One farmer who came to us with a ventilation issue was Julian Bowers, a beef producer in north Shropshire.
His calf shed was open-sided so in theory, there is consistent airflow, but it was inconsistent in its delivery. In the summer, calves were too hot, therefore feed intake dropped, with growth rates following suit. Likewise, over the winter months, growth rates were stunted by cold, windy weather and an increase in pneumonia and other respiratory issues.
We identified that the best solution was to create an environment we can control. We decided to make the building enclosed and introduced a series of fans – some extracting air from the outside, some circulating the air throughout the shed, and others acting as exhaust fans to take the air back out of the shed.
This created a consistent airflow, and within six weeks Julian saw improvements in growth rates and reductions in respiratory issues. As a result, calves are now meeting their target growth rates. We’re now working to convert the old milking parlour in a similar way, to provide additional housing.