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Height of new calf shed

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Height of new calf shed

Had shed builder in today to quote us for a badly needed new calf shed. It will be 60′ by 60′. Its not going where I would site it and isn’t the dimensions I would choose but the old man is calling rank and I will be pleased to see a new shed up! My main concern is that the airspace in the building will be to great for the building to ventilate properly as father wants it at least 14′ to eaves, preferably 16′ I have had some compromise in being granted a protected open ridge rather than a standard cranked one and a 22.5 degree roof pitch rather than the standard 15 as the steeper pitch should draw the stale air out better? Or will it compound the problem by increasing the airspace?

Re: Height of new calf shed

What size calves are you planning to put in there and how many of them?

What will be the pen layout/bedding etc?

Re: Height of new calf shed

the more air space the better

Re: Height of new calf shed

Keep the draught off their backs but keep plenty of air moving above them. There is a formula for the the inlet (sides) sizes ratio to exit (ridge)- I’ll see if i can dig it out. Basically the lower height to eaves the less air changes you will get from natural ventilation.

Give your pen layout and floor falls/ drainaige good consideration as well

Re: Height of new calf shed

For older stock yes. Baby calves will never drive ventilation with the stack effect, especially in a big building. The best system in my opinion is one where there is a large airspace but micro-climates within this that allow the calves to decide (e.g. the H&L igloos or more simply, a big shed with pens with shelters at the back).

The key with little calves is stopping what little heat they do generate from being lost to the structure (concrete panels are a nightmare for this and should be avoided at all costs, use wooden boards coated with the paint used in dairies etc so it can be cleaned) as a baby calf will go into thermal stress below 5 degrees (higher if it is damp or in a draft) and will be much more susceptible to disease.

From a ventilation point of view there should always be a high level outlet (your protected ridge will be perfect) and you should allow double the amount of inlet than you have outlet. If there are any sides that are sheltered by other buildings or trees etc you might be able to get away without too much boarding so that you can get maximum inlet.

Re: Height of new calf shed

Ventilation for small calf’s is not easy.

A open ridge will be much better than a ventilated crown crank. Going to over 15 degrees will not make much difference. Getting a stack effect to work with small calves is difficult due to the low amount of body heat the higher the shed the less lightly stack effect will work.
An airy shed without drafts is what you are after the drainage is also important you want to keep the floors and bedding as dry as possible.

The shed position is also important as you don’t want to affect the air flow with adjacent buildings.

Have a look here, give me a call or email if you would like more info.

David Mair
Agri Design

Re: Height of new calf shed

+1 As much fall as you can get and plenty of good sized drains. Slats are good to put under auto-feeders if you’re having them

Re: Height of new calf shed

Re: Height of new calf shed

I’m a big fan of tall airy monopitch sheds preferably south facing . They don’t collect stale air in the apex and stock always seem more content in them. They use more steel than portal frames for the same size ie 14 inch deep rafters to span 40 feet. 60 feet would need a centre prop.

Re: Height of new calf shed

We always start calves off in a section of an old west-facing pole barn – opens out into another open-sided shed above the 4ft block wall at the back, has a block and tin wall on one side and has a part-sheeted gate. In winter we just put a short wall of hay bales half way along and they hunker down behind it when the wind’s from the west.

Don’t personally care for the roundhouse design for young calves – nothing to stop an icy blast.

Re: Height of new calf shed

What size calves are you planning to put in there and how many of them?

What will be the pen layout/bedding etc?

It’s being done back to front, shed built and then see what we can fit in!

I am thinking 30 0-3 mth old calves in single pens and groups of 5 on one side of the shed and 30 3-6 mth old calves on the other which will lie on straw but have a scraped passage to feed on.

Re: Height of new calf shed

IMO you should never have 6 month old calves in the same air space as young ones better to have two smaller sheds and for the baby calf shed the roof needs insulating

Re: Height of new calf shed

Keep the draught off their backs but keep plenty of air moving above them. There is a formula for the the inlet (sides) sizes ratio to exit (ridge)- I’ll see if i can dig it out. Basically the lower height to eaves the less air changes you will get from natural ventilation.

Give your pen layout and floor falls/ drainaige good consideration as well

Plan to keep calfs well protected from draughts by having all group pens sheeted to 5′ right round. Will certainly be looking to achieve good drainage, putting a shuttered tank at end of shed to drain all the liquid into.

Re: Height of new calf shed

I realise that it’s not best practice but heck of a lot better than what we have currently. They won’t have direct contact, just need to make it ventilate as well as possible.

Re: Height of new calf shed

For older stock yes. Baby calves will never drive ventilation with the stack effect, especially in a big building. The best system in my opinion is one where there is a large airspace but micro-climates within this that allow the calves to decide (e.g. the H&L igloos or more simply, a big shed with pens with shelters at the back).

The key with little calves is stopping what little heat they do generate from being lost to the structure (concrete panels are a nightmare for this and should be avoided at all costs, use wooden boards coated with the paint used in dairies etc so it can be cleaned) as a baby calf will go into thermal stress below 5 degrees (higher if it is damp or in a draft) and will be much more susceptible to disease.

From a ventilation point of view there should always be a high level outlet (your protected ridge will be perfect) and you should allow double the amount of inlet than you have outlet. If there are any sides that are sheltered by other buildings or trees etc you might be able to get away without too much boarding so that you can get maximum inlet.

This is what I was concerned about, that the stack effect wouldn’t work with low stocking rate and big airspace. So I guess I accept this and try to make it as airy as possible whilst preventing draughts. There is scope to leave 3 sides of the shed relatively open.

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