The aim was to build a new dairy of the highest welfare standards which would present dairy farming at its best.
Shand Building Design (SBD) produced a unique building that focussed on key issues that they discovered were affecting the welfare of livestock and working processes. This included a major redesign of the roof structure moving away from the typical steep pitch to a stepped 15 degree pitch greatly improving airflow.
Some of the key issues that needed to be addressed were:
- Creation of more working space to improve labour intensive tasks
- Limited light and ventilation
- Improvement of livestock welfare
- Logistics of slurry handling and handling of animals requiring treatment.
The building runs north to south. Yorkshire boarding has been fitted to the south gable allowing the passage of natural solar gain and increased airflow. Two 1 m steps within the stepped roof are completely open allowing daylight and airflow.
A new feed fence has been designed so that 240 cows can eat at one time; the feed pass being increased from 4 m wide to 5 m wide. Mechanical scrapers were fitted, allowing for quicker removal of slurry.
Operationally, the shed is designed so that ‘one person can fetch one cow in one minute’, it enables workers to focus on the job at hand rather than the humdrum of milking and most importantly it gives a better quality of life.
The project took ten months from start to finish at a total cost of £1.3 million and includes the following improvements:
- Implementation of new feed passes for both sides of the new building to improve access for vehicles
- Stepped roof design, increasing light and ventilation
- Raised position of the office to provide an ariel view of the livestock area
- Improvement of livestock pens – replaced concrete floor with sand
- Addition of robotic milking stations
The project has already proved to be a success as milk yield has increased by 50%.
Images © Shand Building Design