Can I Cover My Existing Sheep Yards

Can I Cover My Existing Sheep Yards?

Covered sheep yards and cattle yards provide so many benefits!

Planning a yard cover project to take advantage of these benefits?

One of the most common questions we are asked about covering sheep yards is, Can I cover my existing sheep yards? How does it work?

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about covering your existing sheep yards including what it involves, how it works and project examples.

Can I Cover My Existing Sheep Yards

Can I Cover My Existing Sheep Yards?


The short answer to this question is; yes. Existing sheep yards can generally be covered.

There may be some exceptions to this though. For example, there may not be adequate space for a cover to be installed. Or the cover may be too small for us to manufacture.

If you are asking this question, you likely have other questions. How does it work? What do you need to do?

Keep reading to learn all about it!

How Does It Work?

The process for covering existing sheep yards can be a little more complex compared to a build on a greenfield site or standard farm shed project.

The most important step of the process to ensure it is as streamlined as possible is the site measure-up. Our building consultants will visit the site during the initial design discussion stage and take all the required measurements and dimensions.

This will allow the details like column placement and any fall over the site to be factored into the design. This helps ensure the cover fits seamlessly over the yards and helps avoid any inconvenient column placements or any of the frames having to be adjusted after manufacture. 

Our building consultants will also take note of any existing infrastructure or site conditions that will need to be allowed for during installation.

What If There Is Fall Over The Site?

Prior to manufacturing our building consultants will measure up the yard cover including any fall across the site. This information will be factored into the design. If there is fall over the site, this is usually accommodated by altering the column lengths and/or building up the footings to accommodate the varying levels.

Will The Columns Interfere With The Sheep Yards?

No, the purpose of our initial site visit and follow-up visits is to accurately measure up the cover and ensure that columns of the cover will not interfere with the yards.

One of the main ways we do this is by varying the bay spacings to accommodate the yard design.

Will The Cover Be Stick Built Or Lifted?

If access to the site is tight and there is existing infrastructure to work in with, the cover may be ‘stick built’ and then craned into place.

What Site Preparation Do I Need To Do?

There is little site preparation required when covering existing sheep yards, however, the site does need to be accessible to allow a streamlined and stress-free installation.

This includes having well-prepared access roads and where possible, all sides of the site accessible by machinery.

Our installers typically require a 3-metre boundary on each side of the shed site. This allows scissor lift access for wall cladding.

It is also good practice to have the yards and yard area clear of rubbish.

Can I Use A Standard Size Span?

The advantage of standard size spans is that they are cost-effective and where possible (and practical!) a standard size span will be used.

However, one of the limitations of covering existing sheep yards is that it doesn’t always allow a standard size span to be used.

This could be because of the location of existing infrastructure, or they just may not work with the yard layout.

If this is the case a custom span size will be used. 

What Information Do You Need From Me?

The initial site measure-up usually provides us with most of the information we need, such as required bay spacings, column lengths and access limitations.

However, if you have the yard plans available these can help streamline the design process.

Covered Sheep Yards Examples (Gallery)

Browse the gallery of recently completed sheep yard covers below for ideas for your project. 

Useful Resources

Here is a selection of articles from our Learning Hub to help you with your project planning. 
To discuss your sheep yard cover project and to arrange a site visit with one of our building consultants, simply call us on 1800 687 888 – we would love to help you. 

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