The past few years have seen sheep and cattle yard covers grow in popularity and they continue to prove popular. In this article we discuss the advantage of having yards undercover and why you should seriously consider investing in a yard cover.
If you have been thinking about building a roof over your yards, it is worth considering the benefits a yard cover could bring to your farming operation.
Improve Your Working Conditions
One of the overarching advantages of a yard cover is the improved working conditions for the farmer.
With a yard cover, yard work can be done out of the elements, sheltered from the prevailing wind and rain and shaded from the heat and glare of the Australian sun.
Not only does this make yard work a more pleasant and attractive task with improvements like reduced cold and heat stress on your body (which tends to exacerbate or worsen existing health conditions, strains or injuries) it also provides added flexibility to your work routine.
A yard cover adds flexibility to your work routine in a number of ways.
- Yard jobs and tasks usually assigned to dry days can now be completed on wet ones.
- During Summer, the inclusion of sky lighting in a yard cover roof allows you to make the most of the natural light of daylight hours but still beat the heat.
- Incorporating high bay lights into the Action truss design can add further flexibility as yardwork can be completed at any hour. This is particularly advantageous during the warmer weather or when other tasks take priority during the day.
And improved working conditions aren’t just improved for yourself, they are improved for your workers too!
Improve Your Staff Retention
Safe and up-to-date facilities make a workplace a much more attractive place to work.
With a current focus on improved working conditions for shearers, it is a good idea to make sure these conditions flow right through your business to establish your self as an employer and a workplace with a good reputation.
Improved Conditions For Your Livestock
We can’t talk about the advantages of a roof over your yards without drawing attention to the improved conditions for your livestock!
Like you and your workers, livestock are beneficiaries of being sheltered from the prevailing weather. A yard cover provides improved animal comfort by reducing the likelihood of conditions such as cold and heat stress occurring.
Here are some excerpts from our series of weather articles that are worth keeping in mind.
- “Providing shelter in the heat enables cattle to shade from the direct sun, decreasing extra heat load and, hence, decreasing the likelihood or severity of heat stress.”
- Similarly, “sheep are prone to cold stress or heat stress with pregnant ewes and lambs being most susceptible. This brings its own issues including higher lamb mortality and reproductive problems …”
This impact on animal comfort is especially significant given the scrutiny that the industry is subjected to, particularly from animal rights groups and activists – as well as the general public.
Besides, improved conditions for your livestock also make good economic sense for you.
Low-stress livestock environments and comfortable conditions provided by an Action yard cover help animal performance and productivity with results like improved milk yield, weight gain and wool quality – all of which equate to more dollars in your pocket.
The Financial Advantages
The financial advantage of a yard cover doesn’t end at improved livestock performance. Here are a few other points to keep in mind:
- A substantial amount of rainwater can be harvested from a yard cover roof via the Action custom gutter system. The amount of water that can be collected from your shed roof can be calculated here.
- Time is money and not only do yard covers provide flexible working conditions and hours, but a yard cover can also minimise down-time. For example, by having your sheep kept sheltered and dry prior to shearing, shearing is not held up by wet weather.
- It makes sense to get the most out of the yards that you have invested in by being able to work in them rain, hail or shine, night or day.
- A yard cover can improve the longevity of your yards by keeping them sheltered from the weather extremes.
- If you are building a new shearing shed, or even just updating your existing shed, incorporating a yard cover could save your from spending unnecessary money. Minimising grating area by putting a roof over external yards works out to be the more cost-effective option.
- Investing in infrastructure like a yard cover can improve the value of your property.