Loose Housed Barn - Slatted Concrete
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A loose housed barn with slatted concrete is a fully covered facility, usually with a plastic film over a frame type roof, and a concrete slatted floor covering an effluent holding bunker that is large enough to hold effluent for extended periods. Benefits of this style of housing include increased feed and herd management, while limitations include high capital outlay and increased building repair and maintenance.
Cow comfort is crucial for animals to maintain condition and well-being. Lying down is very important to cows. It provides rest, opportunity to sleep, and reduces the risk of lameness, which leads to better animal welfare. The welfare code requires a minimum of eight hours of lying time per day. Cows that are kept in off-paddock facilities for more than 16 hours a day for more than three consecutive days must be provided with a well-drained lying area with a compressible soft surface. For more information on lying surfaces for cows, see the Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare (Minimun standards 6 and 9) here: Dairy Cattle (mpi.govt.nz).
Overall Likely Costs
|Feedpad use only 3-4.5m2/cow||$1500-$2100|
|Facility including feed bins/alleys, water, bedding, machinery||$2200-$2600|
|Basic, Loose housed operational facility only for 400 cows, (no shares or stock)||$880,000-$1,040,000|
9-11m2/cow required for more than 8 hours per day use over several days doubles the cost
Ranges dependent on roof type, foundation type, flooring and effluent extraction, amount of concrete, including for feed areas, etc
Significant component costs of infrasturcture:
Possible additional costs: