In the agricultural industry and with specific regard to animal raising and dairy farming, it is necessary to house your livestock during the wet, wintry months so as to protect them from the elements. A slatted shed is often the first choice for this very purpose. Outlined below is a quick guide that is designed to give you more information on this type of very popular choice when it comes to animal housing.
Dry Bedding Sheds
In the past, many farmers have used dry bedding sheds, which proved to be very comfortable environments for the animals and for good reason. However great they were, these types of arrangements created a burdensome workload on the farmers in terms of the removal of the bedding, cleaning out of the shed, and re-lining the shed with dry replacement bedding, all of which would have to be done on a very regular basis to ensure the comfort of the livestock.
As with dry bedding sheds, slatted units are used to house animals during the colder months of the year. The popularity of slatted units is primarily due to their design that allows for the removal of animal waste quickly and effectively.
Construction of Slatted Units
In a slatted unit, the floor is generally constructed of concrete with a slatted floor covering a waste storage tank or slurry tank that collects the animal waste. The farmer can then remove the animals from the slatted unit to a holding pen and hose down the slatted floor, making the unit clean and habitable again, quickly and easily. Some newer slatted units are now constructed with electronic systems that shovel any waste on the floor of the unit down through the slats and into the tank below. This type of system makes it even easier for the farmer to hose down and clean the unit as required.
Generally, there is a central feeding passage that allows for easy feeding of the livestock by the farmers. Silage can be distributed in feeding troughs along the side of the central passage and the livestock can access the feed easily from the pens on either side of the unit. This design makes the task of feeding livestock much quicker and less labour-intensive.
The introduction of slat mats has seen a reduction in animal injuries in slatted units that could occur should the animal slip or fall. Slat mats are made of specially made curved rubber strips that are laid across the slatted unit floor. These types of mats increase the comfort of the animals but do not hinder the process of the removal of animal waste.
Benefits of Slatted Units
The benefits of slatted units are clear to see – they are more hygienic, easier to clean, and improve the welfare of livestock considerably during the winter months. They can also significantly reduce the time and effort that’s expended by farmers in the cleaning out and preparing of shedding units.
Slatted units have become an increasingly popular sight on many farms across the country and for good reason. The comfort and welfare of your livestock is paramount and, given the info that’s just been outlined above, slatted units are an ideal solution to winter housing for your animals.
This website was developed with support from Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas