New cattle shed for Progressive Beef Farm in Dumfries and Galloway
Jan 8, 2019
We were asked to develop an additional cattle shed for a progressive beef farm in Dumfries and Galloway. They wanted to house as many cattle as possible in a cost-effective manner. In contrast to the sheds already on the farm with a central feed passage, they decided on an external feed passage and instead of a solid floor throughout for bedding we developed a design that allowed 90% of the shed to be slatted with a slurry tank below and separate solid floor pens for bedded calving cows.
The site was dug out and prepared to allow for a 200mm tank floor which was prepared with steel to support the shuttered towers which supported the cross beams and slats. The steel frame of the building was fabricated and designed to be situated on the tank floor external to the tank. Hardcore was used to build up the area surrounding the building.
The external feed passage was sheltered with an additional cantilever and a smooth concrete finish on the ground surrounding the shed. Another cantilever was also retro fitted to an existing building to create a sheltered area for a handling system.
Internally the slats were covered with slat mats for a more comfortable resting space for the cattle. Hinged gates separated the pens for easier handling and diagonal feed barriers were chosen for the exterior of the shed. Our pedigree diagonals are shaped to prevent ear tags from catching or ripping and it has been noted that calves are less likely to jump through our barriers due to this design feature. They also prevent bullying within the herd while feeding as each animal can have a fixed feeding space.
On the calving pens our Agritubel Fiabilis self-locking yokes were used to enable easier handling for calving and artificial insemination for instance. For added ventilation vent-air box profile sheets were used for the gable ends of the building, a fibre cement open ridge with upstands was chosen for along the roof centre which helps eliminate condensation falling, ten percent of the roof was given roof lighting to help give an airier feel to the building.
Easily accessible mixing points were shuttered at opposite corners of the tank external to the building, four internal mixing points were added in case there is ever a need for them. Each end was enclosed with sheeted gates.
With the increasing cost of bedding, slatted sheds could prove to be a more popular choice in the coming years.