Dairy Housing Useful Information And Design

Cattles are adoptable of any type region but they require protection against rains, excessive heat cold in winter. such type weather Dairy Housing required.

The cattle’s are adoptable of any type of region in the world but they require protection against rains, excessive heat during summer, High cold during winter or protection against wild animals. For the Protection against such Inclement weather, a properly planned shelter or Dairy housing is required.

the change in excessive environment condition it directly affects the milk production. To take the better Milk Production from the Animals they should provide proper Housing. the arrangement of housing should be according to your region.

the Humidity, temperature, Housing orientation should be monitored, to provide comfort and get better production.

The Dairy Housing is the most important factor of Commercial Dairy Farming in the beginning. it is the one-time investment and it should be done under proper planning. there is no need to invest a large amount in the Dairy Housing in the beginning.

The second most important part is the Selection of Dairy Breed

Why Housing for cattle?

  • Most importantly it protects the cattle’s from inclement weather conditions.
  • A good housing Arrangement provides comfort to the animal.
  • It keeps the animal healthy and saves medical expenditure.
  • It improves Milk Production.
  • Provide protection against wild animals and theft.
  • Saves the feed from wastage.

Keep these things in mind before designing House for cattle’s

Site Selection

Before planning Dairy farm selection of site with the following aspects is important.

  • Space should be enough according to the number of animals you are planning for.
  • The availability of water and electricity is equally important and it should be available regularly 24 hours.
  • Connectivity with the road should be short. Easy transport facility which can minimize the cost of transport of milk.
  • There should be enough land for our own fresh green fodder production.
  • The drainage system should be well.

Orientation of Dairy Housing

  • The orientation of shelter should be according region to region. For the better air circulation and exposure of sunlight, the long axis of the house should be oriented in East-west direction in the coastal region and the long axis of the house should be oriented in North-south in the dry hot area.
  • House should be well ventilated for the cross-section of air. The bad gases like Methane, Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide made from dung and Ruminants in the house should be removed quickly from the house for the better health condition.


  • The floor may be either cement concrete or interlocking pavers. The floor must be easy to clean and non-slippery.
  • floor should be sectioned of calf pen, heifers pen, calves pen, Dry cows pen, and milking or lactating cows because it will be quite helpful for labor to give dry and concentrates fodder according to age.
  • The drainage system should well for clean and washing urine and dung of the cattle are in the house properly.
  • Give 2 to 3 percent slope to the floor for proper drainage.


The roof of the house may be made from Galvanized iron sheets, Aluminium sheet, asbestos sheets, tiles or thatched depends on the availability and durability.

Height of Shelter

Sufficient height of shelter decreases the heat load in the house and provides proper air circulation through ventilation. In the warm and humid region, the height of shelter should be 3 meters whereas in hot dry climate region the height of the shelter should be 4 to 5 meter.


Sidewalls along with the length of the shed should be 4 feet with remaining height kept open for fixing iron mesh for free air circulation. The walls across the width of the house on both sides need to be closed up to roof height.

Area requirement for the cattle’s

There should be enough covered living area and open walking area for the cattle’s. it should be according to age. The covered area or shed should be clean or hygiene so that cattle’s can sit and stay away from the disease.

Age Covered Area (m2) Open Area (m2)
Calves below 8 months 1 2
Calves above 8 Months 2 4
Heifers 4 8
Bull Calves 4 8
Lactating cow 12 25
Bull 12 120

Required space for Feeding trough & water trough

The length of feeder trough and water trough is important factor and it depends upon to age. The width of trough may be 100 to120 cm. it is important because all the animal fed on one time and don’t show anger or fight each other.

The water trough should be in an open area because the covered area should be clean and hygiene and without sticky.

Age Feeding trough
Length (cm)
Water trough
Length (cm)
Young Calf 40-50 10-15
Heifers or bull calves 60-75 45-60
Lactating Cow 60-75 60-75
Bull 60-75 60-75

Types of Housing system

Single row system: single row system are preferable for less than 20 animals. In which the area required is more is the animal is more.

Double Row system: If the animals are more than 20 than Double row system is quite efficient in which less area required comparison to single row. The double row system is of two types:

  • Tail to tail system
  • Head to Head system

Comparison between Tail to Tail & Head to Head system

Facts Tail to tail System Face to Face Sys
Observation of animal Easy Difficult
Cleaning Easy Difficult
Milking Easy Difficult
Feed Distribution Difficult Easy
Milking supervision Easy Difficult
Transmission of Disease Less More
Labor friendly More Less

Other Pen and Houses Required for Commercial Dairy Farming

Calf Pen (0-6 months)

This is the pen for New Born Calves. In this pen, calves are allowed up to their Weaning period. and extra care and proper feeding is provided. All the vaccination process is done under this house. This pen should be near the milking barn. This pen should be dry, Hygiene and well ventilated. The floor of the House should be concrete based or interlocking Pavers. Allow all the calves for 2 to 3 hours in open area for exercise and refreshment.

Calf Pen (6 to breeding)

The young calves after weaning are allowed in this pen up to their breeding age. Separate the male-female after 1 year because after 1 year they start mounting on each other. Allow 2 to 3 hours in open are for refreshment and exercise.


The bull should be kept in an individual pen. They need large space, the covered area should be 12 m2 and an open area should be 120 m2.

Milking Barn

In this barn, the lactating cows are milked in batches. It should be cleaned after milking. Stanchions in this barn allow the Cows one in one stanchion for milking. The number of stanchions depends on Herd strength. I batches of the herd should not be more than 4.

The width of every barn should be 1.2 meters and length 1.6 meter and central passage should be 1.3 meters wide.

Calving Pen

Allow the Pregnant animals 2 weeks before the expected date of calving. In which extra care should be done under supervision. this pen should be near to the supervisor shed. the area of one calving pen should be 16 m(4×4). The calving pen should be 10 % of total no of Cows in the farm.

Isolation Pen

The isolation pen is for the sick animals or infectious animal of the herd. It is the ward of cattle’s where extra care and treatment have given quickly. This pen should be away from the healthy cow herd’s pen.

Milk House

The milk transfer from milking barn stored in the Milkhouse. This house should be well maintained and it should be clean dry and hygiene. The coolers that can store milk for 24 hours at 4ºC are placed in this house. All the equipment related to milk handling are placed in this house.

Fodder storage House

All the fodder like concentrate and Dry Fodder stored in this Dairy housing. This house should near the Main cow’s herd pen. Which is easy to feed to cows for the labor. The of this House should be Large because All the Silage making and Hay making process done in this house.

The cutting of green fodder is also done in this house.

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