Loafing barns have become very popular in recent years and for good reason too!
Loafing barns can provide a plethora of benefits to dairy farms, and it is not just large-scale dairy farms with 1000 plus cows that can capitalise on these.
Smaller-scale dairy farms can also take advantage of the benefits a loafing barn can offer.
First and foremost a loafing barn increases cow comfort which is closely linked to improved cow performance.
Loafing barns are also cost-effective and versatile infrastructure investments. A loafing barn can be built and then converted into contained housing in the future. Or you could choose to use the barn for winter calving or for fodder storage.
There’s not just animal performance and financial gains to consider. Having your cows safely sheltered from rain, hail or shine provides peace of mind and can reduce stress. This will flow onto to benefit your overall mental health and work and family life – everyone benefits.
The loafing barn recently completed at Cooriemungle for Adam and Emma is a project that exhibits all these benefits
About The Dairy
Adam and Emma recently shared the story of their third-generation dairy farm with us.
Located at Cooriemungle, the Pouw family have been dairy farming there for about forty years and are currently milking 180 cows off about 250 usable acres.
One of the driving factors behind the investment in a new loafing barn build was the wet, horrible weather every year.
The Pouw’s decided to take action.
Watch the video below to learn more about their farm and the role the new loafing barn has played in improving cow comfort and how it has reduced the mental load for Adam and his father John who are now “two completely different people”, calmer and happier.
About The Project
Size: 76.5m x 24m x 5m
Build Date: 2022
Location: Cooriemungle VIC
This loafing barn project is an excellent example of how barn design can be used to improve cow comfort.
One of the reasons the design is so successful is that it finds the perfect balance of weather protection and ventilation.
Some of the important design details that contribute to this are:
- An 18-degree roof pitch stimulates air movement through the barn and direct it to the custom ACTION ridge vent opening and pop-top cover. This is important for reducing heat and ammonia build-up in the barn.
- The configuration uses an enclosed end wall and a gable infill to provide shelter and protection from the prevailing weather, while still allowing practical access to the barn and adequate airflow to keep the air fresh.
- A custom ACTION gutter system has been installed to direct stormwater away from the barn and keep the bedding dry. This run-off can also be captured and utilised.
- Along with the hot dip galvanized columns and trusses (which are a standard inclusion on every Action shed build) Colorbond cladding has been used to help protect the barn from corrosion and rust.
Other details include the standard size span and bay spacings which help create a cost-effective design.
The barn location also had to be carefully planned to work with the existing infrastructure and make sure it didn’t impede the flow of the cows.
Loafing Barn Project Price Guide
In 2023 a similar project will cost approx. $260,000 – $320,000 including GST, footings and installation.
To learn more about loafing barn pricing check out our price guide – How Much Does It Cost To Build A Loafing Barn? – and fill out the REQUEST A QUOTE form for an accurate price for your project.
Browse the gallery of photos below to view the project in more detail.
We hope you have found this article interesting and that it has given you ideas for your loafing barn project.
Should You Build A Loafing Barn?
Weighing up whether to build a loafing barn?
We often talk about how important cow comfort is and the benefits loafing barns bring with increased production, but for Adam and Emma, just the peace of mind of knowing that their cows are safe and comfortable makes it worthwhile!
If you care about your cows, then you should seriously consider building a loafing barn. Or as Adam says, “Don’t think about it. Just do it.”
- Dairy Australia Feedpad & Contained Housing Webinar
- Dairy Australia Feedpad & Contained Housing Guidelines (PDF Download)
- Dairy Infrastructure Guide