This case study outlines information, specifications, and videos about calf housing sheds built with calf comfort in mind.
Farmer's name: Paul Bennett
Location: Ashgrove Farm Elizabeth Town Tasmania
Structure type: Purpose built shed
Approx cost: $150k all up
Date built: 2010
Supplier: Designed by Paul Bennett to use the standard sizes of gates & railing that are commonly available, Shed from a standard kit.
Management system: Group housing
Total no. calves reared per year: 1300 in 2 batches
Calving pattern: Split - July calving & August calving but these calving start dates are moving further apart. This year may have to move older calves out a bit early to make room for first calves in next batch
Paul Bennett shows you around the new shed he designed to comfortably house 700 calves and make life easier for those looking after them.
Video takes approx 15 secs to start after clicking the 'play' icon.
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Walls: colourbond at N/S ends. No walls to W/E
Roof: colourbond with 1m wide skylight every 5m
Floor: concrete & dirt
External yard: Nil
Aspect: Oriented north south - sun in morning & afternoon into calf pens. Prevailing winds from NW
Structure (LxWxH): 70m x 15m x 4.8m
External yard/calf paddock: Nil
Pitch (1:4): Difference in height/width 1.1:7.5 = 15% = 1:6
Roof openings (50-75mm/3m width): Nil
Overhang eves (900mm): 1000mm
Roof height: lowest point 3.4m, highest point 4.5m
Total air space (LxWxH): Under roofline (no side walls make this measurement irrelevant) 70 X 15 x 4 = 4200m2
Air space per calf at peak (6-8m3): 4200/400 = 6m2/calf
Type: Passive, forced - passive
Cooling/airflow: No walls along sides (W/E) of shed (sheep yard gates used) Solid gates to windward side (W) to 1200mm in height
Maximum no calves housed at peak: Up to 26 calves per pen x 28 pens = 728. Mostly has 23-25 calves per pen
Month of peak use: Sept
Age of calves entering & leaving shed (wks): <24 hours="" to="" 10="" weeks="" of="" age="">
Labour requirements (total man-hours/day at peak use): 2 persons x 1.5 hours per day. A single person can feed 700 calves in an hour once all the calves are self feeding.
Labour hours: / 50 calves at peak (total man-hours/50 calves/day)
Other: Calves brought in early afternoon and tubed
Wall height (mm): 1000mm
Wall materials -
Sides: solid on concrete, swinging sheep gates (2.15m) x 2 on bedding
Back: 2 x sheep yard panels - solid to west
Removable: crush frame 'bows' concreted in
Type: Concrete and deep litter over dirt
Drainage: Concrete drains to centre walkway (~2% slope). Centre walkway drains to South end of shed ~5%
Total floor space per pen (m2): 5m x 7m = 35m2
Floor space per calf at peak capacity (m2): 35m2 for 26 calves = 1.35m2/calf. Usually 23 calves = 1.5m2/calf
Type: Saw dust
Minimum depth: 300mm
Maintenance (top-up or replacement) frequency and/or timing: Scrap out at end of season. Completely replace between batches
Other: Handling and storage system for replacement bedding: Composted & given to gardeners
Milk feeding system type: Teat feeders - made to order
Milk delivery method: (pump, bucket, tank) Pumped from tank on trailer
Hay (location/height): Wire net on fence
Pellets (location/height): Adlib supply from hopper in each pen. Fed by standard herringbone set up from silo into cut away 25L drum 600mm off the floor
Water (location/height): Nipples in each pen
Other e.g. hot water system: 4.5L per calf (some over feed) Feeders have a mark in to ensure staff give the correct amount.
Type: batch / continuous flow batch: batch
Other: Aim to move batches further apart once CSD shifted.
Boot / hand washing facilities: Hose at N end of shed
Access restrictions: None
Separate clothing/boots: No
Housing of sale calves: All calves reared (males too) to protect farm's reputation
Sick calves quarantine pen: Moved to bottom pen - very few problems though
Other: Colostrum tube fed twice in first 24 hours.Records kept on whiteboard in shed and in note book. No tags on calves at this age
Facilities (if in calf shed): None will build portico at N end of shed for storage etc.