Introduction Dairyshelters

redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz
redpath nz

The basics:

Having a clear-roofed Standoffshelter for your herd to use for short or longer term housing is becoming an increasingly popular idea.  The justification for installing a Redpath Standoffshelter will vary from farm-to-farm.
Many farmers like the concept of an open plan, 'free-range' style housing system for their stock with soft floors for improved animal welfare and cow overall condition.

In wetter areas a Redpath clear-roofed shelter will provide a dry, warm and comfortable place to rest the cows whilst at the same time be protecting wet pasture from pugging/compaction and over-grazing damage. This inturn allows speedy pasture recovery and re-growth rates.
Some farms may use the Redpath shelter for several weeks at a time and these  “Wintering barn” shelters will feature a higher level of weather protection systems designed into them along with a reduced stocking density. A Redpath Wintering barn will also require a slightly different style of floor litter management.
Please read our flooring link guidelines for more information on this. Click Here    

In other regions such as the Northland, Waikato and the Lower North Island, there may be environmental benefits to farms that introduce a standoff area or cover existing feedpad areas.  A Redpath clear-roofed cover can vastly reduce the effects of uncontrolled run-off caused by rainfall and the clear roof cladding lets the sunshine in to speedily dry of a concrete or the deep-litter woodchip.
The clear high light trnsmitting roof has a large effect in reducing the incidence of disease/bacteria and mainatianing low amd acceptable mastitis levels.
A Redpath 100% effluent containment floor system may also be a worthwhile option for some farms. See here

There are benefits of using shelter in summer too.  Throughout the year the Redpath shelter used as the total feedout facility will give greater accuracy over the uptake of water, minerals and feed + reduce pasture over-grazing. Often Redpath will fit overhead shadescreens or our industry leading roof ventilation systems See Here  for superior summertime and year-round temporary housing.
Feed and supplement savings when sheltering cows is well proven and the warmth of a Redpath clear-roofed shelter allows cows to maximise their conversion of feed into production via reduced stress levels. Many farmers have commented that "what we feed them in the Redpath shelter - they put on their backs" 

Stocking rates
Stocking rates will vary in different regions and also for different uses.  Stocking rate is dependent on a number of factors and each individual farmer’s preferences.  Decisions on stocking rates will likely be dictated by the following 

  1. The type of flooring that you use
  2. The size of the cows that you are housing
  3. The age of the cows that you are housing
  4. Your proposed method of feeding out
  5. Your proposed effluent control / use preferences
  6. The amount of protection for the stock needed (site exposure)

Typically only a minimum of 4.5 m2 per cow is required for a feedpad only shelter that has a hard surface (concrete etc).  A Dairy NZ report suggests that this may increase to as much as 7 - 9 m2 per cow in circumstances where the shelter is to be used for long-term standing off or wintering periods which will typically always use a soft litter floor system. Redpath’s experience is that the “more space the better” for cow comfort, reduced stress and less pressure on any soft-litter flooring materials (if used)
A lower cow density also allows the floor to dry out quicker & maintain high levels exposure to sun & UV, which helps keep the floor dry and clean.

First use of shelter
Cows may take between a few days and up to one week to become used to the Redpath shelter.  It's good practice to provide plenty of feed and water to the cows when using the Redpath Standoffshelter for the first few visits.

Feeding out in the feedpad shelter
Feeding the cows can be done in various ways either inside or outside of the Redpath shelter.  Our experience has been that the shelters fitted with a side eave-hanger (a small extension that hangs out from the top of the side wall by approximately 1m) See Here acts as an excellent “feedcover” & stops the need for the farmer to enter the building for feeding out.  If the Redpath shelter features the popular option of a central service lane, then this will offer a 'year -round" 100% sheltered feed placement zone. See our buildings designs page for more information. Click here

Other methods of feeding include – a "self feeding technique"  where feed is stored near to the shelter, and cows walk out & feed at their leisure then they return to the shelter at leisure. 
Feeding inside the feedpad shelter is also an option, and may be more suitable for small herds / farms. 
Feed paths or troughs will often be raised up to 300mm above the floor line, to allow easy access for cows to pick up the feed.
Water troughs should be designed in a way that avoids too much of the water being splashed out and into the shelter area.  Wet and damp patches can occur in the shelter if this is allowed. Try to avoid feed getting into the water troughs / water supply.
Ideally the shelter floor should be kept as dry as possible – particularly if a compost floor or deep litter system is being used.

Some planning is required when taking cows from a grass only diet to a feed and supplement diet.  Talk with your dairy consultant to avoid dietary problems and issues that revolve around sudden changes to the cow’s diet. Also consider a higher percentage of dry matter intake for cows when wintered in the shelter. 
It is important that all cows have an equal opportunity to feed with Redpath offering a feed face calculation service when choosing the space needed. Make sure that the feed is clean and fresh. Its best to monitor the herd regularly when feeding and keep a watchful eye on cows that may be being bullied or not feeding normally. Water for the cows should be provided at all times. 

Building Maintenance
Redpath use a very heavy duty roofing membrane called “Durashelter” for its agricultural farm buildings range.  Durashelter is 25% thicker than standard long life farm building membranes and provides superior service life and storm resistance.
Usually no windbreak is required for the standoff / feedpad buildings however on sites exposed to wind – unless the site is located where there is likely be a benefit to the herd by protecting them from a low wind-chill factor.
The building covers are designed to remain in place in wind speeds exceeding 160kph – Redpath is unique in that we are so confident in our heavy-duty Durashelter 254 micron roofing membrane "that if the roofing were to fail through normal storm/wind loads within the first 5 years of its life , then we will repair or replace it for free"* Conditions do apply

In ideal conditions the Durashelter membrane will last more than 10 years 


Redpath shelter may be typically broken down into four main on-farm uses:

Temporary housing – Few hours only

Floor Type: Often constructed over an existing or new concrete pad, slotted type concrete floor, hard pan base, or litter floor, or Redpath shallow bunker floor system

1) Used for temporary protection whilst feeding out.
2) Provides basic shelter and warmth for drying the floor
3) Eliminate rainfall induced run- off from pad of effluent
4) Cow intensity 4-5m2 per cow.


Short/Med term housing - 1-3 day(s)

Floor Type: Soft litter, for comfort when housing for multiple days

1) Used for 1-3 day housing
2) Basic shelter + wind protection may be incorporated onto walls.
3) Allows all basic benefits of Feedpad shelter
4) Increased drainage requirements beneath litter compared to a feedpad shelter
5) Medium level of litter management & maintenance
6) Cow intensity 7 - 7.5m2 per cow


Longer term housing - Up to one week or more

Floor Type: Soft litter for comfort over long periods of housing.

1) Used for up to one weeks housing
2) Superior drainage system
3) Larger sized wood chip or similar free-draining material used for floor litter to speed drainage.
4) Higher level of litter management / maintenance, often on a daily basis. I.E stirring,aerating,cleaning etc
5) Additional weather protection systems/options likely to be fitted to the building (eaves, sides etc)
6) Building sits on raised pad, with perimeter drain system
7) Cow intensity 7.5 - 8.5m2 per cow


Longest term housing - Up to 8 weeks or more

Floor Type: Soft litter for comfort over very long periods of housing.

1) Used for multiple weeks of housing
2) Superior drainage system
3) Larger sized wood chip or similar free-draining material used for floor litter to speed drainage.
4) Higher level of litter management / maintenance, often on a daily basis. I.E stirring,aerating,cleaning etc
5) Additional weather protection systems/options likely to be fitted to the building (eaves, sides etc)
6) Building sits on raised pad, with perimeter drain system
7) Cow intensity 9 - 10.5m2 + per cow


Housing with full containment of effluent See here

Floor: Usually soft litter over Redpath Bunker system.

1) Used for up to short term or multiple weeks of housing
2) Superior control containment of drainage and included storage system
3) Large sized wood chip or similar free-draining material may be used in deep-bunker floor option.
4) Higher level of litter management / maintenance. I.E stirring,aerating,cleaning etc
5) Additional weather protection system is standard.  Side eaves etc, + building extends beyond end bunkers
6) Building sits on raised pad, subfloor containment and catchtank liner system (or optional concrete bunker)
7) Cow intensity per m2 varies dependant on planned use.


Company Overview:
Established in 1984 Redpath Pacific Ltd is owned by Glen Williams.
The company operates factories based in Palmerston North New Zealand and Bendigo Australia. The Australian business is co-owned by Glen Williams and Brian Clark. Both factories produce industry leading designs of 'clear-roofed" farm buildings for the Dairy industry . We manufacture more than 30 acres of these buildings annually and have manufactured more than 500 animal shelters throughout Australasia. Redpath have supplied roof systems to companies such as herdhomes and also to Guyco and Tunnelhousetech in New Zealand.  And n
ow it's possible to purchase Redpath Standoffshelters direct from us or via Farmlands / CRT stores nationwide.

Redpath is proud to offer New Zealand and Australian made buildings with uncompromised quality which are highly suited to the local conditions and farm use. Redpath guarantee what we sell and are the only company to offer a written warranty on our Durashelter clear roofing super long-life membrane.  
We design, develop + test our products to meet our customers needs and expectations. Plus - Redpath's after sales service is second to none!

Our dedicated team of 14 installation crews is based throughout Australasia gives Redpath the ability to provide our customers with a complete business solution from purchase to completion and for the service life of the building.

Enquire now