How to plan and design a Cattle Shed
If you're planning to build a new cattle shed for your farm, you might be wondering what are the best materials, designs, and features to ensure the health and comfort of your livestock. Here, we will discuss some of the key aspects that we would consider when designing a steel building cattle shed, and how steel can offer many advantages over other materials.
Why Choose Steel for Your Cattle Shed
Steel is one of the most durable, versatile, and cost-effective materials for constructing agricultural buildings. Steel can withstand harsh weather conditions, resist corrosion, fire, and pests, and require minimal maintenance. Steel is also easy to customize and install, allowing you to create a cattle shed that suits your specific needs and preferences.
Some of the benefits of choosing steel for your cattle shed include:
Clear span design - Steel buildings can span large distances without the need for interior columns or supports, providing a spacious and open area for your cattle to move around freely. Clear span design also allows for better ventilation, lighting, and flexibility in arranging stalls, feeders, waterers, and other equipment.
Sturdy fencing - Steel fencing can provide security and safety for your cattle shed, preventing unwanted intruders or predators from entering. Steel fencing can also help you manage your herd and separate different groups of cattle if needed. You can opt for different styles of steel fencing, such as barbed wire, woven wire, or pipe rail fencing.
Structural resilience - Steel buildings are designed to withstand heavy loads, seismic activity, and strong winds. Steel buildings can also be engineered to meet specific building codes and standards for agricultural structures. Steel buildings are less likely to collapse or sustain damage in case of natural disasters or accidents.
What to Consider When Designing Your Cattle Shed
When designing your steel building cattle shed, there are several factors to consider to ensure the optimal environment for your livestock. Some of these factors include:
Location - You should choose a location that is convenient for access, drainage, utilities, and waste management. You should also consider the orientation of your cattle shed in relation to the sun, wind, and surrounding landscape. Ideally, you should position your cattle shed so that it receives natural light and ventilation, but avoids direct exposure to heat or cold.
Layout - You should plan the layout of your cattle shed according to the number and type of cattle you have, the purpose of your cattle shed (e.g. breeding, milking, fattening), and the equipment and facilities you need. You should also consider the flow of traffic and movement within your cattle shed, as well as the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Some common layout options for cattle sheds are:
Loose housing - This is a type of layout where cattle are free to roam around in a large open area with bedding material on the floor. Loose housing allows for more natural behaviour and social interaction among cattle, but requires more space and bedding material.
Tie stall - This is a type of layout where cattle are tied to individual stalls with feeders and waterers in front of them. Tie stall allows for more control and monitoring of each animal's health and production, but restricts their movement and comfort.
Free stall - This is a type of layout where cattle have access to individual stalls with bedding material where they can rest or lie down. Free stall combines the advantages of loose housing and tie stall by providing both freedom and comfort for cattle.
Stall design - You should design your stalls according to the size and shape of your cattle, as well as their behavioural needs. You should provide enough space for each animal to stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch comfortably. You should also ensure that the stalls are well-padded with suitable bedding material (e.g., straw, wood shavings) to prevent injuries or infections. Additionally, you should consider the following features for your stalls:
Neck rail - This is a horizontal bar that prevents cattle from moving too far forward in their stalls. Neck rail helps to keep the stalls clean and dry by preventing manure or urine from reaching the bedding area.
Brisket board - This is a vertical board that prevents cattle from sliding too far back in their stalls. Brisket board helps to maintain the proper position and alignment of each animal in their stalls.
Divider rail - This is a vertical bar that separates adjacent stalls. Divider rail helps to provide privacy and security for each animal, as well as prevent injuries or fights.
Ventilation - You should provide adequate ventilation for your cattle shed to ensure fresh air, temperature regulation, humidity control, and odor reduction. You should also avoid drafts, condensation, or dust accumulation that can affect the health and comfort of your cattle. Some of the ventilation options for your cattle shed are:
Natural ventilation - This is a type of ventilation that relies on natural forces such as wind and thermal buoyancy to create air movement. Natural ventilation can be achieved by using openings such as windows, doors, vents, or ridge vents in your cattle shed. Natural ventilation is simple and inexpensive, but may not be sufficient or consistent in some climates or seasons.
Mechanical ventilation - This is a type of ventilation that uses fans or blowers to create air movement. Mechanical ventilation can be achieved by using exhaust fans, inlet fans, or circulation fans in your cattle shed. Mechanical ventilation is more reliable and controllable, but may require more energy and maintenance.
How to Get Started With Your Steel Building Cattle Shed
If you are ready to start designing and building your cattle shed, you can get in touch with our team who can help you as much as little as you need. We offer the following services:
Site Survey & Consultation - We can provide you with professional advice and guidance on how to design your cattle shed according to your needs, preferences, budget, and local regulations.
Planning Applications - We can also help you obtain the necessary planning approvals for your project. This might be a prior approval application for permitted development or this could be a full planning application complete with the all the necessary drawings and a design and access statement.
Design - We can work with you can create a custom design for your cattle shed using advanced software and technology. We can also provide you with 3D models of your cattle shed to help you visualize the final outcome.
Supply and Installation - If needed we can help you source and compare quotations from steel building companies to provide you with the best options for your project.
Designing a steel building cattle shed can be a rewarding and profitable project for your farm. By choosing steel as your main material, you can enjoy many benefits such as durability, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and customization. By considering the factors such as location, layout, stall design, and ventilation, you can create an optimal environment for your livestock.
Contact us to find out how we can design your steel building
Saxby Hatfield Steel Building Consultants are a reliable and experienced team when it comes to designing a variety of agricultural steel buildings. If you are looking for professional assistance and support for the early stages of your project, get in touch with the team today.
We hope this gives you some useful information and tips on how to design a steel building cattle shed. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.