What to consider when building a new cubicle shed

File photo
File photo
Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

Construction of a cubicle shed for cows is a major project requiring significant design and financial planning before construction begins.

Cubicle shed plus slurry storage could cost between €1,200 and €1,500 per cow place, which is approximately €200,000 for 150 cow places, according to Teagasc Advisor Pat Clarke.

He says farmers should consider a few points when building a new cubicle house. The number of cubicles should facilitate the number of cows to be housed, to avoid bullying of heifers or weaker animals.

He also says that plans should also accommodate for potential to expand in future. To do this, simply avoid blocking the end of the shed by another building, he says.

Cubicles

Farmers should also consider the number of rows of cubicles wanted, take into account ease of access for scraping cubicles or even gathering them for milking when housed, he says.

Location

The location of the feeding passage and feed space per cow needs to be of priority when building new housing sheds, according to Pat. He says that for head space there is two recommendations;

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(a) Silage fed ad-lib - 300mm/cow

(b) Meal feeding - 600mm/cow

Water Supply

The water supply to the housing is also critical and should be deemed adequate before building, he says.

Access

Furthermore, access from shed to paddocks and milking parlour and the flow of the cows from the cubicles to the collecting year, into the parlour and back out to pasture or into housing should be considered when remodelling.

Dimensions

He also says that the dimensions are critical for optimum cow comfort and that the following guideline should be adhered to.

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