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 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…

LAMBING

How one farmer is delivering 1.8 lambs sold per ewe

Challenging grazing conditions posed by Cotswold brash stony soils that climb up to steep inclines of 750ft make running a low-input, grass-based system untenable at Church Farm in North Stoke.…

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…

BEEF

Why a mixed farmer is phasing out his suckler herd

Shropshire mixed farmer Lee Preece is phasing out his suckler herd in favour of finishing black-and-white beef bulls for rose veal. Mr Preece believes the venture is delivering better profits of…

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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HOUSING AND HANDLING

4 alternatives to spreading poultry manure on land 

Poultry farmers are increasingly looking at practical uses for poultry manure to future-proof their businesses and achieve additional income. The amount and timing of spreading on land – the most common way…

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…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How to stop dirty cattle going to slaughter - and why it matters

Abattoirs are reporting higher levels of dirty cattle being presented for slaughter, citing the availability and price of bedding as a reason for this. The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA)…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Advice on cleaning free-range poultry sheds

Planning turnaround and the logistics is a big undertaking. But a well-executed clean can help set a new free-range flock off to a flying start. Andrew Watson of Bowler Eggs…

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…

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…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

10 Danish loose farrowing pens compared

Ten European loose-housed farrowing pens are being assessed for pig, piglet and worker welfare in a world-leading product test. This follows industry targets for 10% of Danish sows to be…

POULTRY

Latest advances in science for poultry farmers

Every year, hundreds of academic papers relevant to poultry are published, with their findings often trickling down to farms in the months and years that follow. Here, Poultry World rounds…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Faster broiler growth rates from poultry litter burning

The way a broiler shed is heated can have a significant bearing on the performance of the flock. Indirect heating of broiler sheds using biomass such as poultry litter as…

PLANNING PERMISSION

Opposition and errors hamper poultry planning applications

Poultry farmers are finding it harder than ever to get planning applications for new buildings through the system. Local authorities are making too many mistakes in the planning process and…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How free-range layer multi-tier systems work

Free-range hens are increasingly reared on flat-deck systems before being transferred to multi-tier sheds when coming in to lay. One company argues there is a better way, as Jake Davies…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Wireless system aims to improve bird performance

An award-winning wireless sensor system to monitor environmental conditions in broiler sheds has been developed by researchers at University College Dublin to help find optimum conditions for bird growth. “It…

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…