Introduction to dairy shed design and construction plan:
The following details are about Dairy Shed Design.
Dairy farming is a form of agricultural practice, where livestock for milk production are raised. In India, 2.28 million metric tonnes of milk are produced each year, but the demand for milk is 12.52 million metric tonnes per year, i.e. shortage of milk in a year is 10.24 million metric tonnes.
The milk produced from cow is very important in day to day life. It is one of the most profitable forms of business, but the choice of breed should be proper to yield better results. Farmers should learn more techniques about dairy management, proper breeding, methods to prevent diseases, primary care, balanced feed management and many more modern methods for good production.
Advantages of dairy farm
There are many advantages of a dairy farm such as:
- It’s a good source of income to the farmers.
- The profit not only comes from the milk, but also from its by-products.
- The cow urine and dung can be used as manure for farmlands.
- The cow extract can be used in producing biogas and it can be profitable.
Various dairy breeds:
The breeds raised on a dairy farm are:
Holstein Friesian, Umblachery, Bachaur, Amirt mahal, Binjharpuri, Ghumsari, Kankrej, Kenkatha, Khariar, Khillari, Malvi, Motu, Krishna valley, Mewati, Nimari, Nagori, Punganur, Ponwar, Red Kandhari, Rathi, Siri, Vechur, Jersey, Ongole, Red sindhi, Sahiwal, Tharparkar, Gir, Deoni, Dangi, Hariana, Hallikar, Red dane, Kherigarh, Gaolao, Brown swiss, Baragur, and Gangatiri.
Read: Dairy Farming Faq.
Design plan for dairy shed design and construction:
- A floor which is inside the barn should be made of impervious material.
- It can be cleaned easily and get dried faster and it wouldn’t be slippery for the animals.
- Concrete floor will be better than all the other floor types.
- The gradient of the floor should be laid with 1″ – 14″ from the manger.
- The complete floor space which is required is 65-70 sq. ft.
- For any construction roof is an essential part of the building as it protects from sun, wind, heat, cold, and rain.
- The roof integrity is very important for the structure of the building.
- It should be designed as per the dead load such that it should be capable of bearing heavy winds, snow fall, and drifting dust.
- Roofing should be durable to make leak proof and resistant to fire.
- For constructing a roof, there are many varieties of designs and materials are available for construction.
- Roof types:
- Flat roof
- Earth roof
- Mon pitched roof
- Double – pitched roof
- Hip roof
- Conical shaped roof
- The height of the roof should be 8” ft at the sides and the ridge should be 15″ ft.
- The walls should be constructed in such a way that they are capable of bearing the load of roofs.
- The walls, which are inside should have a smooth finish as it will not allow any dust and moisture to stick with it.
- Wall height should be 4-5 feet.
- Iron pillars are used to support the walls.
- For security reasons doors are also essential during the construction of a dairy farm.
- They should be strong enough and they should be convenient and easy.
- The cow sheds should have a door width of 5′ – 6’ and a height of 7′ and if at all the shed has double row, then the width of the door should be increased to 8′ – 9′.
- Doors should be flat against the external walls.
- The gutter is made to remove the waste from the farm.
- The width of the gutter should be 2″ with a cross-fall.
- A gradient should be there for every 1″ for 10′ inches so that the waste flows freely without sticking.
- The alley is the central walk of width 5′-6′ and is exclusively for the gutters.
- The room should be enclosed by four walls and should be rat proof.
- The room should be completely made of concrete for feed storage.
- Milk should be kept in a cool area. In large dairies there would be 400 – 700 liters of milk, which require a storage area of 3.7 m x 5m and we can add an addition of 0.37m2 for every 40 liters of the milk production.
- For small dairies 100 litres of milk is produced each day and a small room of area 3.75 m x 3 m for storing the milk and concentrate food is enough.
- About 5 – 10 kg of straw or hay is consumed in a day by adult animals, as younger animals consume 2 – 5 kg of hay or straw in a day.
- Large amounts of hay or straw should be stored and a feed room should be constructed accordingly.
Single row system:
- In single row system, 12 – 16 numbers of animals can be kept.
Double row system:
- The double row system, the number of animals are above 16.
- In a single shed up to 50 animals can be maintained in a double row system.
- Distance between two sheds should be more than 30 feet.
If there is less number of animals then they can be maintained in a single row. If the number is more, then they should be maintained in a double row. The number is 80 – 100, then they are kept in a building.
Method of standing cows tail – tail:
Advantages of tail – tail system:
- By this method cleaning and milking would be easy.
- Milking supervision would be easy.
- The transmission of diseases would be gradually decreased.
- More fresh air can be inhaled by the animals from outside.
Method of standing cows head – head:
Advantages of head-head system:
- It will be easy to bring the animals into the shed.
- Animals can be easily fed.
- Gutter is directed towards the sun so less spread of infection.
- The exhibition of animals will be better for the visitors.
- A fully covered barn should be maintained for the milk cattle.
- The location of the milk barn should be maintained in the center of the dairy farm.
- Individual standings are required for the milch animals.
- The milk operations are carried out batch wise.
The dimensions of the milk barn are
- Length of standing space: 1.5 – 1.7 m.
- Width of the standing space: 1.05 – 1.2 m because 80% of length is covered for the standing space.
- Central passage width: 1.5 m – 1.8 m.
- Feed alley width: 0.75 m.
- Gutter width: 0.30 m.
- Overhang: 0.75 m.
- Calving pen should be used for the pregnant animals 2-3 weeks before the expected date.
- The area required for the calving pen is 3 m x 4m (12 m2) and is exclusively for the animals that are in advanced stage of pregnancy.
- For better supervision they should be located near the farmer’s quarter.
- 10 % of female breeder should be maintained in the calving pen.
- Young calf should be kept here.
- These should be maintained either at the end of the shed or beside the milk barn.
- If there are more calves, then half of the calves should be maintained near the milk barn.
- The housing bulls should be maintained separately at the end of the farm.
- Bulls for 20 female breeders should be maintained in a farm for the natural breeding process.
- If artificial insemination is available, then there is no need of the bulls to be maintained at the farm.
- The dimensions required for the construction of bull shed is 3 m x 4 m.
Dry animal shed:
- The animals that are dry should be kept in this shed.
- Animals that are pregnant can also be kept in this shed.
- These animals should be cared differently.
- The floor can be made of cement and concrete.
- This should be located at the entrance of the farm.
- Animals which are newly brought should be kept in this area.
- They should be kept for a minimum of 40-50 days, during these days we observe whether the animals are infected with any diseases and its health observation can be easily handled.
- The animals which are sick should be separated from the healthy animals and should be kept in this shed with better medical facilities.
- Animals which are infected with diseases should never be placed with healthy animals.
- The shed should be in an area of 150 sq. ft.
- They should be a little far from the farm.
- It should also have different drainage for the disposal of waste and it should not connect with the main drainage system.
Plan of dairy shed design and construction:
Material used for the daairy shed construction:
- Manufactured building boards
- Burnt-clay bricks
- Ferro cement
- Poles and timber
- Wood products
- Organic materials
- Natural stone products
- Earth as a building material
- Concrete blocks – sand – cement blocks
- Fibre – reinforced concrete
- Building hardware
- Bituminous products
Suitable Location and facilities for the dairy farm:
The soil should be fertile. The soil which is underground should not be dehydrated or desiccated. Dehydrated soil may have many cracks and fissures on the land which is not at all healthy.
- Drainage facility and topography:
Elevation of the dairy farm should be at higher than the surrounding land of dairy farm. The low slope should be used for the drainage facility or rainfall water to avoid stagnation of water in the farm. The places which are really bad for locating and settling the dairy farm is low lands and depression areas as these areas should be flooded.
- Ease of access:
The access to the land should be easy and should be 100 meters away from the road.
- Sun and protection from wind:
The farm facing should be towards the north so that it is exposed to the sun and if the farm is facing to south then there would be minimum exposure to the sun. The sunlight should reach the platforms, gutters and the managers of the farm. The axis of the dairy barns should be always settled in north-south direction so that the maximum amount of sun rays can be available in the barns on the farm.
- Water supply:
The water supply should be adequate during the summer months. The water should be fresh and care should be taken that the cows don’t consume stagnate water which may harm their health.
Swarming with wild animals should be avoided as they may harm the cows. Smooth floor, narrow gates, higher manger curbs, loose hinges should all be eliminated as they are not good for the movement of cows.
Types of dairy shed design and construction:
We observe in dairy farm that the cows are tied with a rope on a Katcha floor, but in some dairy farms that belong to the government, co-operatives or military housing for the cows is organized very comfortably. There are many types of housing farms such as:
Loose housing farm:
On this farm, the animals are left loose except when milking and when treating them. The farm is most economical. These are the following features of the loose housing farm.
- The cost is significantly lower than the conventional type of farm construction.
- The expansion of the farm will be easy.
- Heat should be facilitated to the animals.
- The animals, feel free in loose housing and it is proved that it is profitable even in minimum grazing.
- More space will provide good health for the animals.
Shed for the cattle:
- The wall of the shed should be 5 feet height and is surrounded on three sides.
- Area of the feed should be 2-2 ½ feet space.
- The water space should be 10 feet and the water should be clean and fresh.
- By constructing water trough the loss of fodder will be less.
- The paved floor should be constructed near the manger and under a roofed floor. The width should be 5 inches. The paved floor should be constructed using bricks with little slope.
- An open, unpaved area can also be constructed of dimensions 40 inches x 35 inches and the walls of 5 feet height with only one gate.
- Animals should always face north side while consuming the fodder and they should be under shade.
- During winter season the animals lay down to feel the warmth of the floor.
Shed for the calves:
- On the other side of the cattle shed, a fully covered shed is constructed and used only for the calves. The area of the calves shed is 10 inches x 15 inches. These shed is suitable for the partitioning and serve as the calving pen, depending on the climatic conditions.
Read: Small Scale Dairy Farming.