Every farm animal needs comfortable living conditions. It is important to think carefully about your cattle stalls, especially if the cows and bulls will be kept on a leash at all times, without grazing. And also, when creating places for keeping livestock, you should carefully consider the recommended standards..
What it is?
A stall for cows and bulls is an important part of the life of these animals, directly affecting the volume and quality of their products.. When cattle is kept tied for most of the day, it is necessary to take a responsible approach to the arrangement of the internal space of the barn, the most important elements of which are stalls. Their size must correspond to the breed of livestock.
A stable is a place, the area and height of which are sufficient for the maintenance of one individual. It is most often fenced on all sides.
When setting up a stall for a bull or cow, it is important to consider the specific norms for this.. Only competent design of the barn will make the structure effective and convenient for livestock. First of all, the stalls or compartments must be safe and comfortable. For the construction of the barn as a whole, you need to choose the right place. It is desirable that it is not located in the lowlands. This will protect against flooding by melt or groundwater..
Moreover, each building must be equipped with a drain and be located at a distance from residential buildings and sources with drinking water.. For the construction of a building, it is important that the selected materials are of a quality and durability. When planning a structure, the needs of the cows must be taken into account. So, for milking individuals, it is necessary to provide for a convenient and reliable fixation during milking. At the same time, it is taken into account that the leash does not interfere with the animal when eating or drinking. The individual must move freely around the stall, and the attendants must have access to it..
The standard requirements for stables and cattle housing include a number of rules.
- Safety of livestock, as well as people working with it.
- Ensuring unhindered movement of livestock when entering and exiting. In addition, the cattle must lie down and rise freely..
- Animals must be provided with clean drinking water available at all times..
- Correct and safe fixation of animals.
It is assumed that during stall keeping animals are kept in their individual stalls for 10 or more hours. That is why they need comfort. It is worth clarifying that walking is important for bulls in any weather, therefore, next to the barn for their maintenance, a special courtyard with a canopy should be equipped.
It is very good if there is room next to the barn for arranging hay or straw haystacks, as well as a silo pit. The place for collecting manure should also not be too far away..
The size of the barn with tethered keeping of animals directly depends on the number of livestock. So, an adult cow should be located on a plot of 6 sq. m. Moreover, for an individual with a calf, this indicator increases to 8-10 square meters. m.In order for people and animals to move freely between the stalls, the passage should be made 120-150 cm wide.As for the ceilings, they should be raised 250-300 cm above the floor.
Modern stalls are usually designed so that the width is slightly more than 1 m and the length is 1.7-2 m.. Feeders are best positioned at the front and manure troughs at the back. In this case, the dimensions of the latter should be 20×10 cm (width and depth, respectively). Here it is also important to take into account the slope of the floor so that the slurry flows better. For keeping in winter on a leash with deep bedding, the slurry collector is not an obligatory element..
Recently, on the recommendation of specialists, preference is given to short stalls. For a dairy herd, the optimal length of the place should vary from 140 to 180 cm, and the width – from 100 to 120 cm.. The difference in dimensional data depends on the weight of the animals. As for the front wall of the trough, its height is 17-26 cm. Behind the row of stalls, a 1 meter passage should be arranged. It is usually made from concrete or stones. It is needed to remove manure.
Special windows with valves should go into the passage through which cattle waste will be removed. An important part of the barn, especially during the summer period, are the windows. There should be at least 2-3 of them. In this case, the minimum window size is 50×70 cm.
In addition, it is necessary to provide for insulation of the ceiling and doors..
How to build?
Before proceeding with the organization of stalls for dairy cows and calves for fattening at home, it is necessary to complete the drawings. To do this, you need to calculate all sizes in advance and take into account your own wishes..
The most important part of a cattle shed, like any structure, is the foundation. It is important to correctly complete this part of the construction of the animal building.. With a poor-quality foundation, all other parts of the structure will be unreliable, no matter how they try to make them well. For the foundation of any structure, the important points are: strength, sufficient load-bearing capacity and good waterproofing. If the barn is expected to be used for 10 years or more, then the foundation must be made of concrete. The strength of this material will be quite enough even for a herd of adult animals and young animals, not to mention a few cows with calves..
Wherein dampness, unpleasant odors and damage by rodents are excluded. The type of foundation can be selected according to the construction method: strip, monolithic or columnar. A columnar version of a concrete base is suitable for a wooden building. But for brick buildings, it is better to opt for a monolithic type of foundation..
To implement such a foundation, a pit should be dug, formwork should be made, a reinforcing cage should be prepared, and crushed stone and sand should be added in layers. Then you can pour everything with concrete, and when it hardens, cover its surface with roofing material.
Previously, for a long time, an adobe version with planks was considered a good floor for a cow stall.. The latter were tamped into a clay mixture. This option is convenient because it is easy to do it yourself. When organizing the floor in the barn, you should think about how to make it so that animals with hooves can move along it comfortably and safely. It is especially important to choose a material that would exclude excessive moisture in the floor. Among the best options for flooring, farmers point out a wooden one. It is convenient because it is easy to install. In addition, the wood floor retains heat well. However, its service life is rather short..
The most durable option is a concrete floor, which is not particularly afraid of moisture.. Even the large weight of animals does not lead to deformation of such a floor, and also prevents rodents from making many shelters for themselves. The slope in the barn is 2-3% from the horizon. This is enough for the liquid waste of animal life to fall into the manure storage by gravity, without lingering on the floor of the stall..
Almost any type of material is suitable for the walls of the barn. Of course, for a large dairy farm, it is best to use sand-lime bricks or foam blocks. For large rooms, adobe brick is well suited.
Fired brick is also suitable for a barn, but it must be borne in mind that the walls should be 1.5 bricks or more thick.. Wooden construction will be more expensive, and the service life of such structures is much shorter. This environmentally friendly material is advisable to use only in small farms. In regions where there are severe frosts, it is also important to provide for insulation. The walls should become reliable protection from the wind, as well as create an optimal microclimate inside the building..
Most often, slate or shingles are used for the roof of the shed. Farms located in the southern regions use polycarbonate for these purposes. It is very good if an air gap is created under the roof in the form of an attic. This allows the heat to remain indoors in severe frosts. Besides the attic can be a great place to store some types of food and various utensils.
We equip places
It is important for cattle that there is enough natural light in the barn. For this, even during the design, window openings are indicated on the structure diagram. Often, a lifting or hinged type of windows is chosen for a shed. In addition to windows, lighting lamps should be provided in the shed for the winter..
The ventilation system plays a major role, especially if the animals are constantly kept on a leash. Insufficient fresh air affects animal health and milk yield. And also ventilation helps to regulate the temperature in the room, which should not exceed 25 degrees in the summer..
As a rule, stalls are decorated (fenced off) with wooden bars or metal pipes. On some farms, you can even see capital stone partitions.. It is worth noting that partitions are impractical, as it will be difficult to make changes in the placement of the livestock if necessary (for example, when it is increased). The following important point should be noted: the cow or bull should not be able to turn around in the stall in order to avoid unnecessary contamination..
Each stall is supplied with a trough-type feeder. It is best to place it on the floor. Feeders can be made folding, stationary or lifting. It is convenient if the inner sides in the middle will have a cutout for the animal’s neck. It is very important for a calm milking to be able to tie the animal. The simplest fixation is wooden bars and braces that support the cow’s head..
The best option is a movable collar, and a chain should be chosen as the main leash..
How to equip a walking yard?
Walking pen is required for stall keeping. This loose-ended pastime has a positive effect on cattle.. As a rule, the walking yard is located on the south side of the barn so that cold winds do not cause problems. The area of the corral should be sufficient for the free movement of the livestock. For example, a 500 meter track is sufficient for two adult cows and several calves. The optimal figure for an adult cow is 15 sq. meters of area, for young bulls – 10, and for calves – 5. It is advisable to make the flooring in the yard solid, as this allows you to reduce the area for walking.
Walking space must be equipped with awnings to protect animals from the weather. It is best to fence off the allotted area for cows with logs. It is also necessary to provide a gate of suitable dimensions. In winter, cows and bulls should be in the walking area for 5-6 hours, in summer – 13-14 hours. Therefore, it is necessary to organize feeders and drinkers for animals in the pen. If desired, you can equip the milking area in the fresh air.
See the next video for how to get enough water to the barn and how to keep the barn always clean..