Simple tips for creating a milking shed and pens for cow and calf

The well-being of your cows is a top priority for any dairy farm. Here are a few principles to keep in mind when planning and building a milking shed for cows, as well as pens for both cows and their calfs.

Simple tips for creating a milking shed and pens for cow and calf

A simple housing solution

A simple three-sided shed provides the healthiest environment for a cow.

  • With the open front facing away from prevailing winds, the shed ensures plenty of ventilation and allows warm, drying sunlight to reach all the way inside.
  • The cow should also have access to outdoor shade away from the shed.

Create a pleasant milking station

The milking area needs careful planning. While a cow can be milked almost anywhere, a well-planned, easy-to-clean area close to the cow's sleeping shed will make the job easier and more sanitary.

  • Floors should be concrete, sloping towards a drain or gutter.
  • Running water is helpful for hosing down walls and floors.
  • There should be ample room to store grain for feeding at milking time.

The same building might contain a calf pen or a place where a temporary one can be constructed from movable panels.

  • A lean-to on the cow's shed provides a place to store straw or other bedding material as well as hay, which must be kept dry to protect its nutritional value.

Things to keep in mind

  • The cow's stall is open to sun and air.
  • A stanchion holds a box for grain the cow eats during milking.
  • A solid wall separates the milking area from the calf pen to prevent contamination from dirty bedding.
  • A calf pen provides at least three square metres (32 square feet) of floor space. The floor is concrete or screen mesh with bedding on top.
  • The window area must be large, to ­provide maximum light and air.
  • A fenced area is on well-drained soil, has nearby trees for shade and contains a manger for feeding hay.
  • The calf pen must be especially well tended. Bedding is changed frequently and the floor is sometimes raised to avoid drafts.
  • Bedding is straw, sawdust or shavings.

Consider these tips and create a comfortable living space and milking station for your dairy cows. You may be surprised by how easy it is!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu