Know How / Housing and handling

Advice and information on livestock housing to ensure your animals’ welfare and productivity. Compare different types of housing and bedding and read case studies on other farmers.

Case studies

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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…


How UK herd achieved world top 10 ranking for milk yield

While many farmers are moving to grass-based systems to lower costs, one family farm in Shropshire has decided to do the complete the opposite in order to future-proof their dairy…


Better ventilation reduces pneumonia in calf-rearing system

Jonathan Hames switched from dairy to beef farming two years ago when the milk price crisis took its toll. Familiar with managing dairy youngstock, he changed to rearing Aberdeen Angus-cross…


What's in Your Livestock Shed? visits £1.3m dairy unit

Andrew and Julie Thomas and their son, Richard, wanted a building that first and foremost provided a stress-free environment from their housed pedigree herd of high-yielding Holsteins. This they have…


How a beef farmer has shaved 90 days off finishing time

At Old Hall Farm, near Melton Mowbray, beef finisher Andrew Bowley has reduced finishing time by 90 days and eliminated pneumonia problems by installing fans. The first batch of calves…


What's In Your Livestock Shed? Purpose-built calf housing

A purpose-built calf-rearing shed has bolstered youngstock health at a large-scale Welsh dairy farm. The 60-pen unit was designed by Matthew Jones, who runs Nantgoch Farm, Oswestry, with his parents,…

Practical advice

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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…


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…


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…


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…


4 steps to assess your dairy building’s ventilation

Well-designed and ventilated buildings are key to good animal performance.  Buildings don't have to be brand-new or cost a fortune to meet the right standards. Small tweaks can be made…


5 essential ingredients for good calf housing

Before deciding on the best calf housing there are five key areas that must be considered to ensure the calf is kept in the best environment. Below Jamie Robertson at…


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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 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…


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…