Know How / Housing and handling

Case studies

See all


Flooring improvements help dairy unit cut lameness by 10%

New housing for 400 cows and improvements to older buildings at Grant Hartman’s dairy farm have done much to improve cow comfort and lameness. Cubicles have deep sand beds, suitable…


How Dorset new entrants built a dairy for £350 a cow

Chalky soils and robust, small cow breeds make it possible for Tom Foot and Neil Grigg to graze 600 dairy cows for most of the year. They winter their spring-calving…


WIYLS goes inside Duchy College’s £3.6m dairy unit

Improved cow comfort and a better feeding regime have boosted milk yields by 2 litres a cow a day at Duchy College, Cornwall. The "Future Farm" research facility, which houses…


Two autumn calvers compare calf housing options

Block-calving dairy farmers need sufficient accommodation to house large number of calves in a short number of weeks, with their options ranging from temporary structures such as polytunnels to purpose-built…


WIYLS visits a £500,000 beef finishing shed

Daily liveweight gains (DLWG) in beef cattle bred from a Pembrokeshire farm’s own dairy herd have improved since the business invested in a new fattening building. The Jenkins family spent…


Dutch pig farm rises from the ashes of a devastating fire

When a Dutch pig farm was devastated by fire in 2013, the owners rebuilt, creating a state-of-the-art, high-health, low-emission unit from the ashes. More than half of Von Farm, Oirschot,…

Practical advice

See all


How to convert from colony to barn eggs and hit retail specs

Colony egg producers who supply major retailers are facing deadlines to convert to an alternative system, with barn the proposed value egg option. Morrisons supermarket has already switched to offer…


Environmental pig permits: Everything you need to comply

Pig farmers must comply with new requirements for environmental permits from 21 February, with key changes relating to slurry store coverage and ammonia emissions reporting. With an increasing number of…


Where to invest when building or upgrading poultry units

What does it cost to create a state-of-the-art poultry unit? We ask one arable farmer-turned-poultrykeeper to break down the key investment areas for anyone who wants to overhaul part of…


How to get pig housing conditions right for best performance

A primary focus at the grower stage will be nutrition and growth to finish pigs, but it can be possible to overlook the effect of the environment on pigs' performance.…


How to manage poultry housing environments in winter

Maintaining a healthy and productive environment in poultry housing requires careful management of a number of interrelated factors. Producers have to walk a fine line, balancing ventilation rates, humidity and…


7 reasons mastitis is more challenging in automatic milking

Automatic milking systems are growing in popularity due to the lifestyle benefits they afford farmers. But independent research shows udder health can deteriorate when farms transition from conventional milking systems…


See all


Video: Inside a state-of-the-art transition cow shed

One USA dairy has converted a shed, originally built for calves, into a state-of-the-art facility for transition cows. The shed at George DeRuyter & Sons dairy in Sunnyside, Washington State,…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…