12 May 1995

Slope off with straw savings

The Rural Design and Building Association study tour visited Brittany.

Michael Gaisford reports

SUBSTANTIAL savings on straw can be made in cattle buildings with sloping floors.

On a visit to the French Institute of Animal Productions experimental beef and sheep farm at Mauron, RDBA delegates inspected one beef building with an 8% slope to much of the pen floor (see plan). Here bedding straw requirements have been cut by two-thirds.

The building is strawed three times a week and the level area behind the feed barrier tractor scraped daily.

Straw and muck is pushed down the slope to be scaped away by the stock.

It has been found that the system does not work very well with younger stock weighing less than 300kg liveweight.