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Thread: Calf Facilities

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    116

    Default Calf Facilities

    Could we please discuss different calf raising facilities? Something in the 50-60 head range.

    Pictures would be great!

    Jake

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    North west Indiana
    Posts
    44

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    i have a 38x100 super moo-tel from farm tek. i am very happy with the building. i have 60 young calves on one half and then 60 weaned calves on the other half with the ability to go outside. we used to have individual calf stalls for the calves, now we have switched to the newzealand style calf feeding. we now have 3 groups of 20 calves. they all eat off of one barrel with 23 nipples on it. we have ran 200 calves thru this style setup and getting along great with it. has really cut down on labor and clean-up.

    chadh

    http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-conne...y/nzbarrel.htm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    499

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    I currently use home built calf which I got plans for out of Hoards years ago. Have been fairly happy with them up to this point. I can provide more details if you wish.

    But this winter has changed my mind. The next summer I have a little extra money, I'm putting in a calf barn. I'll have individual pens as I dont have enough calves at once to size them in groups. I've been looking at the Farm Tek buildings as well.

    But I really want something with some cement under it for cleaning, as well as rodent proofing. Also I always do calves in the morning- dark and in winter night feeding is not only dark but cold and dark in the snow. So I want something where there is lights as well as a little cover for the calf feeders---me or my mom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    58

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    I'd think twice about the cement. I raised calves in a converted crib/barn and the urine makes the pens wet all the time on cement. Had to bed continually. I'd look at rock or compost for the base. I use sand under the hutches right now. We used to have homemade ones but they were hard to disinfect so we switched to plastic hutches. Not so great in bad weather for the person feeding, I admit. I'd really love the greenhouse style in the winter especially.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    499

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    I have a base of steel mill slag stone about 24'' thick under my hutch area now, but it is a !@#$% to clean without using either a pitchfork or losing a lot of stone. I've been in a couple barns where the pens were 6-8" above the alleys and they didnt seem too bad on bedding.

    I used to have sand bases but the rodents had a field day in them. They dont seem to want anything to do with slag, which is why I put this in. Whether it is the residue in it or the sharper edges or what I cant say for sure, I just know that the move elsewhere if you put in a thick layer of it. I've got it around most of my buildings footings and the corn cribs for this reason as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    North west Indiana
    Posts
    44

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    my calf barn has a foot of number 2's and then about 4inches of limestone on top. each time i clean the barn i take about 2 inches of limestone out with the manure and replace. plus i get the use of the limestone for the crops. it takes about 30 ton of lime to put 2 inches in the building. we are covering all of our lighter sandy ground with the limestone manure mix.

    chadh

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    116

    Default

    I'm looking for something that is both operator/calf friendly. I would be custom raising calves in this facility so I will be spending a fair amount of time with the calves. A roof over my head is a must.

    I've narrowed it down to either a hoop barn or a 3 sided building open to the south w/ stalls in it. I've been in 1 hoop calf barn (very small), but only seen pics of the 3 sided buildings.

    Jake

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    pa.
    Posts
    4

    Default calf barn

    We put up a coverall building for our calves three years ago. I love it. I fed calves for 25 years outside and that was long enough. We put new pens in this last april from farmerboy ag in PA. The calves are on limestone stone size 2b and I put lanscaping paper on top each pen to keep manure and straw from going down in the stone. The building is 38x48 with 12x12 doors in each end. The end are a mesh to let air through. The building came from farmtek.We house 28 calves in it. A lot of our locals farms are building 3 sided buildings with gated fronts which looks nice but I am not sold on calves on concrete. I went through that before. Also we put a sewer drain pipe in the middle of each row under the calves and drained it out the one end. When there are calves in the pens it drips constantly letting moisture out all the time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    499

    Default



    This is a picture of my hutches showing the stone underneath

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    6

    Default Calf Barn

    We live in Manitoba, the coldest place in N-America to farm and finally gave up on hutches after having to many freeze to death. We built a 30x100 calf barn with individual pens 3.5x7 with sand underneath bedded with straw. It stays around freezing even when the weather gets to -45. We insulated to R50 in the ceiling and walls. We keep it full in the winter and clean out the pens often. The calves are removed at 2-3 months depending on the room. It has worked very well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    116

    Default

    Any pics? Is it a stick building or hoop style? How is it ventilated?

    Jake

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SC KY, transplant from Mitchagain
    Posts
    308

    Default More on calf barns......

    We are looking for a design that we can raise calves from weaning to yearling. We have researched the hoops and the 3 sided buildings, all of which feed silage. We feed grain, and small round bale grass hay. We visited a farm that had a feeder for rolls that they filled about once a week. It was built inside the barn. We like the idea, but are not sure how to provide the grain. We are leaning towards the 3 sided bedding pack so the calves are out in the sun some. It's kind of foggy in my head to put all this together. Any help or ideas? TIA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Lebanon, PA
    Posts
    713

    Default

    Check the various agricultural universities like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Penn State, Virginia Tech. They may have articles and even plans for you to check out.

    I would recommend a pen that you can easily clean out the slop where calves eat. This can be accomplished by using gates to separate pens which can swing to keep calves in the bedded pack while you clean up.

    To feed grain and hay easily they make bale racks with trays underneath. You fill the rack with hay and dump your feed in the tray.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Waynesboro, GA
    Posts
    139

    Default Need additional info...

    To truly help, I need a little more info. How much do you want to spend? That can run from relatively inexpensive (such as Milk Bar group feeders http://www.enasco.com/product/C26008N ) to expensive (but long term) computerized calf feeders (Delaval and Lely). Also, do you plan on raising them long term, expand, contract? That would help with deciding building needs. Don't want to just recomment without truly knowing what you need.

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