How to Shelter Your Cattle This Summer
Summer in Australia each year brings higher temperatures, topping the previous year on how hot the country gets. Your cattle (particularly the younger ones) are susceptible to the heat so you want to invest in a quality shed to shelter your cattle this summer.
- In beef cattle, heat stress can lead to weight loss, decreased feed efficiency, and lower conception rates.
- Cattle are particularly susceptible to heat stress when temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius and humidity is high.
Also, too little shelter and shade can cause your livestock to overcrowd and smother each other. This typically occurs in areas of your farm where your cattle can’t find shade. Therefore, it is important that you invest wisely in constructing a quality cattle shed that will provide lasting protection for your livestock.
How To Design Cattle Sheds
Designing a cattle shed can be a complex process that requires careful consideration of many factors. The ultimate goal of the design should be to provide a safe, comfortable and efficient environment for the cattle.
Use the right materials
With the construction of new shelters for your cattle, typically comes in the form of a barn or steel shed. Steel sheds are highly recommended to best shelter cattle in summer. Steel sheds are preferred because galvanised steel and aluminium are materials that can reflect some of the sun’s most intense rays.
Although timber is a cost-effective material that provides sturdiness to most shed structures, at the end of the day it is a natural material. Timber being a natural material will rot and decay faster from adverse weather. This means that you will have to replace timber more regularly or in some cases, even the whole structure. Being a farmer, you are busy enough throughout the year. The last thing you want to add to your workload is to have a shed that needs to be regularly fixed and maintained.
Galvanised steel uses a thin layer of metal coating that protects the steel against the effects of corrosion and rust. Using galvanised steel for your cattle shed will help it last between 25-50 years (depending on climate conditions). Whereas, timber sheds for your cattle depending on weather conditions and maintenance will only last approximately 20-25 years. Steel cattle sheds instead of timber will also provide easier maintenance. This is due to steel’s durability from adverse weather such as heavy rain or the harsh Australian summer. The only maintenance that is involved with galvanised steel sheds is once a year giving your steel shed a clean. This is to remove any substances that could cause eventual rust. Steel removes the stress of rotting wood, termites, or potential fire damage.
Survey your site
To prolong the life of your cattle shed it is important to be mindful of certain factors before you commence building. Consider having your cattle shed built on a solid foundation to prolong the longevity of the structure.
Avoid having your cattle shed in areas prone to high winds. Since your shed will be housing cattle during the summer, steel sheds can be noisy when there are high winds. It is best practice to find an area of your land that is less windy to help to reduce noise levels for your cattle.
Another consideration is that it is built and placed near both food and water sources. Having both food and water sources close to your cattle shed is important because it limits how far cattle need to travel in the heat.
Finally, choose an area on your land that can accommodate for extending your cattle shed. Even if you do not plan to increase the number of cattle you have on your farm. Having the extra space and flexibility to expand might be useful.
Contact a qualified consultant for designing and building your shed
Although it might be tempting to design and build your cattle shed yourself, getting the help of an expert will help save you both time and money. From identifying your needs to managing the design, logistics, and assembly of your cattle shed, a specialist will help manage the whole process seamlessly.
Steel Supplies Charters Towers is Queensland’s most reliable and quality prefabricated shed manufacturer, providing robust, quality steel sheds. All our steel sheds are made with the highest attributable fabricated steel. Our steel sheds are made with the confidence to protect your cattle this summer from whatever the Australian climate has to offer. Contact us today to help.