iCowhouse

Housing Cows? What Is What?

Housing Cows? What Is What?

Best Expertise Always Pays

Before we start talking about housing cows, let's define what this means as there are various models and terms used by as many people.

it is important to know what is what and by using the right system we can better define financial returns, animal well-being and environmental costs/benefits.

Basically when we talk about housing cows we refer to a roofed facility with a freestall design. This involves "loose housing with dry, comfortable, clean places where cows rest and have social space to move around in and eat at will"

Within that concept there are various models....

Wintering barn....used for wintering only, relatively simple and cheap, cheap matting or sawdust/peel, reduced space per animal, and mostly open sides (no walls) with limited room for eating. Good for wintering only but not suitable for milking.

Hybrid Freestall Technology (i.e. the Cowhouse)....a freestall system designed for wintering and milking (and possibly calving), and all year round use as feedpad. Built along specific design guidelines with a very strong focus on animal well-being.

Soft top or covered feedpad (HerdHome, Redpath)....generally a covered feedpad, with or without resting places for cows to lay on. This is OK for cows to be housed in for shorter periods, but not suitable for full time 24/7 housing over extended periods. Can be used as feedpad all year round. Maybe limited to specific areas due to snow and or wind loadings. Soft top roofing needs replacing from time to time.

Listen to audio file

 
Complete Project

Complete Project

Satisfaction Guaranteed

There is nothing like seeing it all completed and cows happy and content in the Cowhouse™. While other farmers are battling the mud and wet, with cows cold and shivering, you are simply watching your cows content and warm inside the Cowhouse. In shoulder seasons you use it during cold/wet/windy nights, and keep that feed up to them to reduce waste in the paddocks and increase grass availability for peak production. Animal welfare is the best it possibly can be and very seldom have you seen cows so content. Plan now.. this is the future

One of my clients after a major flood " we had 200 mm in 6 days (annual rainfall 1100 mm) and the cows did not even notice the rain. It was the easiest flood I have had in terms of managing the cows. It was great; we had fully fed, dry, warm cows and zero pasture damage"

Listen to audio file

 
Interior Fit Out

Interior Fit Out

Choice Is Key, And Proven, Tested Products Are Vital

The interior fit out of a free stall Cowhouse™ is like building a house... once you know what the "shell and footprint " looks like, you need to "decorate it"; to make it suitable to live in. There are many options as to what to include in a free stall Cowhouse tm - stall frames, mattress and matting, brushes, water troughs, scrapers, effluent pumps, feeding lane design etc. There are options, many options, and we ensure that you know the facts and rationale for what works and what does not.

We have the very best of suppliers from around NZ and the world on hand, and facilitate to ensure that you get the very best for your cows. To give you an example, three free stall Cowhouse's™ in the South island within a 10 K radius were all different, yet all herd sizes where the same! Everything to do with housing cows comes down to experience, but very few people in NZ or Australia can deliver you as much experience, expertise and background as our team can. This is not about selling to you, it's about choice and establishing what will work best for you and your cows. Every provider we work with will have an accreditation to the Cowhouse™ brand...that means you can rely on quality.

Listen to audio file

 
Sludge Management

Sludge Management

Sludge Is Not Dairy Shed Effluent

When we are talking effluent we are talking of the low solids, high water content material from a dairy shed, but when we talk about sludge we talk about the drier material which comes out of a cowhouse or feedpad. How we deal with this may vary depending on individual farm needs, soil structures and weather issues. Specialist storage, pumping and mixing equipment are needed. In most of our system designs we choose the option that gives the least amount of daily work and the maximum use of fertiliser content application.

 
Calving Area On Softpad Inside

Calving Area On Softpad Inside

Save Calves, No Mud Anywhere

While some farmers drive around in the dark and rain checking calving cows, others do the rounds in their normal work cloths and with overhead lighting and comfort!

 
Calving On Scraper Lanes Now Possible

Calving On Scraper Lanes Now Possible

Best Use Of All Space At Al Times

By utilising clever design the scraper lane can now accommodate calving cows. Smart use of the specially designed scraper system and lane will mean you have the best use of the total Cowhouse, not just part of it. Existing systems can be converted too.

 
Construction

Construction

Many Builders May Think This Is Easy....

Cowhouse Ltd works preferably with independent but accredited Master Builders who are licensed to build a free stall Cowhouse. Cowhouse Ltd does not build the infrastructure, we get others to do that. This ensures you have options, and that we can get you the best quality at the best price. We have worked with various building companies and as such have a very good idea of whom we can work with in what area, and whom we have difficulties with and can therefore avoid! It also means we can, based on the design you have chosen, assign and recommend the right builder. However, if you have an established relationship with a builder we will ensure that they become familiar with what needs to be done, and license them as a licensed Free stall Cowhouse™ provider.

Separate agreements for all other work such as electrical, plumbing and pond construction are quoted on based on the specifications submitted by Cowhouse Ltd. Once construction commences, its all go, and often various teams are working in sync to make the best use of time and resources. The Cowhouse Ltd team has extensive experience in ensuring all quality and design aspects of your new free stall Cowhouse™ are completed as per intended design.