Know How / Housing and handling

Advice and information on livestock housing  and shed design to ensure your animals’ welfare and productivity. Compare different types of housing and bedding and read case studies on other farmers. Get tips on stock handling equipment, including cattle crushes and races, dairy parlour design and robotic milking.

Case studies

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WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's in your shed? visits a £550,000 Kentucky dairy shed

Set on the fringes of Lexington, the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Dairy unit is a fount of research for dairy health efficiencies. In the pursuit of cow comfort, the university…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How three huge roundhouses are improving beef performance

Farmer and entrepreneur David Shelton is nearing the end of building an entire beef and arable unit from scratch on a greenfield site in Leicestershire. The site at Saxelbye Top…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's In Your Livestock Shed at a high tech Exmoor farm

Unsurprisingly, the family that run Shearwell Data, one of the major UK players in the tag and software world, are keen on using technology to drive efficiencies throughout the farm.…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Why roofless beef build's best according to Wexford finisher

Beef finisher Paddy Murphy erected an unroofed unit at his farm in County Wexford four years ago to replace a badly performing woodchip pad. The cost of woodchip was rising…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's In Your Livestock Shed visits a £1.2m dairy new build

The Symms had reached the point so many farming families do – the “all in or all out” crossroads. Their old farm buildings were crumbling around them and the cows…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

What's in Your Livestock Shed? visits a £200k suckler shed

When Richard Spencer sold 4.4ha of farmland for residential development, it was an opportunity to relocate the farmyard and build new housing for his beef herd. Mr Spencer, who farms…

Practical advice

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HOUSING AND HANDLING

Tips on designing races and handling cattle

Well-designed handling facilities provide a safe working environment on beef farms but infrastructure alone won’t make routine tasks easier and quicker for cattle and people. Livestock handling expert Miriam Parker…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on sourcing alternative bedding options this winter

Straw prices have risen 20-50% on the year as drought has hit cereal yields.  Farming unions have urged arable farmers to bale as much straw as possible to address supply…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Q&A: Expert guide on how to set up sheep housing

Poor sheep housing can harm animal welfare causing dampness, dirty sheep, cold sheep and lambs, poor hygiene potential and increased feet problems. And it can also make harder work for…

HUSBANDRY

Video: Step-by-step guide to best sheep-shearing technique

A good shearing technique can add value to a fleece, while correct handling and control of the sheep protects the shearer’s back from injury. With farmers now finding it difficult…

HUSBANDRY

Picture and video guide: How to roll a fleece correctly

Handle a fleece well and rolling it correctly can reap rewards at the grading stage. Fiona Reuter, the BWMB’s Welsh regional co-ordinator, who organises shearing courses across Wales, takes Farmers…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Tips on improving water quality for pigs

There are big opportunities to achieve better pig health and growth through simple changes to water systems, with potential yet to be fully explored on many units. Pigs need ready…

Insights

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SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

Guide details how farmers can reduce ammonia emissions

A  guide published on Friday (27 July) sets out the steps farmers, advisers and contractors can take to reduce ammonia emissions and help improve air quality. The Code of Good…

PIGS

Q&A: Pig housing - balcony systems explained

Balcony systems can offer a practical housing solution for pig units by increasing floor space within the footprint of existing sheds. Few of these systems exist in the UK but…

LIVESTOCK

Housing issues cause losses of £224 a sow a year

Pig producers could gain an additional £224 a sow a year by improving their environment to ensure pigs meet their genetic potential. On average, pigs only realise 35% of their…

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…