Friday, September 6, 2013

Views from England
Earlier this week a friend from UK send me these pictures of a new dairy facility in the Yorkshire Dales. In case your geography of UK is a bit rusty, Yorkshire is one of the northern counties in England. The rolling topography resulting from the glaciers may seem familiar to Americans because the hill-valley scenes are similar to the those in many northern states in USA. This picture gives an overview of facility. Building are clear span steel construction - not much wood used in these buildings.
Next picture is of transition heifer housing. Note the walls made of evenly spaced boards - roughly an inch between them - locally referred to as Yorkshire boarding - supposed to be the answer to good ventilation - in my opinion ventilation in most buildings with this kind of siding is poor. Calves look in good body condition and small groups make observation easy.
The last picture is of preweaned calf housing. Again the Yorkshire boarding as siding. I would rather see something else than plywood as the material for pens because wood is nearly impossible to clean and tends to carry a lot of pathogens from calf-to-calf. 
Calves are well-bedded with expensive long wheat straw. Unusual in this case is the absence of racks on the side of the pens for feeding free-choice straw to the calves, a very common practice in England.High concrete wall in back is the end of their silage bunker.


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