Why ventilation is vital if you want healthy, housed stock over winter

Why ventilation is vital if you want healthy, housed stock over winter

Healthy, winter stock

All housed farm animals need clean food, clean water and dry, clean beds but often the requirement for clean air is either underestimated or is difficult to achieve.

This is often the case in older or non-purpose built sheds. Sometimes even new purpose-built sheds struggle to cope with strong winds and driving rain.

When the wind is howling and rain lashing the buildings there is an understandable temptation to shut doors and block off openings but in the absence of fans and filters this could cause a bigger problem.

Active airflow by natural ventilation is essential for maintaining animal health and is vital in the successful rearing of young stock. Natural ventilation allows clean fresh air to flow into a building whilst warm, humid air rises up and out of the housing carrying with it waste gases like carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane.

This positive airflow also effectively removes airborne pathogens, dust and mould spores.

So how do you know if there is a problem and what is the solution? How do you feel when you go into the barn, does it feel damp, humid or dusty? Breath in deeply, does it make you cough?

If in any doubt consult your farm vet who can carry out a smoke bomb test to show the extent of airflow through the shed.

If there is insufficient airflow, then Secure Windbreaks can replace solid side panels or if cold draughts are a problem Secure Windbreaks can be fitted above exposed doors or feed runs.

The windbreaks are made in a range of sizes from the same tough knitted material as our Secure Covers and can be fitted rapidly and held in place with a simple hook and ratchet system.

In no time at all Secure Windbreaks convert a draughty open shed to a comfortable, airy livestock shelter.

At Upper Criggie near Stonehaven (only 3 miles from the sea and at 450ft elevation) Scott and Bruce Begg wanted a system to improve the comfort of their housed beef herd during the harsh wet winters.

Scott Beg reported that, “Secure Windbreaks have done a great job. The building is now sheltered but airy and the rain no longer blows in, so we’ve saved on bedding.”

Secure Windbreaks are also used in workshops, straw and hay stores or equestrian buildings.