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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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…

BROILERS

From start-up to sector leader – one broiler grower's story

Research, expert advice and attention to detail have helped one first-time broiler grower achieve some of the highest performance figures in the wholesale sector. David Hewitson's journey into broiler production…

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,…

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…

FARM MAINTENANCE

Tips to get the perfect solar-powered electric fence setup

Putting an end to the monotonous charging and distribution of electric fencer batteries would be a boon for any livestock farmer. So, it’s no surprise that interest in solar-powered energisers…

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,…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

4 key actions to help manage poultry flocks in hot weather

Keeping birds comfortable throughout their lives is a key way to ensure productive performance, and hot weather can lead to higher mortality related to heat stress. Birds that are too hot…

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…

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…

POULTRY

Is now the right time to go into poultry farming?

Consumer demand for eggs and poultrymeat have risen steadily over the past 10 years. Buoyant markets have already prompted hundreds of farmers to diversify into broiler and free-range egg production.…

POULTRY

How a high-tech poultry unit is opening up to the public

If there is one criticism that can fairly be levelled at the commercial poultry sector in the UK, it is that engagement with its ultimate customer, the British public, can…

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…