Cost To Cover Cattle Yards

How Much Does It Cost To Cover Cattle Yards?

If you are cattle producer, you have no doubt considered covering your cattle yards at some point, particularly when the weather is wet and wintry – or when you are working long hours in the yards under the hot summer sun. 

A cattle yard cover can be a really good investment, because there are so many benefits – reducing mud in the yards, providing flexible working hours, improving staff retention and boosting animal performance, to name a few – and for this reason cattle yard covers, like sheep yard covers, are proving to be incredibly popular.

So, if you too are considering building a roof over your cattle yards to take advantage of these benefits, then you probably have a few questions. And one of the most frequent questions we are asked about cattle yard covers, is: How much does it cost to cover cattle yards?

In this article we’ll discuss the cost to cover cattle yards, cattle yard cover prices in 2022 and the factors that will influence how much you will pay for your cattle yard cover including what makes prices go up and what makes them go down. 

If you are wondering how much it would cost to build a cover over your cattle yards, then this is the article for you.

How Much Does It Cost To Cover Cattle Yards?

So, how much does it cost to cover cattle yards?

Over the past twelve months, the average cattle yard cover project has cost approximately $110,000 including GST, erection costs and footing concrete. 

Keep in mind that this is an average cost and covers a wide range of projects with varying sizes and designs. The price guides below will give you an idea of how prices can vary from project to project.

Cattle Yard Cover Prices

Here is a list of some of the most popular cattle yard cover sizes and an approximate price range for each. Prices include GST, erection costs and footing concrete.

  • A 24m x 18m x 4m cattle yard cover with gable infills would cost approx. $65,000 – $80,000.
  • A 32m x 15m x 3.5m cattle yard cover would cost approx. $75,000 – $90,000.
  • A 32m x 21m x 4m cattle yard cover would cost approx. $95,000 – $110,000.
  • A 32m x 24m x 4m cattle yard cover would cost approx. $110,000 – $125,000.
  • A 48m x 24m x 5m cattle yard cover with gable infills would cost approx. $170,000 – $185,000.
  • A 40m x 30m x 4.5m cattle yard cover with gable infills would cost approx. $215,000 – $230,000.

We hope these price guides help you with your budgeting and give you an indication of how much you can expect to pay for your cattle yard cover project. 

Next up we discuss the main factors that influence the cost of a cattle yard cover. 

Factors That Influence The Price Of A Cattle Yard Cover

1. Size

The size of your yard cover is a significant contributing factor to the cost of your yard cover project. Like all farm sheds, the bigger the yard cover, the more labour and materials required and therefore, the more the project will cost. 
 
However, while the size has a major impact on price, we don’t recommend reducing the size of your yard cover simply to save money. This is because when it comes to a yard cover, size matters – particularly the height of the cover and the coverage over the yards.
 
For the height of a yard cover we generally recommend between 3.5 and 4.5 metres as this allows machinery access to the cover. 
 
The other point to consider when it comes to size is coverage over the yards. The purpose of a yard cover (as the name suggests!) is to cover your yards, so it is important that it does. To ensure your cattle yards are covered and sheltered from the elements, we recommend allowing for an extra 1 -2 metres coverage on each side of the cover. This means that even in the most inclement weather the yards are sheltered.
 

2. Design

The design and design features included in your yard cover also influence the cost of the project. 
 
Design features such as gable infills (which are very popular for cattle yard covers), enclosed working areas, custom gutter systems or lighting all contribute to the overall cost of your project. 

It is worth considering that while these additions will add to the short-term cost of your project, they will allow you to get the most out of your yard cover, ensuring it is a practical, workable investment – and in the long run it could save you money, for example; installing skylights in your cover allows you to take advantage of the available natural light when working, potentially saving you money on your electricity bill! 

Conversely, a poor design could cost you money, for example, a poorly designed yard cover may mean that the columns interfere with the yard design, resulting in further costs to fix the issue. 

So, like the size of the yard cover, the design of the yard cover is not an area where we would recommend cost cutting especially if the changes impact how effective the yard cover is.

Cost To Cover Cattle Yards

So, first and foremost make sure the design works! Talk to our building consultants to learn about how we approach the design stage, and work in with yard designers to provide a yard cover that fits neatly and seamlessly over the cattle yards. 

3. Materials

The cost of materials are significant to any building project and a cattle yard cover is no different. The main material costs for your cattle yard cover project will be structural steel, hot dip galvanising and cladding, we discuss each of these below. 

A cattle yard cover designed and built by Action Steel, is manufactured from Australian-made steel including heavy-duty UB columns and open web trusses. This means that cattle yard covers, like many other products and construction projects, have been subjected to the rising steel price –  which you can learn about here – as a result, cattle yard cover prices have increased. 

To give you an idea of how much impact the steel price rises have had, the cost of an average farm shed project has increased by around 45 – 50% since June 2020!

Watch the video below to learn more about the recent steel price rises. 

The second material cost to consider is the cost of hot-dip galvanising both the columns and trusses of your cattle yard cover. 

Hot-dip galvanising is the most effective corrosion protection coating, and this is reflected in the price – as the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for.’ As every Action Steel shed is fully hot-dip galvanised after manufacture, you can expect to pay more for an Action Steel cattle yard cover than a painted or pre-galv yard cover from an alternative supplier. A cattle yard cover can be a highly corrosive environment, so we strongly suggest choosing the hot-dip galvanised option, to ensure your investment lasts a lifetime. 

The third point to consider is the cladding option your choose for you cattle yard cover. We offer two cladding options – zinc cladding and Colorbond cladding. Zinc is the less expensive cladding option and is used for the majority of farm shed builds such as cattle yard covers. You may want to consider using Colorbond cladding if you live near the coast though, for additional corrosion protection.

4. Complexity

The fourth factor that will influence the price of your cattle yard cover is how complex the project is.

Undercover cattle yards at Banquet Angus

Details like limited access to the site and having to work in with existing buildings may impact of the price of your project. For example, if the construction team have limited access to the site, the yard cover may take longer to complete, and as a result will cost more.

Another point to consider is, if you are building a more complex yard cover, like the bull sale facility for Banquet Angus, there may be additional building code requirements that your cover will need to satisfy (depending on the classification of your project) such as including personal access doors, allowing for disabled access or providing toilets and amenities. 

If you have any questions about these points, feel free to call us on 1800 68 78 88 and one of our building consultants will be more than happy to help.

How Can I Save Money On My Project?

So now that we have outlined the four main factors that will impact the cost of covering your cattle yards, let’s look at some of the different ways you could potentially save money on your yard cover project. It is important to remember that any cost-savings should not come at the cost of having a functional yard cover.
 
The main way we recommend saving money on your yard cover is to choose a standard size span. Choosing one of these spans is a cost-saving because it means a new truss jig does not have to be set up specifically for your project. Our standard spans include a range of practical sizes including 18 metres, 21 metres, 24 metres, 27 metres, 30 metres and 36 metres, all of which work well for farm sheds such as cattle yard covers. We understand that these spans will not work in every situation, particularly if you are building over existing yards or if your site is limited by size or space, but where possible it is a good idea to consider a standard size span. 
 
Some other ways you could save money on your project includes installing skylights rather than hi-bay lights, or if you only require a cover in the short-term you could opt for a more temporary structure. Temporary shade or shelter such as shade cloth is usually a cheaper, short-term alternative which may be worth considering if your budget is currently restricted – these may not be suited to every environment though. 
 
We hope this article has given you points to consider when it comes to the cost to cover cattle yards. If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. 
 
Please note: The prices listed in this article are approximate only, are subject to change and should only be used as a budgeting tool. For an accurate, obligation-free quote for your project, request a quote or call us on 1800 68 78 88.
 
If you liked this article, you might also be interested in our article – How much do farm shed permits cost? For more farm shed resources, browse our Learning Hub which includes articles, videos, brochures and more!

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