How to get ventilation and space requirements right in your shed
Correcting ventilation and space – both feeding and floor space – in your sheep shed this is critical for performance, according to Michael Gottstein, Head of Sheep in Teagasc.
He said these are critical areas to get right when housing sheep to avoid drafts, disease and underfed ewes, as well as other problems that will affect your enterprise this year, he says.
For ventilation, farmers should aim to have a good airflow into the shed and a mechanism for the warm damp air to escape in the roof area, he advised.
He also says farmers should avoid generating drafts, as this could lead to poor health in housed animals.
If the shed feels and warm and damp when farmers walk in, this is a sure sign there isn’t enough ventilation and it needs to be addressed, he says. Poor ventilation results in disease, wet sheep and more bedding being required, according to Michael.
In relation to feed and floor space, he says the sheep should have enough space to lie comfortably and also feed without trouble.
Lying and trough space requirements for sheep are governed by bodyweight and the amount of wool the sheep have, according to Michael, found in Tables 1 and 2 below.
He says where pregnant ewes do not have enough trough space this can result in some ewes being underfed and more sinister effects, which can predispose ewes to prolapse.