Dairymen are faced with a multitude of design choices when building a new freestall barn. The following collection of articles is intended to show some of the many options available and some of the choices other dairymen have made.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing deaths of farm workers in manure pits. An urgent need exists to inform farm owners and workers about the dangers of enter such pits, where oxygen-deficient, toxic and/or explosive atmospheres often result from fermentation of the wastes in confined areas.
Donald Vallée, from the Valdo Farm in St-Thuribe, in the Portneuf area of Quebec, will be participating in a filtering-swamp pilot project to deal with dairy waste water. This will have an environmental bonus, helping with the revitalization of the Niagarette River.
An article published in the Journal of Agromedicine provides a summary of the frequency and characteristics of death related to on-farm manure storage and handling facilities for the period 1975-2004. Sources included published government reports, national and local media, online searches, published farm fatality reports and prior litigation.
There is tremendous interest in “floor-tube” alley scraper systems. In these systems the wet, sloppy manure that normally accumulates in front of a scraper blade falls through a 2” wide slot and into a sub-floor tube running under the center of each alley.
Most feed prices are nearly double their historical averages. And there’s plenty of debate about whether these prices will ever return to those levels and when, if not, we can expect any reduction at all and how much this reduction is likely to be.
Manure is not only a valuable resource in its liquid form- Innovative dairy farmers are now reclaiming some of the best bedding material available from the undigested fibers in the manure produced by their own animals.
America faces a serious challenge due to its dependence on oil- and petroleum-based energy sources. Billions of dollars go out of the country and the economy suffers as energy costs keep going up, with no end in sight. Fortunately, communities with large animal farm-based businesses have an enormous untapped resource to help solve the energy problem in a collective manner.
When a cow rises from a resting position, she lunges forward. In a pasture, the animal naturally has a lot of space. In a freestall barn, a cow should have the same ability to lunge, but because of small space, she has more difficulty getting to her feet.
When it comes to natural ventilation, the importance should be placed on the size of the lateral opening. The main rule should be a ratio of 1: 10. For a building that is 10m wide, there should be a 1m opening.