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Guidelines for Farmyard layout

On the 14th of September, a farm walk will be held on Seamus Brennan’s farm in Attanagh, Co. Laois. Farm yards have become very busy places during the spring and this walk will highlight how a farmer can make his yard more efficient for ease of labour for himself and for those working with him.

The main topics that will be discussed will be:

  • cow flow through the parlour
  • general cow and calf flow through the yard
  • labour efficiency at peak times of the year

Pat Gowing from Teagasc will highlight the importance of cow flow through the parlour concentrating on the collection yard and drafting facilities. Pat Clarke, Teagasc and Seamus Brennan, the host farmer, will talk through labour issues on Seamus’ farm and discuss his future labour needs for the farm

Richard O’Brien and Fintan Monaghan, Teagasc will talk about the busy calving period and how calving facilities and calf rearing facilities could be improved to make labour more efficient at this time.

Farmyard design must allow for the efficient and safe movement of stock and machinery around the facility. This will minimise stress on the animal, less work for the operator and less wear and tear (cost) on the machines

  • Milk tankers and delivery trucks should have easy and safe access especially when turning.
  • Keep animal and machinery (silage feeding) routes separate.
  • Keep animal and milk truck route separate.
  • Keep milk truck and machinery (silage feeding) routes separate.
  • Farmyard must provide adequate storage facilities for the slurry and other effluents produced.
  • It should be designed to allow the separation/diversion of clear water from the soiled water collection system.
  • Provide adequate space and suitable surfaces so that machinery can be safely operated to reduce risk of injury to operators and lower maintenance cost of machinery.
  • Locate silage and other feed storage facilities close to the feeding area.
  • Do not locate silage pits or drystock housing between cow wintering unit and milking shed.
  • Locate cow accommodation close to the milking area (within 5 - 15m) if possible.
  • Use one large effluent tank to collect soiled water from 2 - 3 different sources.
  • Locate calving boxes with easy access from cow house and to milking parlour
  • Face open sided sheds towards sheltered side as 70% of wind/rain comes from South West.
  • Locate cattle crush and holding pen adjacent to the milking parlour and winter accommodation.
  • Have an appropriate sized handling facility with good animal access.
  • The whole building complex should blend together to enhance the landscape rather than an amalgamation of structures of conflicting shapes, sizes and colours.
  • Allow for expansion of milking facilities, winter accommodation and slurry storage
  • Divert surface runoff from higher ground and divert roof water to clean drains

First Published 8 September 2017

Tagged with: Dairy

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