August 1, 2018
Fresh Air and Fresh Water Optimize Herd Health
Fresh air is a good thing for all of us – humans and bovines alike! Summit Livestock Facilities monoslope buildings have designed many innovative solutions in their facilities. One that our customers appreciate very much is the many advantages that proper airflow brings the operation.
With the low side of the monoslope typically on the north and the high side of the roof on the south, the buildings are designed to use the seasons to their best advantage. Air moves through the building thanks to the air pressure difference created by inside and outside temperature variance. As warm air rises, it causes a chimney effect at the highest point where air exits the building. Wind across the high side of a monoslope building or the open ridge of a gable building, along with a small difference between inside and outside temperatures, creates a negative pressure to draw warm, moist air out through the open ridge or high open sidewall. This in turn draws outside air in through sidewall openings.
The implications of favorable air flow extend across the operation – to the health, well-being, and safety of man and bovine alike. Proper airflow brings fresh air to and through the building. Odors and gasses are not trapped under the roof. Some producers say that helps reduce respiratory issues such as incidences of pneumonia. Free flow of air also helps keep things dryer. Dry floors are not as slippery for cattle or humans.
Matt Wendinger of New Ulm, Minnesota, said he sees air flow as an important part of feed efficiency and a contributor to overall health. While touring other producers’ Summit Livestock monoslopes during a very still day, Matt asked his fellow producer about air movement.
“The guy actually raised me up to the rafters. I thought he would be joking how much wind was moving on a calm day. There’s always something moving on the roofline. I was thoroughly impressed with that.” – Matt Wendinger
Airflow was also one of the main factors that brought Brad Mapes to Summit Livestock Facilities, as he looked for a way to keep cattle comfortable during the summer months. “It’s all about cattle comfort to me,” said Mapes. In his previous experience feeding cattle in a different system, he said their cattle went off feed in the heat of the summer months. In addition to favorable airflow, he says the building works to make the most of sunshine and shade.
“In the winter, cattle always have sun on their backs all the way to the back wall (of the building), and in the summer always have shade. It’s a beautiful set up.” – Brad Mapes
In the new Summit Livestock monoslope facility, Mapes says rate of gain has improved by more than 30 percent.
Do you have more questions that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact Summit Livestock Facilities at 800.213.0567 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our customer engagement team will help you determine the next steps of your project.