This case study outlines information, specifications, and videos about calf housing sheds built with calf comfort in mind.
Farmer's name: Chris Dornauf (Dornauf Dairies)
Location: Elizabeth Town, TAS
Structure type: Purpose built shed
Date built: 2009
Supplier: Kit supplied by local shed builder
Management system: Group
Total no. calves reared per year: 550-600
Calving pattern: 4 farms in 2 batches: Autumn (April/May) = 150-180, Spring (Aug/Sept) = 400
Chris Dornauf takes you through his purpose-built shed that houses 400 calves and features computer controlled feeders for both milk and grain.
Video takes approx 15 secs to start after clicking the 'play' icon.
Images of the calf housing shed at Dornauf Dairies.
Click to view in larger format.
Walls: zinc alum
Roof: zinc alum & skylights
Floor: concrete / gravel
External yard: pasture
Aspect: Facing west to east - (wind from NW)
Structure (LxWxH): 42m x 20m x 5m (4.2m at eaves)
External yard/calf paddock: 12 x 0.3Ha
Pitch (1:4): Difference in height/width = central ridge 0.8m over 10m = 8% (1:12.5)
Roof openings (50-75mm/3m width): Nil
Overhang eves (900mm): Nil
Roof height: lowest point 4.2m, highest point 5m
Total air space (LxWxH): 3780m3
Air space per calf at peak (6-8m3): 9.45m3
Type: passive, forced - passive through open doors
Cooling/airflow: 3 large roller doors to west. 1 large roller door (3m) to east, 6 small roller doors (2m) to sides
Maximum no calves housed at peak: 400
Month of peak use: Sept
Age of calves entering & leaving shed (wks): <24 hours="" through="" to="" 60="">
Labour requirements (total man-hours/day at peak use): 1 person takes 6 hours at peak (not including fetching milk & new calves)
Labour hours / 50 calves at peak (total man-hours/50 calves/day): 0.75hours
Other: Lighting 3 x metal halide globes - used 24 hours per day at peak to encourage feed intake.
Type: Group of 30 to 35 max.
Wall height (mm): 1000mm
Wall materials: (solid/mesh)
Front: welded mesh on steel frame
Sides: welded mesh on steel frame
Back: zinc alum walls with 2m x 3m roller door
Removable: Side walls swing back to wall and can be removed for cleaning
Other: Gates on either side of calf feeding units; can drive ute to pens through central race for unloading
Type: Concrete, and gravel covered with deep wood shavings
Drainage: Drainage of concrete at nib wall, 2-3% slope on concrete to nib wall
Total floor space per pen (m2): 52m2
Floor space per calf at peak capacity (m2): 52/30 = 1.7m2
Other: Feeding, water etc kept on concrete area
Type: Pine post peelings (wood)
Maintenance: completely replaced for each batch
Other: Handling and storage system for replacement bedding: composted and used as mulch on neighbouring berry farm
Milk feeding system type: DeLaval automatic feeding units - 12 units servicing 12 pens. Controller - 1 for each 4 units (not networked). Calves fed up to 6L/day (2L every 8 hours)
Milk delivery method: (pump, bucket, tank) Transported by 1,000L container to 2x refrigerated 3,000L vats in calf shed (milk lasts up to 30 days). Fed milk only - colostrum, antibiotic milk and sale milk if run out.
Hay: hay racks in paddocks
Pellets: auto feeders feed up to 2kg per calf, manually top up feeders
Water: pig nipples in each pen, some paddocks have troughs
Other: hot water service, wash drum & chemicals, underfloor pipes to supply refrigerated milk to feeder units.
Type: batch / continuous flow batch
Other: sometimes batches follow each other (pens cleaned in between). Lime over gravel, formalin wash over concrete parts.
Boot / hand washing facilities: none
Access restrictions: Shed door locked, gate locked to stop entry to area from public road
Separate clothing/boots: none
Housing of sale calves: Housed in another separate shed on another property
Quarantine area for sick calves: Separate pen made at end of shed
Other: closed herd but mixing calves from 4 different farms
Facilities (if in calf shed): Sink, fridge, storage cupboard, records / filing cabinet.
Layout of calf housing shed at Dornouf Dairies.