Henderson Family Keeps Cattle Comfortable With New Barn

09-03-2015 in Cattle

When Bob and Patty Henderson wanted to update their older cattle facilities, they called the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers for help finding the best site for their new cattle barn and navigating the rules and regulations that apply to their farm. With the Coalition’s help, the family found a site just three miles from their home.

“We have three boys who might be interested in farming, so we wanted to create opportunities for them to return to the farm,” Bob said.

Bob and Patty have three children, Aaron, 21, Andy, 20, and Adam, 15.

The family said they visited several other farms with different style buildings to determine the best design for their new cattle facility. Eventually they decided to go with a monoslope cattle barn from Summit Livestock Facilities.

The barn is slatted and has a 12 foot pit underneath for manure storage. They plan to pump the pit twice a year. Rubber mats over the slats improve cattle comfort and reduce leg injuries.

“We like how the air flows all year and sunlight comes through in the winter,” Bob said. “We chose this type of facility to keep the cattle out of the mud and to increase performance. Every animal now performs consistently.”

Last week the Henderson family hosted an open house to showcase their new state-of-the art monoslope cattle barn near Albia. More than 275 people came out to tour the new 499-head cattle barn and learn more about the advantages of raising cattle under roof.

Construction of the barn began in spring 2014, and the first group of cattle were placed in the barn in August of that year. Cattle are started in an open lot and placed in the barn when they’re between 600 and 750 pounds. The barn is 86 feet wide by 226 feet long and has six pens that can be divided, and every pen has access to two waters.

They also added a five foot overhang on the south side of the barn to reduce the amount of rainwater blowing on the feed bunks. The north side includes a curtain to reduce the amount of snow and rain that could blow in. On the west end of the barn, an outside concrete pad serves as a drive for the feed truck, but is also fenced and provides another area to sort cattle. They’re also adding a load out and hospital pen.

CSIF is a non-profit organization that assists livestock farmers who want help interpreting rules and regulations, guidance on good site locations for barns, counsel on enhancing neighbor relations and tips on how to protect the environment at no cost. For more information, call 1-800-932-2436 or visit www.supportfarmers.com.

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock responsibly and successfully. It’s a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.

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