Know How / Dairy / Housing and handling

Dairy housing, handling and milking parlours are areas of major investment for a farm business. Read about the key developments in dairy buildings, robot milkers, cubicle design, bedding, hygiene, ventilation systems, calf housing and handling equipment including crushes, crates and weigh scales.

Case studies

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FARM ENERGY

How a dairy farmer cut electricity costs by £2,000 a year

Suffolk dairy farmer Jonny Crickmore has reduced electricity costs by almost £2,000 annually using energy from an unexpected source – the bedding in the cow shed. Fen Farm’s expansion into…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

WIYLS visits a £300,000 self-build cubicle shed

An automatic ventilation system capable of refreshing air in the entire building in just 90 seconds is one of the factors that has enabled a Welsh dairy farm to slash…

DAIRY

Purpose-built shed helps goat farm cut weaning age

Investing in a purpose-built rearing shed and adjusting kid management protocols have helped goat milk producer Will Frost to reduce age at weaning by up to two weeks. The 2019…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How dairy farmer has improved post-calving health

Dedicated housing for transition cows has improved post-calving cow health at a Welsh dairy farm. John and Anna Booth invested in the new facility at Rhual Dairy, an AHDB Strategic…

PLANNING PERMISSION

7 farmer tips to fast track planning permission

Taking the time to identify the relevant site surveys for your build and engaging with the public will help smooth any planning application, says Cumbrian farmer Robert Morris-Eyton. In 2018,…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's in Your Livestock Shed visits a £1.4m greenfield dairy

No corners have been cut in the design and building of the new parlour and cubicle shed 230m away from the original dairy at Beckside Farm, near Millom. Robert and…

Practical advice

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DAIRY

Guidance on improving water provision for dairy cows

Cattle farmers typically ask for advice on feed issues like rations, intakes, palatability, presentation and trough space. But when it comes to what is arguably the cows’ most important nutrient…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

A guide on how to harvest rainwater on a farm

Livestock farms can use large amounts of water, with one study by Adas suggesting dairy farms spend £31-£100 a cow a year on water. It may be a worthwhile investment…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

The costs and benefits of installing a cow underpass

Cow underpasses can allow herds to graze less accessible acres without the trouble of halting road traffic flow. An underpass is a large large box culvert made from precast concrete,…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Complete guide to silage clamp compliance

Water authorities are carrying out farm inspections to prevent effluent polluting watercourses. With silage a particular threat, how can farmers ensure they don’t get caught out? There were more than…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

6 housing tips for better dairy production and welfare

A few inexpensive, practical changes to the housing environment can make all the difference to the health, welfare and productivity of a dairy herd says Alice Miller of Friars Moor…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Should you convert to sand bedding on your dairy?

Sand is the gold standard when it comes to cow comfort and udder health, meaning that many farmers are looking at ways to upgrade from mats to sand bedding. Its…

Insights

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HOUSING AND HANDLING

Better way of measuring reveals ideal dairy cow living space

A new on-farm measurement for dairy cow buildings, known as living space, has been developed to provide a better understanding of space allowances for adult dairy cows. Researchers believe living…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

6 things I learned from visiting US 'mega-dairies'

Dairy farming in the US has become synonymous with the words “mega-dairy”. While the scale of US dairy farms bears little resemblance to UK operations, there are some striking similarities…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Research shows benefits of pair housing calves pre-weaning

Pair housing calves before weaning can help them adapt better to different situations as they mature, leading to improved concentrate intakes and higher growth compared with those housed alone. Professor…

LIVESTOCK

How to choose the right winter bedding for dairy cows

Is one bedding system better than an other in terms of cow health and production? Research carried out by the University of Wisconsin suggests not. Trial work looking at 16…