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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DAIRY

3 simple adjustments to improve cow health and yield

When George Allen took on the family’s Abbey Farm, in Whitchurch, last year, he was eager to put new ideas in place. But as a young farmer without much capital,…

POULTRY

How free-range egg unit slashed bills with solar electricity

When June and Frank Armstrong’s power supply company quoted a figure of £150,000 to hook up their new poultry shed to the mains electricity network, it forced a rethink. The…

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…

Practical advice

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PIGS

Advice on setting up a new pig unit

Price swings are synonymous with the UK pig sector, but with the five-year outlook indicating promising times for the industry, pig production could be a viable option for some farming…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

10 things to consider when housing beef cattle this autumn

With a strong beef price expected to continue for the next few months, ensuring a smooth transition at housing will help make sure animal performance is maximised. Vet and integrated…

POULTRY

Why LED lighting can improve layer and broiler margins

Research work has shown modern lighting systems can increase layer production by up to 38 eggs a hen and gross margins by 0.87p/kg on broiler units. But lighting often slips…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Outsourcing heifer rearing: What you need to consider

Heifer rearing is one of the most important jobs on the farm because they are the future of your herd. However, if you haven’t got the time, resource or facilities,…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

6 feed strategies to mitigate heat stress in cattle

Heat stress can have a huge impact on cow health and milk production by reducing feed intake and rumination. Heat stress is caused not only by temperature, but humidity, and…

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…

Insights

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BROILERS

What to consider before installing a poultry incinerator

Incinerator suppliers are handling an increasing number of enquiries from poultry units that want to cut fallen stock disposal costs and reduce biosecurity risks from farm-to-farm collections. Any livestock farm…

LAYERS

A poultrykeeper's guide to ground-source heat pumps

With farm carbon emissions under the spotlight and an increasing emphasis on sustainable agriculture, many producers are moving away from fossil fuels. Ground-source heat pumps offer a good solution for…

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…