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 £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…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What’s in Your Livestock Shed? visits a £65,000 lambing shed

Doubling housing capacity by building a shed for 600 ewes is allowing a Carmarthenshire sheep enterprise to concentrate its lambing period in an eight-week block. Ben Anthony and Diana Fairclough…

PIGS

How a Spanish enrichment system reduces tail biting in pigs

A rotating system of chains which moves hanging pig enrichment material from one pen to another is helping keep tail biting at bay on a Spanish pig farm. At Rosa…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Video: Roofless sheep unit helps preserve spring grass

Housing pregnant yearling ewes in a roofless slatted unit is allowing an Anglesey livestock farm to conserve grass for grazing in February. The five-pen unit at Marchynys Farm, Penmynydd, accommodates…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

What's in Your Livestock Shed? visits a £350,000 pig unit

A new pig unit at a Welsh college farm is thought to be the first in the UK to integrate every stage of production under one roof. Not only has…

Practical advice

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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…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Good sheep handling: Why it matters and how to improve it

Handling sheep may not come with the safety risk seen with cattle but ensuring systems are set up correctly goes a long way to reducing labour inputs and sheep stress.…

GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT

6 tips on combining grazing with robotic milking

While robotic milking is becoming increasingly attractive to farmers looking to address labour challenges, more milk buyers are also stipulating that cows must be grazed. So, how do you combine…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

7 ways to improve cow flow at milking

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop milking to go and push cows into the parlour, but have you ever stepped back and seriously asked yourself why cows are…

DAIRY

5 things to consider when choosing your milking liners

The milking machine is one of the few pieces of technology that comes in to direct contact with dairy cows on a regular basis. The liners inside the shells of…

Insights

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DAIRY

What's in Your Livestock Shed? visits a £1.36m robotic dairy

Agri-EPI Centre opened the doors of its state-of-the-art £1.36m robotic dairy unit in Somerset last week. Farmers and allied industries were given the first glimpse of the highly anticipated South…

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…

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…

LIVESTOCK

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…