buildings.

He said: “Don’t assume that your builder has done the maths on this for you – we are still seeing many buildings being fitted with vented cranked ridges, which provide inadequate airflow in almost all circumstances.”

Improving ventilation can, in many cases, be achieved through relatively simple measures such as rearranging space boarding or fitting an open ridge to the roof.

“This can have an immediate impact on animal health,”he added.