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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHARACTERIZING AND MANAGING ANIMAL STRESS/WELL-BEING IN LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION Title: Climate conditions in bedded confinement buildings

Authors
item Mader, Terry - UNIV OF NEBRASKA
item Johnson, Leslie - UNIV OF NEBRASKA
item BROWN BRANDL, TAMI
item Gaughan, John - UNIV OF QUEENSLAND

Submitted to: Livestock Environment International Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 19, 2008
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation: Mader, T.L., Johnson, L.J., Brown Brandl, T.M., Gaughan, J.B. 2008. Climate conditions in bedded confinement buildings. In: Proceedings of the Eighth International Livestock Environment Symposium, 395-402. Iguassu Falls, Brazil.

Interpretive Summary: Confinement barns are utilized for beef cattle to allow more efficient collection of animal waste and to buffer animals against adverse climatic conditions in both the winter and the summer. Temperature, humidity, and air flow were recorded at several places within a 95 ft wide x 1045 ft long bedded the barn. The building has an East – West orientation. The south side (front) is 28 ft high and the north (back) side is 16 ft high with all but the bottom 3 ft being opened. There is a curtain on the back side that can be closed in the winter. In general, low air movement caused increased humidity in the building in both summer and winter. The use of the building did not lessen the temperature or humidity but did act as a shade to decrease the solar heat load. During the summer season, temperatures were generally greatest at the front of the building. However, in the winter, 2 to 4ºC greater temperatures were maintained throughout. Bedded barn facilities appear to be useful for protecting cattle against extremes under both summer and winter conditions.

Technical Abstract: Confinement buildings are utilized for finishing cattle to allow more efficient collection of animal waste and to buffer animals against adverse climatic conditions. Environmental data were obtained from a 29 m wide x 318 m long bedded confinement building with the long axis oriented east to west. The south side (front) is approximately 8.5 m high and the north (back) side is approximately 5.0 m high with 3.7 m being open (at the top). The opening is closed to within 1.0 meters of the top in the winter. In general, low wind speed and/or decreased air movement associated with the building tends to allow for greater relative humidity (RH) especially at the front of the building (South facing) in the summer and winter. The use of the buildings did not decrease the temperature humidity index (THI) but acted as a shade to decrease the solar heat load on the animal. During the summer season, temperatures were generally greatest at the front of the building. However, in the winter, 2 to 4ºC greater temperatures were maintained in the building when compared to outside conditions, by decreasing air flow through the building and from heat generated by the cattle. Bedded barn facilities appear to be useful for buffering cattle against the adverse effects of the environment under hot and cold conditions even though less airflow and greater RH can be found inside the barn when compared to outside conditions.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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