LINK Woodchip pads

Project details
A project to look at the increasing interest in the use of woodchip pads as an alternative to conventional straw bedded housing and concrete yards or the use of "sacrifice" fields for out-wintering livestock.

Out-wintering pads (OWPs) offer a sustainable alternative to out-wintering livestock on grassland and a reduced cost alternative to conventional housing. These pads are well suited for use by dry cows, suckler cows, beef steers and young stock and research in Ireland has demonstrated significantly improved performance in finishing cattle on OWPs compared to those housed on slats or straw yards. A three-year project is currently developing guidance on the design and management of OWPs, to reduce the risk of problems such as pad failure and pollution.

Completion Date
September 2010

Lead Contractor

Other Delivery Partners
North Wyke Research

DairyCo, DEFRA, EBLEX, HCC, BGS, The Environment Agency

Related products and resources
The report provides information for those considering this option and aids with comparison with full housing builds. The full report can be downloaded below.

A factsheet of the key findings of the report in relation to construction and drainage considerations has been produced jointly with Eblex. Copies are downloadable while Eblex have an indepth resource Better Returns Plus+ booklet woodchip pads.