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

WIYLS visits the only off-grid milking robot in the UK

A Welsh farm is milking cows in a robot powered by a standalone renewable energy system after it was forced to relocate to a remote site when its rented dairy…

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…

Practical advice

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POULTRY

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…

DAIRY

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…

POULTRY

Expert advice for preventing vermin issues on poultry farms

Vermin can leave a big dent in a poultry farm’s feed conversion figures and the damage they cause to housing and equipment is costly. As the days get shorter and…

POULTRY

A step-by-step guide to cleaning your poultry shed

Cleaning sheds and equipment between flocks is critical to reduce the presence of viruses, bacteria and protozoa, which are all potentially pathogenic to incoming stock. “The previous flock will have…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

3 steps to reduce mastitis risk in dairy cows at housing

Winter housing can increase mastitis by heightening the risk of environmental infections. Vet James Breen explains what data to monitor and measure, what targets to aim for and how to…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How to light dairy parlours for cows, staff and milk quality

Lighting in and around the parlour will influence how well a cow milks. However, the impact of lighting on the smooth operation of the milking process is often not given…

Insights

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HOUSING AND HANDLING

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,…

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…