What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards

What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards?

What are the benefits of covering cattle yards? Is it worth covering your yards?

Shade and shelter over cattle yards provides significant benefits and these are wide reaching. You and your staff, your cattle and the wider Australian livestock industry can all take advantage of these benefits. 

Dreaming of working in the yards undercover but weighing up whether the benefits outweigh the cost?

That’s exactly what we discuss in this article. 

What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards?

As we have mentioned, the benefits of a cattle yard cover are wide-reaching. 

Firstly, let’s look at the benefits covered cattle yards will provide you. 

How You Benefit

Yard covers provide a number of really significant benefits for livestock producers.

"There's only one problem with it (yard cover built by Action); I should've done it years ago!" - Peter Grant

Firstly, you benefit from the improved working conditions! 

Working sheltered out of the prevailing weather is not only much more comfortable, it also reduces the risk of injury, fatigue and heat exhaustion. 

These improved working conditions also extend to your staff and this can engender staff loyalty, improve your staff retention rate and lower recruitment costs. 

Happy and healthy staff are much more reliable and with access to safe working conditions this will help prevent workplace accidents 

Furthermore, looking after your staff and livestock also supports your reputation as an employer of choice. We have seen this play out in the wool industry, with shearing teams preferencing wool growers with up-to-date facilities. 

Other benefits for livestock producers include:

  • Helping you meet animal welfare requirements (e.g., the animal handling guidelines) and actively show consumers the standard of animal welfare in the industry. 
  • Increasing your productivity in a number of ways:

Firstly, you are not held up by muddy working areas or extreme heat. 

Covered working areas also provides you with flexible working hours – rain, hail or shine, day or night. This opens up your schedule and allows you to prioritise and perform more urgent tasks. It could even allow more time with your family on the weekend. 

  • Increasing your profitability with improved animal performance – which we discuss in more detail further on. 
  • Protecting your cattle yards from weather damage. 
  • Allowing you to capture rainwater runoff to be used around the farm.
25.5m x 18m x 4m covering cattle yards

So, there are some considerable benefits for you!

How Your Staff Benefit

As we have already mentioned, your staff also benefit from improved working conditions. 

Working undercover in the yards, particularly during inclement weather or undertaking complex or physical tasks, helps to keep them happy, healthy and safe. 

Providing good working conditions helps reduce the risk of injury, and most importantly helps ensure they get home safely at the end of the day. 

“…now we’re in comfort ourselves … contractors and staff. And also, I think the sheep really appreciate being drier than covered in mud.”
Tim Leeming
Tim Leeming
Paradoo Prime

This quote from Tim leads us to our next discussion point; how livestock benefits from yard covers.

How Your Cattle Benefit

As we often like to say: “Cattle can’t talk but we know how they feel!” and one way we can do this is by observing their behaviour. 

Like the improved working conditions for you and your staff, a yard cover will also improve animal comfort by providing a low-stress environment.

A low-stress environment combined with low-stress livestock handling means your cattle will be calm, and their energy will be channelled into weight gain and overall performance. 

Not only that, but calm cattle will also make your job easier and safer, too. Yet another advantage to consider!

What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards - Project (1)
What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards - Project

Finally, let’s look at the benefits covered yards can provide the livestock industry as a whole.

How The Livestock Industry Benefits

There are really two main ways that the livestock industry benefits from investments and projects like yard covers.

Firstly, increased labour efficiencies and improved animal performance boosts productivity and profitability. This helps strengthen the  significant contribution of the livestock industry to the Australian economy. 

Secondly, it is important for the industry to show that we are actively improving animal comfort and welfare. Animal welfare is a high priority for consumers. If we want to influence consumer sentiment and public perception of the industry, it needs to be a priority for us, too.

So, in summary with a cattle yard cover – or a sheep yard cover  – everyone wins!

Cost Versus Benefits

If you are still weighing up the costs versus benefits, below is a handy price guide.

The average cattle yard cover project costs approx. $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. 

Check our our price guide to learn more about popular cattle yard cover sizes and prices – How Much Does It Cost To Cover Cattle Yards? 

This will help you with your initial project budgeting and if/when the time is right simply submit a REQUEST A QUOTE form and we will be in touch. 

We have also listed additional resources below.

Useful Resources

We hope you have found these resources helpful, and this discussion interesting! For more articles like this one, browse our Learning Hub

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