Skip to content

Housing for the beef herd

Ventilation in beef sheds is vital to ensure clean airflow which maintains ambient humidity and reduces the viability of pathogens and risk of infection.  Any cattle showing signs of chronic illnesses should be isolated for investigation and treatment to prevent the spread to healthy cattle and youngstock.

Find out more on our Livestock pages.

Download the Farming For a Better Climate Practical Guide:
'Improving ventilation in the beef shed' Practical Guide

Bedding material should ensure that cattle and particularly calves are kept dry and warm.  There are a number of bedding options available including straw and woodfines.  Woodfines are not suitable for calving areas but can be a cost-effective alternative to straw for other groups of cattle.  Supplies from a processing plant fitted with an electromagnet will ensure that there are no nails, screws or fittings within the bedding that could cause injury.  Importantly, as the wood is a recycled material farmers may require a Paragraph 15 exemption from SEPA to allow the material to be spread to land.  If the wood is free from paint and coating, no exemption is required.

Dropping to your knees in a straw bedded pen will give an indication of whether or not the bedding is deep or dry enough.  If your knees get damp, the bedding is not effective and could increase health problems, particularly for young calves.


Sign up to the FAS newsletter

Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service