Beef housing and facilities

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Information about Beef housing and facilities

Published on December 19, 2013

Author: PSU-Beef



PowerPoint on the basics of beef housing and various facility designs

Beef Housing and Facilit Meghan Filbert CCE of Delaware County, NY Dairy/Livestock Educator

Beef Cattle Production  Cow - calf operation  Feeder cattle operation  Combination of both groups Growth phases and climate affect what facilities are needed

Seasonal Requirements  Summer  Grazing  on pasture, no housing required Winter  Windbreaks  Calving barn  Portable shelters / open-front shed  Barns

Perimeter Fencing  2-4 strands high tensile or smooth electric wire  HT woven wire for sheep, goats and calves  Adequately sized and grounded charger  Minimum  of 3000 volts Solid corner and end posts spacing (the hotter the fence, the farther the post spacing)  35-40’

Interior Fencing  Temporary fencing  1-2 strands used to create paddocks within pasture  Rotational grazing recommended  New  paddock every 2-4 days, 1 week at max. 21 Mistakes to Avoid with Electric Fencing

…. and the use of temporary products for interior division fencing.

Water Supply         Fresh, unfrozen water is essential! Distance to water in pasture, ≤ 1 – 0.5 mile Free access OR ad libitum at least once daily 7.5 cm of linear space/animal at the waterer 10 gallons/1100 lb/day, average weather 20 gallons/1100 lb/day, hot weather Portable water tanks in pasture Heated units for winter, snow can be a water

Housing  Location  Well drained soil  Surface water drainage away from water source  Shelter  Dry  Draft free  Proper ventilation - eve and ridge vents, curtains

Disadvantages of Housing  Cost to build  Respiratory disease and scours  Manure handling and disposal

Cows are built for cold  Thick hide  Long hair  Low requirements  High fiber diets

Climatic Conditions  Critical temperature (temperature at which body reserves and/or energy normally available for gain is used to maintain body temperature)  0o F for a .45 Mcal NEg  -200 F for .60 Mcal NEg rations

Climatic Conditions  Mud and cold rain increase maintenance energy requirements 25-40%  Cold rain reduces insulation barrier resulting in increased heat loss  Wind: the critical temp changes about 1 degree F for each 1mph of wind  Abrupt changes have greater impact on nutrient demand  Wind breaks help to moderate these abrupt

Windbreaks  Natural windbreaks  Dense brush, fence cattle out  Determine snow patterns, put up snow fence  Plant a shelterbelt   Rows of large round bales can provide protection Windbreak fence 80% solid, ≥ 10 ft high.  Downwind protection 8-10x height of fence 

Cold Housing: Portable, 3 Sided Calf Shelter    Needed for calving, weaning, sick animals Open side facing away from prevailing winds Open side facing south for winter sun

Cold Housing: Portable, 3 Sided Calf Shelter Ventilated by natural air flow  Provides dry resting area  Warming box or heat lamps for winter calving  Portability makes manure pack easy to clean  Portability helps control pathogens  Space recommendations in handouts 

Old Dairy Barns  Renovation can cost less than a new structure  Lighting and ventilation usually adequate  Tie stalls with gutter not recommended  Free stall with manure handling set-up

Sources  Agriculture Alternatives, Penn State.  UMass Extension, Beef Cattle Housing & Equipment.  Government of Saskatchewan, Beef Cattle Housing and Feedlot Facilities.  Small Scale Beef Production Handbook. Faulkner, D., Parrett, D., Stoughtenborough, T. 1998. Univ. of Illinois Extension  Beef Cow Management, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Equipment and Handling Facilities.  Beef Housing & Equipment Handbook, 1975, Midwest Plan Service, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.  Beef Cattle Housing, Kavanagh, A.J. & Dodd, V.A., 1976  Chapter 6: Beef Cattle.


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