How much does a free stall barn cost?
It’s important to view your free stall barn not as a cost, but as an investment – the right construction will enable you to work smarter and be more productive, while also protecting your livestock. As such, the lowest initial price doesn’t often work out to be the lowest price in the long term. Quality matters.
That fact aside, free stall barns can be any and every price. There are a number of factors that will influence the price of your construction, including:
- Width, length, height and overall square metreage
- Width in relation to length (on a square metre basis, a short and wide structure is less efficient to build than a long and wide structure)
- The application and layout of the design
- Location factors that will affect the design (e.g. altitude, snow loading and wind ratings)
- Ground conditions that will influence the design of the foundation
- The site location (the more easily accessible the site, the lower the cost of construction)
- The configuration of options (e.g. end walls, doors, side eaves, guttering, etc.)
How much room do cows need in a free stall barn?
At SmartShelters we recommend that a free stall barn used for feeding and bedding should offer each cow:
- At least 10-12m² of floorspace
- At least 750mm of feed face
How do you manage effluent in a free stall barn?
There are two main strategies for managing effluent in a free stall barn: through drainage systems and/or through bedding.
Having a large herd of cattle in the same confined space, each of which produces around 50L of waste a day, makes effluent runoff an unavoidable reality. Your free stall shelter will therefore need to be built with drainage in mind, both in terms of site choice and of in-shelter drainage systems.
Smart drainage can efficiently manage effluent runoff, sending it directly to the farm effluent system. SmartShelters feed stall shelters are designed to be easily cleaned, keeping cows healthier and farm hands happier.
How much milk do cows produce in a free stall barn?
It stands to reason that a sheltered herd will be healthier, and a healthier herd will be more productive. That fact aside, the major increase in production is in cases where winter milking is made viable. If you can milk your herd at a time when you previously hadn’t, the benefits of a free stall barn become clear.
But even if you already milk in winter, or you have no plans to do so, the cost savings that a SmartShelter construction can offer are compelling. Dramatically reduced feed expenditure, a healthier herd and efficient management can see the cost of the barn quickly paid back through savings alone.
Contact a member of our experienced team today to discuss a truly smart shelter solution for your property.