What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards

What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards?

Shade and shelter over cattle yards provides significant benefits for you, your business, your staff and of course your livestock.

And the wider Australian livestock industry benefits as well.

Not convinced? Weighing up whether the benefits outweigh the cost?

Is it worth covering your yards? 

What are the benefits of covering cattle yards?

That’s exactly what we discuss in this article. 

And we’re sure that by the end of it, you’ll be dreaming of working in the yards, undercover!

What Are The Benefits Of Covering Cattle Yards?

The benefits of a cattle yard cover are multi-faceted and wide-reaching. 

Firstly, let’s look at the benefits a cattle yard cover will provide you. 

How You Benefit

Yard covers provide a number of really significant benefits for livestock producers which is why it is a good idea to seriously consider installing one.

"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 much more comfortable and also reduces the risk of injury, fatigue and heat exhaustion. 

And because these improved working conditions also apply to your staff, this can improve your staff retention rate which is particularly beneficial given the current labour shortage. 

Providing good working conditions promotes staff loyalty and saves you spending time and money recruiting. 

And happy, healthy staff reduces workplace accidents and means you won’t be held up or inconvenienced by unreliable labour.

Furthermore, looking after your staff and livestock also cements your reputation as a progressive industry-leading livestock producer and you are likely to become an employer of choice. This is what we have seen in the wool industry, with shearing teams preferencing wool growers with up-to-date facilities. 

Other benefits for producers include:

  • Helping you meet animal welfare requirements (e.g., the animal handling guidelines) and industry expectations on animal welfare which are adapting to meet consumer expectations. The Australian Lot Feeders Association’s shade policy is a prime example of this, which you can learn about here
  • Higher productivity because you are not held up by muddy working areas or extreme heat. Your available working hours are also extended by being able to work rain, hail or shine and during lowlight hours. This provides you with great flexibility. You are not limited to when you can do yard work, opening up your schedule and allowing you to prioritise and perform more urgent tasks. 
  • Improved animal performance – which we discuss in more detail further on – increases your profitability, meaning more money in your pocket.

And other advantages of a yard cover include protecting your cattle yards from weather damage and allowing you to capture rainwater runoff to be used around the farm. 

25.5m x 18m x 4m covering cattle yards

So, that’s 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

And 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, which directly contributes to the Australian economy. This helps establish and strengthen the fact that the livestock industry has a crucial role in the future of the country. 

And the other point is that it is important for the industry to show that they are actively improving animal comfort and welfare. This 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!

If you would like to take advantage of the plethora of benefits that covering cattle yards offers, talk to one of our building consultants. 

Or simply fill out a REQUEST A QUOTE to receive an accurate no-obligation quote.

Otherwise, if you are just in the planning stage of your project, check out some of the 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

Share this article!

Like this article?

Here’s a few more that might interest you.