Your cattle could be indoors for months on end, so it is very important that they have enough room. You wouldn’t like to be sitting cramped in the same spot for that long, after all.
Not only is this useful for animal welfare, but this is important for your pocket too. A bigger space doesn’t get dirty as quick, and it is easier to clean around when there are less cows to shoo.
Disease can run rampant in cramped, dirty conditions and this affects your bottom line when you have to fork out for vet visits and they cannot be as productive as they should.
The Irish Department of Agriculture and Teagasc issued recommended housing standards for Dairy and Suckler cattle.
In a cubicle house, there should be one space per cow.
When it comes to Slatted houses and cubicle houses it gets a little more complicated.
Slatted houses should allocate 4m² per cow. Loose houses should allocate a bit more at 5m² per cow.
The diagram below gives you an idea of how much that is.
Suckler cows have different needs to dairy cows, and so for that reason they require different housing standards.
The department of agriculture recommend a little less room for sucklers in a slatted house, at 2.5m²-3.5m² per cow.
However this changes whenever there is a calf. Be sure to adjust based on the age of the calf.
Loose houses, again require less room for sucklers than for dairy cows. A single animal requires 4m² of space, but that is increased to 5m² when there is a calf in the mix.