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Ventilation systems

Curtains or fans?

We prefer natural ventilation where possible.  This means we will aim to design a building which maximises the air movement when full of cows.


The key aim is to replace the moisture laden air (from respiration), with cool fresh air.  The optimum temperature for a dairy cow is around 5C, so this is critical to maximise production and welfare in the building.  The cooler the cow, the more she lays down, and the more milk she will produce.

There are two main ways of moving air naturally.  These are either:

  •  'stack effect' through the ridge or roof, with cool replacement air coming in the sides. 

  • also using natural 'wind' blowing through the building, so removing the warm, moist air.


We also advise on renovating existing systems and supplying fans to meet these requirements.

Dairy cow shed ventilation - stack effect
CowPlan ventilation ridge design drawing
CowPlan ventilation ridge design
Cyclone close up 55
24ft Ventilation fan blade - cow shed
Cow shed ventilation fan
Cow shed ridge ventilation options

THI is a measure that has been used since the early 1990s. It accounts for the combined effects of environmental temperature and relative humidity and is a useful and easy way to assess the risk of heat stress.  

CowPlan THI Thermometer Image
Cow Plan have a dedicated THI calculator page here:
TopCool fans logo

When natural ventilation is proving difficult, fans can be a huge benefit.

CowPlan are proud to work with world-wide market leading manufacturers TopCool, and their European distributor Magdek.

TopCool are market leaders globally, and offer fans designed specifically for the animal housing sector.  This means we are able to offer tailored solutions in order to ventilate old and new buildings effectively.  The range covers options from young calves to milking cows.


Having a Topcool Cyclone Fan will:

  • Protect cows digestion

  • Protect cows fertility

  • Protect the unborn calf

  • Allow cow to reach her 14 hours rest

  • Protect cows hooves



Primarily, we offer the HSLV (High speed, low volume) ECV Cyclone fans for most cubicle buildings.

The FETF 2024 grant covers our fans:

FETF329CA - ECV fan - 125cm - Covers the 55inch cyclone fans
FETF330CA - ECV fan - 175cm - Covers the 72inch cyclone fans

We can also offer panel fans and basket fans.  Please ask for further information.

TopCool fans logo
55inch cyclone fan
Cyclone fan
Basket fan for cow shed
Cow shed fans
King - Vortex Holsteins 55inch cyclones
Cyclone fan
Panel fan for cow shed
Newton collecting yard 72 Cyclone
THI and lying times table
THI and milk yield effects table
Calf ventilation tube

Increasingly, we are realising the importance of quality calf housing, when considering calf welfare and longevity.

CowPlan offer Magdek calf ventilation systems.  

  • Single systems up to 35m long

  • Custom tube with multiple hole layouts to latest vets designs

  • Special tube works even with low roof frames

  • Lifetime guarantee on housing

  • Moulded fan housings out perform any other product on the market

  • Tube length easily adjusted with unique Magdek clip system

Calf ventilation tube
Calf ventilation system  - old barn
Calf ventilation controller
Calf ventilation tube
Calf vent air intake housing

Working with industry partners, we can offer a full range of ventilation curtains to suit most buildings.  For the UK market we consider it important to keep these simple, strong and effective.  Please ask for more information.

Ventilation curtain - end details and motor
Ventilation curtain - closed
Ventilation curtain - closed
Ventilation curtain - closed

Plan a cow shed  

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