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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BEEF

3 ways a beef farmer is adapting to improve profitability

Spring-calving suckler and arable farmer Mike Powley is adapting his business to improve labour efficiency and environmental sustainability. Mr Powley, who farms with his father, is making changes to ensure…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's in your livestock shed? visits a Powys beef finisher

A mid-Wales beef finisher is capturing an additional 0.4kg daily liveweight gain (DLWG) a head since making improvements to housing. The slatted shed was built before the Hammond family took…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Inside a boar stud looking at how semen is collected

Attention to detail in the boar stud when it comes to housing, health, feeding, semen collection and processing has allowed farmers to access superior genetics of the highest health status…

POULTRY

How a layer unit expanded rapidly with focus on welfare

A Devon poultry farm has grown from 6,000 bird places to 22,000 in just eight months, and hopes its new modern unit will improve egg numbers and bird health. Clayewater…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What's in your Livestock Shed? A £50k youngstock conversion 

A purpose-built youngstock shed has reduced labour requirements and improved the health of heifer replacements at a Welsh dairy farm. The Jones family returned to milk production in 2012 after…

WHATS IN YOUR LIVESTOCK SHED

What’s in Your Livestock Shed? visits ultra-modern beef unit

Abattoir and meat processing company Pickstock has invested in rearing, handling and finishing facilities at Brongain Farm, Llanfechain, where it will be finishing 1,000 dairy-bred beef calves annually. Pickstock already…

Practical advice

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HUSBANDRY

4 options for keeping piglets warm

Keeping piglets warm is critical to maintaining health and achieving early growth. But balancing the piglet’s ideal temperature of between 25-30C with the sow’s optimum temperature of 15-18C is difficult…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

How to make sure your parlour is running properly

Poorly serviced, maintained and operated milking machines can result in inefficient or incomplete milking, poor milk quality, teat trauma and mastitis infections. With herd sizes increasing and parlours operating for…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

5 bits of kit every poultry farmer should own

If there’s one thing that sorts the best poultry producers from the average, it’s understanding the environment of individual sheds. This is best done by measuring every parameter possible -…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

Guide to effective dairy parlour cleaning

Ineffective cleaning of the internal surfaces of the milking system increases the risk of bacteria and milk residues building up. As well as potentially leading to higher Bactoscans, this raises…

BROILERS

Advice for poultry farmers considering a shed refurbishment

It is possible to get top performances from older poultry sheds – but certainly more difficult - and the reality is many broiler farms in the UK are past their…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Guide to managing rats on your farm

Autumn is a time when rat populations can start taking hold on a farm as food supplies dry up in the field and cold and wet weather sets in. However,…

Insights

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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.…

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…