Maintenance-Free Facilities for Todays Farm
Pre-engineered steel dairy barns are the sturdiest, safest, most energy-efficient dairy outfits on the market, and yet, they cost less than any other type of dairy structure. Steel is unaffected by pests, moisture, and rot; it is non-combustible, and can withstand severe weather conditions, thanks to an unmatched strength-to-weight ratio for its cost. Pre-engineered steel dairy buildings are easy to clean and come protected against wear and tear under warranty for 20 – 40 years!
For those who are deciding whether to purchase a new barn or refurbish an older one, we highly recommend consider the article, 'Dairy barn layout and construction: Effects on initial building costs,' written for Biosystems Engineering magazine in July of 2011. According to the author's research, “Remodelled facilities may require lower investments, but may also have poorer functionality compared to new buildings” Again and again, we find that “newer buildings tend to be more efficient.”1 The costs incurred in purchasing a new dairy building will be paid off much faster, as research shows that the latest innovations that have gone into the design of new dairy buildings are increasing productivity dramatically.
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Planning & Design Considerations for Dairy Barns
Working with your steel dairy barn manufacturer can help you answer questions like: “Will the building have free stalls or tie stalls? Will cows face in or out? Will animals be fed mechanically or manually from a fee cart? How will you handle manure?”2 However customers who conduct careful research on their own, in addition, will ultimately get the best value for their money in the design stage.
Taking the time to do careful research is a necessity, when in the planning stages of a new dairy barn. The sheer size of the body of research that has gone into dairy farming can be daunting, but it is very important for the sake of the animals' health and wellbeing, and for your farm's productivity. Consider the following conclusions, that came out of a study conducted by the American Dairy Science Association on 'The Effect on Milk Yield for Cows in Different Parities of Layouts for Small Freestall Dairy Barns':
“Primiparous cows seem to benefit from increased space in small freestall herds. Layouts with 2 or more dead-end alleys are negative for milk yield, whereas feed bunk space, within the range of existing recommendations, does not affect productivity. Use of separation pens for special needs cows has a positive effect on milk yield. Milk yield is higher in herds with AMS, except for primiparous cows. Easy access to water troughs is important for primiparous cows, whereas sufficient water trough capacity seem to be essential for multiparous cows.” 3
A host of research of this type is available to help you select the perfect dairy barn to create a healthy, happy home for your cows, and to maximize production and revenue. We suggest the Journal of Dairy Science as a starting point!3
A pre-engineered steel dairy will give you the very best value for your money, ensuring top conditions for your farm and your cows!
Safety First For Your Livestock
Steel is kick and bite proof! When a cow kicks a steel panel, the panel is strong enough not to break, and flexible enough to provide some give, rather than causing a broken leg! Wood, however, can give a cow serious splinters if kicked through or chewed. Cement or brick walls can cause a broken leg if kicked hard enough. Always put the safety of your animals first!
Further reading & Info:
- Taken from 'Dairy barn layout and construction: Effects on initial building costs' which was written for Biosystems Engineering, Vol. 109 (2011), Issue 3 (July), and starts on page 196.
- The quotations above are from page 17 of the Canadian Farm Buildings Handbook, published by the 'Research Branch' of Agriculture Canada. ISBN: 0660127970
- Taken from 'Layouts for Small Freestall Dairy Barns: The Effect on Milk Yield for Cows in Different Parities' which was written for the Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 94 (2011), Issue 3 (March), by the American Dairy Science Association