Enhancing Accessibility and Optimal Cattle Handling: A Show Cattle Building

Introduction: This compelling case study delves into the story of a remarkable show cattle building that prioritised accessibility and effective cattle management. With a focus on accommodating Limousin, Simmental, and Belgian Blue/Charolais show cattle, including AI’d Blue calves, the construction aimed to create a space that would optimise handling, grooming, and training processes.

Challenges Faced: The project’s primary challenge was to design a building that would cater to the specific needs of show cattle, with a focus on accessibility and safety. The aim was to streamline daily tasks and improve the overall management of the animals, while also ensuring their well-being and comfort.

The Building’s Features: The six-bay building was meticulously designed to incorporate a range of features to address the challenges and requirements of the show cattle. It efficiently utilised the available space, with large double doors at both ends for easy access and feeding through the centre feed passage. The open side of the shed provided additional feeding space, facilitated by a 2-bar feed rail.

One side of the building featured a race extending its entire length, complete with a Teemore crush system composed of crush panels. The design incorporated access gates arranged in a chicane-like system, facilitating the efficient sorting of cattle passing through the race.

Improved Accessibility and Safety: Upon entering the building through the main double doors, the first noticeable feature was the custom-made barriers. These barriers included an Axial-style feeding barrier, a singular headlock, and a man escape, all designed to enhance accessibility and safety. The Axial-style barrier allowed ample room for horned cattle to comfortably feed, while the headlock provided versatility within the pen for medical and show procedures. The man escape ensured a safe exit and easy accessibility, crucial for the extended time spent caring for each animal.

Efficient Pen Design: Each pen on the right side was divided using a five-bar panel with a drinker back, incorporating Teemore’s heavy-duty stainless-steel drinkers and rump rail. The design included a gate at the back of each pen, leading to a creep area where calves could access a lie-back space next to the handling race. Notably, the water accessibility was optimised by adding nozzle drinkers specified for calf use, providing increased hydration opportunities.

On the left side of the building, the feed area was lined with Jourdain headlocks, ideal for whole herd management. Access gates were strategically placed between pens to allow easy movement if needed. A poured concrete wall and creep gate were installed to provide access to the final row of pens, which fed out the side of the shed and featured 2-bar feed rails. This design offered a safer solution for bull stock, reducing the risk of their heads becoming stuck in conventional diagonal barriers. Stainless drinkers were thoughtfully incorporated on both the 2-bar feed side and the headlocking feed side, ensuring adequate water access for the cattle.

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