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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WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's in your Livestock Shed? A £50k youngstock conversion 

A purpose-built youngstock shed has reduced labour requirements and improved the health of heifer replacements at a Welsh dairy farm. The Jones family returned to milk production in 2012 after…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Family dairy saves money by making their own calf hutches

Dairy newcomers the Courtier family from Dartmoor switched from group housing calves to single hutches they designed and made themselves, to save money. Julian Courtier, who manages the 350-cow spring-…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What’s in Your Livestock Shed? visits a Gold Cup winner

What makes a Gold Cup winner? We look at some of the buildings and technology behind Washfold Farm’s success. Metcalfe Farms in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, is owned and run by…

DAIRY

How Hampshire dairy has climbed to top 5 for milk production

Consolidating cow numbers has helped one Hampshire herd shoot up 14 places in the NMR annual production report, to clinch fifth place. In what was a tough year for dairy…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's In Your Livestock Shed? visits £130,000 cubicle shed

Hiring an entire milking herd has nearly doubled cow numbers at a Pembrokeshire dairy farm, but with expansion came winter housing challenges. For father and son Geraint and Simon John…

DAIRY

How £2.5m dairy unit is improving dry cow management

Good management during the dry period is crucial to promote cow welfare and ensure the profitability of dairy cows in the following lactation. The College of Agriculture Food & Rural…

Practical advice

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HEALTH AND WELFARE

Q&A: Pneumonia in calves and how to combat it

Young calves have a big surface area for their body size, which means they can lose heat very quickly. This, combined with the fact their immune system is not yet…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Which milking parlour is best for your dairy?

Having the best parlour for your system can pay dividends, in terms of milk yield, quality and your work life. If you’re thinking about changing your parlour or going into…

FEED AND NUTRITION

Eliminating winter housing for cattle: options compared

An end to direct farm subsidies in some UK regions post Brexit has focused farmers’ minds on cutting winter housing costs. It costs between £1.20-£1.50 a head a day to…

DAIRY

A dairy farmer's guide to robotic milking

Installations of robotic milking machines have surged over the past three years, taking the number of farms using the technology to between 900 and 1,000, or one in 10 UK…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Strategies to prevent heat stress in cattle

Record high temperatures last summer caught out livestock farmers in both indoor and outdoor systems, with cattle succumbing to debilitating heat stress. Tell-tail signs of heat stress are lethargy and…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on lighting dairy sheds to lift milk production

From feed sources to cow comfort, there are number of factors which influence milk production in dairy cattle. Among them is lighting, which – when designed properly – is said…

Insights

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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…