Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : April 2011 Contents 66 The Dairyman APRIL 2011
Improve efficiency with covered feedbays
CLEAR-ROOFED feedpad shelter man-
ufacturer and installer Redpath have
seen a strong up-take from dairy farm-
ers for a covered feedlane option as part of
the covered feedpad complex.
The covered feedlane is often placed cen-
trally between the main stand-off span areas
of the structure and is usually open-ended to
allow large farm vehicles and equipment to
be driven in one end of the dairyshelter and
out the other.
The company says that the covered feed-
lane usually does not need to be as wide as
the standoff spans that connect beside it
which helps keep building costs down --
however, some farmers are still making the
feedlane the same width as they plan to use
the feedlane as an emergency area to stand-
off the cows, if required.
"The covered feedlane gives our cus-
tomers a number of benefits and efficiencies.
Mainly we are seeing that it gives a clean dry
area for vehicles and machinery to easily
access the structure without disturbing the
soft-litter flooring, or the cows themselves,"
Redpath's Glen Williams said.
The shelters are gaining popularity as they
are proving to be a valuable and reliable tool
to use in the management of the farm, espe-
cially on wet farms or farms that have
extremes of weather -- wind, cold or drought.
"It gives farmers the ability to interconnect
a multiple of covered standoff areas and
allows much more efficient management of
the shelter itself," Glen said.
The feedlane will typically have a concrete
or crushed rock floor, for year-round cleanli-
ness. Also, it would usually have feed bins or
paths along each side for the cows to reach
out from the attached standoff spans to feed
from. When these feed-lanes are combined
with those around the outer perimeter of the
building, it provides plenty of space for each
cow to stand in comfort and get a turn at hav-
ing a feed.
"The cows seem to quite enjoy the fact that
there is more space to feed from and not hav-
ing to compete whilst the area alongside the
covered lane tends to remain much more
clean and dry than if it were an outside wall
where weather and wind can still have an
impact," Glen said.
More than 30 shelters have been built
recently and more and more farmers are cot-
toning onto the idea that having a warm
clear-roofed shelter on the farm as a back-up
tool to a sacrificial paddock or a run-off
block is a viable option.
"Farmers are telling us that their manage-
ment practices are not that different for the
herd when using one of our shelters, howev-
er by having one of our shelters near to the
central area of the farm, there is a massive
increase in time and efficiency.
"The other hidden benefits of course are
the much-reduced feed loss ratio and the
ability to far better manage pasture and cow
condition by utilising the shelter is really
showing up in farm efficiency.
"We can supply and construct a shelter on
site for as little as $375 per cow, so it really
begins to become a viable option even for
many small to medium sized operators at
those sorts of costs.
"The result is that the cost to build our
shelters is almost a third of other popular
systems, and we offer a structure that is all
fully bolted at major connections, uses all
RHS framework and has a special animal
shelter roofing membrane that comes from
Belgium called Durashelter, which is 30 per
cent thicker than the industry norm for supe-
rior life and durability.
"Redpath's philosophy for their dairy sec-
tor has always been to provide long service
life structures and roofing covers and that
there is no place for short term building.
"Even though the Standoffshelters need a
clear roof to work properly, we take the view
that we must compete with the durability of
a tin clad shed -- and our structures offer this
with their all strong all New Zealand made
framework and ultra-thick roofing mem-
"We've been in this business for more than
30 years and have a good understanding of
the needs of our customers, durability and
our manufacturers warranty is second to
none," Glen said.
Check out the latest Redpath designs on
the web site gallery
www.standoffshelters.co.nz or free-call for
an info-pak 0508 733 728
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