Are you building a new barn? Make sure you don't make mistakes

Building a new barn is a big step. You're investing a lot of money and you want to prevent mistakes. You don't want your cows uncomfortable or hurt easily. You also don't want a barn in which you can't work efficiently. Third, you don't want to spend any more money than you need to. Dairy farming is challenging enough after all.

Luckily, we also see new barns that achieve excellent results. We see barns in which 50 more cows can be kept with the same number of employees. We see barns where milk production rises with 507 kg per cow and where the replacement rate is dropped from 29% to 19%.

What is important, is that you get the right advice. Barn designers that have a lot of experience and know how things will work best in your situation. The results mentioned above are achieved by the Vetvice Barn Design team. The video above is made by barn designer and CowSignals trainer Bertjan Westerlaan. He designed this excellent cow and farmer friendly barn in Belarus. They're expanding from 2.400 to 3.600 milking cows, have double rows and sand beds.

What do you think of this barn? We like to hear your thoughts!

Comments (9)

Walter Guterbock

Regardless of the technology in the milking area (sort gates, etc.) your management would be a lot easier and more efficient with headlocks. Headlocks do not depress intake and they prevent boss cows from knocking subservient cows out of the feed bunk.

Chao wu

I have bought some books regarding cowSignals when I studied in the Netherland and training, they are excellent .

Joep Driessen

Both thank you for your thoughts! Special thanks to Chao for the kind words of course :)

Kim Wollesen

Walter Guterbock wrote:
Regardless of the technology in the milking area (sort gates, etc.) your management would be a lot easier and more efficient with headlocks. Headlocks do not depress intake and they prevent boss cows from knocking subservient cows out of the feed bunk.

I'm not entirely agreeing with you on this point. Yes, head locks can prevent boss cows from knocking other cows out of the feed bunk, but some will depress feed intake because the neck rail on top of the head lock is preventing the cow from eating naturally.

Muhammad Iftikhar Baloch

Don't you think it is I'mportant that the cows should have some open space (like 100 sq. ft per cow) and food bunkers outside the barn for roaming freely and eating in the evening & at night. I believe that the animals like to live in the natural environment and are not in any type of stress. The same arrangements are reversed to day times in winter.

Muhammad Iftikhar Baloch

Don't you think it is I'mportant that the cows should have some open space (like 100 sq. ft per cow) and food bunkers outside the barn for roaming freely and eating in the evening & at night. I believe that the animals like to live in the natural environment and are not in any type of stress. The same arrangements are reversed to day times in winter.

Muhammad Iftikhar Baloch

Dear all,
I am a small dairy farmer from Pakistan. I have seen numerous videos of beautiful barns, automatic machines and arrangements those are very rarely seen in Pakistan due to high cost. Temperature in the area where my farm is located varies from -1 to 50 Calcius.
I have a small and a very simple barn open from all sides. I have open space outside the barn. I notice that during summer times the cows love to stay inside the barn under fans and showers during hot summer days and in the evening they all come outside the shade of barn and stay there till morning. The same is reversed in summer. I have constructed feeding stall in the open area as well.
No matter how big or beautiful or big the size of barn or herd is, the objective is to get profitability out of dairy farming. The average yield per cow upto 12 litters in Pakistan is the breakeven. I don't know about other countries.
Your comments on both the points.

Johan ter Weele

Hello Bartjan,
Do you also have a video of the manure vacuum cleaner?
What are the experiences till now?

Thank you in advance.
Johan

Bertjan Westerlaan

Walter Guterbock wrote:
Regardless of the technology in the milking area (sort gates, etc.) your management would be a lot easier and more efficient with headlocks. Headlocks do not depress intake and they prevent boss cows from knocking subservient cows out of the feed bunk.

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