Archive: Optimal conditions for dairy cows

Published 23 December 14

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Building design specialist Jamie Robertson is appearing at four meetings in the South West of England in the 3 days, 20 – 22 January 2015. Earlier this month (December) DairyCo ran a series of well attended meetings with Jamie focussing on the optimal conditions for dairy cows, setting micro-environments for calves and improving ventilation in existing buildings. Meetings were held in Ashbourne, Coverdale and Leyburn. 

Levy payers learned that by getting the ventilation right, the stocking density in sheds can increase to optimum levels. When the ventilation in existing buildings is not good enough, it should be adapted by improving air inlets and outlets, or by using mechanical equipment.

Modern open-sided sheds work when the wind direction and wind breaks, either natural or fabricated are incorporated at the planning or construction stages. If there is insufficient weather protection, rain will drive into the building and result in wet cubicle beds. In addition, wind velocity may blow bedding off the beds and lead to lower cubicle occupancy in some areas, due to the ‘draught’, this will result in an increased stocking rate in the rest of the building.

Jamie also highlighted that existing buildings can be improved at low cost to reap good returns through reducing moisture load in the environment.

For more info download individual chapters of the Dairy Housing – a best practice guide.