The right choice for progressive dairy farm
Lea Manor Farm is part of the Grosvenor Farm Estate, located on the River Dee, near Chester.
The farm has recently been updated and now houses the Estate’s main dairy herd in a new high welfare livestock building. The high-performing herd averages 11,000 litres per cow, and comfort and welfare were key to the way the new building was designed.
Dave Craven is the Dairy and Resource Manager for Grosvenor Farms Limited, and he has spent the last three years planning the design of the new unit and managing the building work. The design of the building was heavily influenced by several visits that Dave made to the USA, where he researched the latest thinking in high-welfare cow housing.
The results are impressive, with the most noticeable design feature being the 22.5 degree roof pitch, as oppose to the more traditional 12.5 degree pitch usually seen on buildings. The steeper pitch improves airflow across the top of the building, drawing the stale air out, allowing it to be replaced with fresh air. The building has no roof lights, which helps to avoid heat spots, but light instead comes from the open sides and an open ridge along the roof. The result is a light, well-ventilated and airy shed, providing an excellent environment for the cows.
Around 80% of the building work was undertaken by the farm’s own builders, with the buildings themselves erected by local frame manufacturers, Minshall Construction. Adam Minshall worked closely with Dave to help ensure that as well as meeting the welfare requirements, the new site also blended in with the original parts of the farm and with the surrounding landscape.
Profile 6 fibre cement sheets were chosen for their high welfare properties, including their excellent noise and thermal insulation, reduced condensation and resistance to extreme weather conditions. The roofing sheets are in Laurel Green colour, which means they instantly blend with the surrounding area. A stepped roof also helps ensure the building isn’t intrusive on the local environment.
The new dairy unit has been operational since November 2014 and so far the team are delighted with its functionality and the cows seem extremely happy in their new environment.
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Dave Craven has spent the last three years planning the design of the new unit and managing the building work. The design of the building was heavily influenced by several visits that Dave made to the USA, where he researched the latest thinking in high-welfare cow housing.