DPC 1, Planning Dairy Freestall Barns

Item #: DPC-001

Published: 2009

Pages: 58

The guideline provides general information that should be considered before beginning construction. It also gives detailed illustrations and information about all of the major functional components of the system and provides an index and checklist at the end. DPC 66, Planning a Dairy Complex "100+ Questions To Ask," is a beneficial prelude to this guideline. DPC 1 was developed cooperatively with the Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service.

This guideline is an up-to-date source of information for design and use of 21st century freestall dairy housing as part of a milk production system. It covers the performance requirements for designing, constructing and operating modern dairy freestall shelters or barns to provide basic cow comfort, health and care; production and protection of high quality milk, worker safety and productivity and environmental protection. Performance requirements are included for site selection and development; interior barn layouts; freestall (cubicle) design; construction and management; ventilation; and manure and liquid waste water handling. A competent agricultural engineer and agricultural builder in consolation with regulatory agencies are necessary to assure that these recommendations are properly executed in the final structure.

DISCLAIMER: The DPC is not responsible for the use or application of the information provided in this Guideline. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that the information addresses their needs and that any action taken complies with appropriate regulations and standards.

Table of Contents:
Section 1;   Introduction
     Scope of This Guideline
     Changing Trends
     Infectious Agent Control
     Components of a Dairy Freestall Housing System
Section 2;  Site Selection of a Dairy Freestall Housing System
     Regulatory Approvals
Section 3;   Barn Design and Interior Barn Layout
     Housing Modules
     Feed Space
     Water Space
     Walking Surfaces
     Grooved Concrete Floors
     Rubber Walking Surfaces
     Floor Coatings and Addition of Abrasives
     Unpaved Lots
     Pasture/Grass Exercise Areas
     Cow Travel Lanes
     Traffic Patterns
     Arrangements of Housing Modules
     Typical Dimensions of Freestall Barns
     Construction Materials
     Equipotential Plane
Section 4
     Freestall Design and Construction
     Bases & Bedding
     Brisket Tube and Neck Rail
     Management and Maintenance of Freestalls
Section 5   Ventilation
     Uninsulated or Lightly Insulated Naturally Ventilated Freestall Barns
     Insulated Naturally Ventilated Freestall Barns with Automatic Temperature Control
     Ventilation Curtains
     Hot Weather Considerations
Section 6;  Manure and Liquid Waste Handling
     Safety Considerations
     Collection and Handling
     Sand-Laden Manure
     Outside Exercise Yards
Section 7;  Summary
Appendix A
     Miscellaneous Space Requirements for Dairy Housing
Appendix B; References
Appendix C

All DPC guidelines go through an extensive peer review process. More information here.

DPC 1, Planning Dairy Freestall Barns

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Printed Guidelines only available by request by emailing the DPC.

Digital E-Guideline (PDF)