DPC 110, Guidelines for Managing Compost Bedded-Pack Barns

Item #: DPC-110

Published: 2013

Pages: 19

This guideline is designed to provide general information about proper construction and management of compost bedded-pack dairy barns in the United States. The compost bedded pack barn consists of a large, open resting area, usually bedded with sawdust or dry, fine wood shavings that are composted in place, along with manure, when mechanically stirred on a regular basis. Facility design, ventilation, timely addition of fresh, dry bedding, frequent and deep stirring, and avoidance of overcrowding are the keys to a good working compost bedded-pack barn.

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:
Figure 1. Recommended layout for the compost bedded-pack barn.
Figure 2. Keys to maintaining well-managed compost bedded-pack barns
Figure 3. Compost Barn Layout for 100 cows
Figure 4. 4-foot side walls: cast-in-place concrete, highway guard rails, and wooden plank walls
Figure 5. Compost bed depth can create cow injury risk.: bed perimeter and alley way separation wall
Figure 6. Barrier options: a) steel cable, b) pipe, c) fence panel, d) wood planking, and e) highway guard rail
Figure 7. Sawdust from (A) sawn wood, (B) planed wood, (C) mixture.
Figure 8. Wood chips produced with sharp blade (left) and blunt hammer (right) (Alakangas, 2010)
Figure 9. Chopped straw (left) and straw run through hammer mill with 3/4" screen (right)
Figure 10. Examples of compost-bedded packs of various temperatures..
Figure 11. Examples of equipment used to stir compost bedded-pack barns.
Figure 12. Dry sawdust bedding use and costs on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. (Kammel, 2005)

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DPC 110, Guidelines for Managing Compost Bedded-Pack Barns

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