Deep-litter flooring for superior lying time
Deep-litter flooring system - with clear roof:
The most popular choice for Redpath dairy housing is to combine the natural drying effect of a clear roof with a woodchip based floor system.
The deep litter floor is typically made up of medium to large sized wood chip. The Deep-litter material will last for a considerable time (typically three years) when kept beneath the Redpath clear roof system making this flooring option both economic and effective to consider. Please see the woodchip flooring type guidelines below.
The Deep-litter system provides a, clean and comfortable resting place for the cows to loaf and when kept dry below a clear UV transmitting roof it will offer substantially reduced incidents of disease/bacteria (mastitis) which is typically associated with outdoor litter systems or with barn designs that are dark, damp and cold that might use traditional tin or white coloured claddings
A stocking density of 7.5m³ - 9m³ per cow is recommended for the best year-round housing and litter conditions.
The deep litter is either scraped clean on a regular basis or it is stirred up and mixed to keep it friable, clean and dry.
The Redpath Deep-litter system is "hoof and cow friendly" with cows being able to be stood off for long periods of time with little effect on feet, limbs, and joints. The cows are very willing to rest on the soft Deep-litter whilst digesting their feed. Concrete strips laid along the outside edges of the Dairyshelter or along the sides of a central covered 'service lane" approximately 1.5m wide are usually used to drop the feed onto - a small upstand along the pole line prevents feed from being dragged into the litter and vice-versa. Drainage of the deep litter system is important, and it pays to follow the plan that Redpath supply for both the site-works and Deep-litter drains. Typically this involves creating a raised building pad into which a drain flow style piping is placed below the floor line/litter. Typically there will be a minimum of one drain but sometimes up to three drains lengthways per span may be used. Another alternative is to drain the building across its width to meet a 'common side drain”, we suggest you discuss the options that best suit your site and budget with Redpath before proceeding.
Variables that affect drainage might be the surrounding groundwater levels, stocking density and depth of the litter. A non-permeable membrane or clay may also be used below the round rock / gravel line on some installations so as to ensure that all effluent run off and its valuable nutrient content is caught and drained to the effluent pond.
Example of effluent nil leaching capability for Redpath Standoffshelter as calculated with help of DairyNZ:
Holding period: Worst case scenario = 24hr standing off
Depth of bedding = 500mm
Standing area per cow = 7.5m2
Quantity of cows = 400 for this example
400 cows x 65ltrs effluent each per day = 26,000 ltrs per day
7m2 floor area of bedding per cow = 2800m2
26,000lt/2800m2 = 9.28 ltrs of effluent per m2 (or 9.28mm deep per m2 per 24hr day)
Winter period June to September with shelter for 50% of the total 100 days = 50days x 9.28mm = 592mm potential effluent (worst case scenario)
Deduct: Evaporation of liquids allowed provided by Redpath's energy transmitting roof (includes some litter stirring to aid evaporation)
Deduct: Drying out of solids promoted by Redpath's energy transmitting roof (note , may include some litter stirring)
Deduct: Air-Movement provided by Redpaths ventilation system (roof vents / gable vents / side vents etc)
Deduct: Buffer/absorption factor provided by the soft floor chip at 500mm depth
Using these realistic figures of effluent input with conservative management (depth of litter, m2 per cow, standing off periods, evaporation and chip buffer absorption it appears that the Redpath soft floor system copes well in the North Island (we recommend 9-10m2 in cooler climates such as Southland)
See also Duraliner underfloor membrane click here
Contact Redpath for a typical drain layout option used in the deep litter system. Free Ph 0508 733 728