Floor space requirements for cattle and buffalo shed
Type of animal
No of pens required
50 / pen
50 / pen
1 / pen
Know the feeding and watering space requirements for your animals
75 cm / animal
75 cm/ animal
75 cm / animal
75 cm/ animal
Dairy farm – Buildings
Milch Animal Shed
The milch animal shed should have the following parts
Gutter or drainage channel
The milch animals can be housed according to number of animals available.
Single row system: In single row system, 12-16 numbers of animals can be kept. Double row system
If it is greater than 16, then double row system is preferable.
In double row system up to 50 animals can be maintained in a single shed.
The distance between two sheds should be greater than 30 feet or it should be twice the height of the building.
In double row system two methods available. They are
1. Tail to tail system (out-method)
Cleaning and milking of animals easy.
Supervision of milking also easy.
Less chance for transmission of diseases from animal to animal.
Animals can get more fresh air from outside.
2. Head to head system (in-method)
Getting animals into the shed is easy.
Feeding of animals also easy.
Disinfection of gutter will be more due to the direct fall of sunrays over the gutter.
Animals are better exhibited to visitors
Milking supervision is difficult.
Possibilities of transmission of disease are more.
Milking Barn / Milk parlour
This is a barn where milch animals are milked and is fully covered.
It should be located at the centre of the farm with all other farm buildings arranged around it.
There shall be an individual standing in the milking barns and the number of standings required should be 25% of total number of milch animals in the herd.
The milking operation should be carried out in batches.
Dimensions of milking barn
Length of standing space : 1.5 – 1.7 m
Width of standing space : 1.05 – 1.2m (80% of length, of standing space)
Width of central passage : 1.5 – 1.8 m
Width of feed alley : 0.75 m
Width of gutter : 0.30 m
Overhang : 0.75 m
Down calver shed/ calving pen
Pregnant animals are transferred to a calving pen 2 to 3 weeks before the expected date of calving.
Calving pen of 3m x 4m (12 m2) is essential to keep the animals in advanced stage of pregnancy.
It should be located nearer to the farmer’s quarters for better supervision.
The number of calving pens required is 10% of the number of total breedable female stock in the farm.
This is meant for housing young calves separately.
It can be located either at the end or on the side of the milking barn.
This facilitates taking calves to their dams quickly.
If there are large numbers of calves, the separate unit of calf shed should be arranged and located nearer to the milking barn.
Young stock/ heifer shed
It is meant for housing young heifers separately.
Older heifers calves from about six months of age to breeding age are to be housed separately from the suckling calves.
When a large number of young stocks are there, they should be divided into different age groups and each group housed separately.
Dry animal shed
In large farms, milch and dry cows are housed separately.
The floor in the covered area should preferably be made of cement concrete.
Under Indian conditions, in smaller farms, milch and dry animals can be housed together.
Normally, one third of the animals in a farm will be in dry or in dry cum pregnant stage.
It is meant for housing bulls separately in a farm.
It should be constructed towards one end of the farm.
There shall be one shed for each bull.
The number of bulls required being one for every 50 breedable females on the farm, if natural breeding is practiced.
When artificial insemination service facilities are available, no necessary to keep the bulls on the farm.
The bull shed shall have covered 3x4 metre dimensions, leading into a paddock of 120 square metres.
It is the separation of sick animals from apparently healthy animals to avoid transmission of diseases to healthy stock.
It should be located at the corner of the shed so that these sheds are inaccessible to other animals.
It should be located at the entrance of the farm.
The newly purchased animals entering into the farm should be kept in quarantine shed for a minimum period of 30 to 40 days to watch out for any disease occurrence.
All the four walls should be closed and it should be rat proof.
There should be one concrete store room with feed mixing unit at a distant place and a smaller feed store room behind the milking parlour.
It is essential to keep the milk and also to chill the milk in larger dairies having 400 to 700 litres production capacity that requires 3.7 m x 5m size of room and an additional 0.37 m2 for every 40 litres of milk production.
For a smaller dairy unit below 100 litres a small room with a dimension of 3.75m x 3m can be sufficient for storing milk and concentrate feed.
Hay or straw shed
An adult animal consume about 5 to 10 Kg of hay or straw per day, while young stock consume about 2 to 5 kg of hay or straw per day.
The annual requirement can be calculated and the space requirement can be arrived.
Common housing methods for dairy animals
It is a system of housing in which animals are kept loose in an open paddock throughout the day and night except at the time of milking and treatment.
In this system, shelter is provided along one side of open paddock under which animals can retire when it is very hot or cold or during rains.
Common feed manger and water tank is provided and concentrates are fed at the milking time which is done in a separate milking barn or parlour in which cows are secured at milking time and are milked.
The open paddock is enclosed by means of half walls or plain wire fences of convenient height.
Cost of construction is cheaper.
Future expansion is possible.
The animals will move freely so that it will get sufficient exercise.
The animal can be kept clean.
Common feeding and watering arrangement is possible.