CASE STUDY 1: Renovation of old housing
RF Stratton - Dee Barn Farm, Warminster, Somerset, UK
At Dee Barn the production is from New Zealand Friesian cows. This is an autumn calving herd, with a self feed silage system, and concentrates fed in parlour. The original housing consisted of 232 cubicle spaces with back leg style cubicles, and mattresses. The cubicles were very restrictive with short beds, low neck rails and narrow passages. The mattresses were quite old.
Ivor Davey first met with Richard Stratton in July 2013, when we discussed the existing cubicles, and level of cow comfort in the housing.
After some initial ideas, and exploring options for renovation layouts, we again met in January 2015, and started to look at the options in more detail. This produced another layout which ended up being the final solution. Part of the consultancy work also looked at longer term housing and an expansion strategy.
The decision was made to do a major renovation of the existing building. This included removing all cubicles, and concrete beds, and allowing creation of new, wider passages, and far improved cubicle dimensions. This allowed installation of post mounted Cowcoon cubicles, complete with the Pasture Mat mattresses, 30mm premium pad foam and pillow brisket barriers. Also, all new tip-over water troughs.
A small extension was also added to the building to create a handling area and race as cows exit the parlour.
The work commenced in July 2015, and the cows were introduced around November 2015. During the construction, Ivor Davey visited every 3 to 6 weeks to check the progress and identify any problems, in order to support the contractors on site. After the cows had been in the new facilities for around 6 weeks, Ivor visited again to discuss the level of comfort to ensure customer satisfatction.