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Ventilation – The Importance Of Site

19 January 2018

At a recent farm open day on ventilation one of the talks was held in a recently built mono-pitch shed completely open on one side where the cattle were fed, with a spaced roof and face boarding above the back wall.  For me personally I found it a pleasant environment although, standing at the back of the shed, I still got a whiff of ammonia, even though there were only half a dozen cattle in the building at the time of the meeting.

To get the next point we came out along the front of the building to the roadway to move on to another shed.  At that point the difference in “climate” was unbelievable.  There was a reasonably strong wind blowing up the road, making me feel quite cold.  The reason for this huge difference in air movement was the site of the mono-pitch shed.  It had been built in a convenient piece of land alongside the main silo.  This meant that at the time of the meeting the top of the silage pit was above the back of the shed roof so that when the wind hit the silage pit it was deflected up and completely over the shed.  Normally this would result in a vortex causing a swirl of air around the shed, but because the shed was extremely well ventilated ie had a huge area for air to move in and out, the air in the shed was stationary.

Conversely by the end of the winter, when the silo was empty and the risk of pneumonia minimal the ventilation of the shed would function normally with the wind hitting directly onto the back space boarding.

Basil Lowman, SAC Consulting Beef Specialist

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