Slatts, am I mad!

Granite Farmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
I'm thinking about getting a quote for a 15ft by 75ft slatted shed. Just wondering if that is a good size for young stock.

One of the main reasons I'm considering slatts is that I'm concerned about future availability of bedding materials.

TIA

James
 

Granite Farmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
You could buy a big lump of arable land for yourself to secure the straw for the future and the land will likely appreciate were as shed will depreciate
Land more versatile than slatted shed just work out how many acres you need to secure the amount of straw you need 😉
If only it were that simple. I'm in the west of England on the edge of dartmoor. No access for artic lorries and the lanes are to narrow for modern combines. 🤷‍♂️
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'm thinking about getting a quote for a 15ft by 75ft slatted shed. Just wondering if that is a good size for young stock.

One of the main reasons I'm considering slatts is that I'm concerned about future availability of bedding materials.

TIA

James

Depends how many young stock (and age!) you're talking and shed layout... does the 15ft include the feed passage or are you going to feed them on an outside wall?
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Feed along and outside barrier. Looking at weaned suckler calves and bucket calves so they'll go in the shed at less than a year old.

Unless you're putting feed barriers on both sides of shed you will lack enough feed space for cattle capacity in a 15' X 15' pen, IMO (we have 11' X 20' pens on our slats - almost same floor space as you're planning but we have 5' more barrier space).

There should be enough space for every animal to be in feeding all at the same time
 

deere 6600

Member
Mixed Farmer
Unless you're putting feed barriers on both sides of shed you will lack enough feed space for cattle capacity in a 15' X 15' pen, IMO (we have 11' X 20' pens on our slats - almost same floor space as you're planning but we have 5' more barrier space).

There should be enough space for every animal to be in feeding all at the same time
Got to keep them tight on slats 10 ft would be wide enough feed down one side
 

BuskhillFarm

Member
Arable Farmer
I’m in N Ireland, people would look at you as if you had two heads if you built a bedded shed for anything other than calves, everything is slatted here.
A lot more value out of space and slurry. You’d need roughly twice the size of bedded shed for same headage so price to build tank and all works out similar per head.
No worry of beading, but in future I do wonder if people will be allowed to put them up as fym seems the “green” option. Stick one up whilst you can is my thoughts
 
As has been said, don’t make the pens as deep. I also think once you get above 13 ft slatts get a lot more expensive because more reinforcement is needed in them. You could make the shed 20 ft by 60ft. Have two 10 ft slatts back to back and feed down the outside on both sides.
 

Agrifreak

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mid Ulster
Like @BuskhillFarm said, We're all slatted over here in n Ireland. If you do go with a slatted tank, make sure you have a mixing point outside the shed, and get the cattle out before mixing without exception. Lots of people over here, young and old aren't around anymore, because - It wouldn't happen to them.

I seem to remember that a wider shorter tank is cheaper (and will be much easier mixed) than a longer narrower one. But to go with two rows of slats you'll need pillars and beams down the middle adding ££
 

sheepwise

Member
Location
SW Scotland
The depth of pen depends entirely on how you intend to feed the cattle. TMR or adlib then deeper pens are best but if you need space for all cattle to feed at once then I would go with a 12' foot slat which would allow 3' of your roof to help keep the feed dry. Make sure your feed barrier is on the the sheltered side away from prevailing wind and definitely put on comfort mats. Crack on and don't listen to the doom merchants on here because in 5 years time you will realise it was the best investment you ever made with content cattle, wintered at low cost with the added bonus of valuable slurry stored for spreading in spring.
 

shumungus

Member
Livestock Farmer
Get with the times people, McGuicken's revolutionised wintering cattle in the 1960's/70's with the invention of the cattle slat, slurry systems and Masstock housing. Millions of cattle standing on slats this side of the Irish Sea. I would suspect that as time moves on straw price and availability in GB will make slats more common place. And back to the 0P's original question, a number of factors to be considered.

The cheapest tank per m3 you can build is a square one.
8 foot deep is plenty of a lift for a tanker, don't go deeper than 10 foot.
To future proof include 300mm of freeboard in your calculations.
Feeding single side don't have your pens any deeper than 12 foot unless its going to be a completely ad-lib TMR.
Cattle have to be a certain stocking density to keep the slats clean, when right they will be clean.

Another option to consider will be storage time as in NI we have been an NVZ for over 10 years we understand how important that is as we can't spread from 15th Oct till 1st February and then only when the weather is right, again looking forward these restrictions will become more common place.

If it was mine I would be looking at a 50 foot x 38 foot tank (this would have 8 foot less wall needed than your 15x75 tank but provide more storage) with two 12 foot slats and a 14 foot floating passage down the middle.
Set a shed on it of 45 x 38 (3 bays). This would give you the same slat area as you originally proposed but in 6 No.12x15 foot pens, a completely covered feed area, 70% more slurry storage and 5 foot of tank outside the shed for mixing points and pipe entry.
 
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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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