Redpath Dairyshelter Frequently asked questions:
What’s the difference between a Feedpad Shelter, Standoffshelter, Loafingbarn and a Winteringbarn?
A Redpath Dairyshelter can be used and will compliment any of these four uses – however the main difference between each of them is how long you are planning to keep the cows inside the shelter and also what density of cows per m2 you intend to run. Feedpad is for short term feeding only and may often have a concrete floor, cow density may be as little as 4 m2 per cow as they are basically coming into the shelter being fed and then leaving.
Standoffshelters are similar to a Feedpad shelter – but would be typically designed / planned to hold cows for short term (half day – full day). The flooring will often be a soft system (woodchip, post peelings etc) and the cow density might be between 6 – 6.5 m2 per cow.
Loafingbarns are for even longer term housing and will be of sufficient size to hold cows for as much as maybe 4-5 days at a time. The Loafingbarn will allow space of 7 – 8 m2 per cow and almost always have a soft floor system.
Winteringbarns will likely to be used for holding cows for months, and thus a soft floor is important and cow density is as much as 10 m2 per cow.
I have heard of ‘Compostbarns’ also what are they?
A Compostbarn is very similar to a Winteringbarn in respect to the cow density and its design – however a compostbarn as the name suggests has more involvement from the farmer in respect to keeping the deep litter flooring material ‘alive and composting’. This means regular stirring and sometimes adding ingredients to the litter to maintain the natural composting action.
Why use soft litter?
The soft litter system or ‘compostbarn” floor is becoming quite popular in main due to the fact that farmers want to hold cows off the paddocks for longer periods than a traditional hard surface feedpad. The soft litter floors allow the cows to ‘loaf” and rest / lay down in comfort and can allow the farmer to use the building as a standoff area or even a wintering barn. Cow density will vary depending on the final planned use of course. Hard concrete floors or slatted floors only offer a short period for standing cows and the long term effects on the cow’s hoofs, legs and joints need to be considered.
Where can I find a woodchip supply?
It seems that there are still plenty of sources of woodchip available and some farmers are using products like recycled ply and recycled pallet products, bark as well. Local sources are sawmills or forestry’s. Many farmers chip trees that they have on farm also.
Contact Redpath for a source if you get stuck – we can quote the building and include the initial woodchip supply as part of the price. Usually its around $15 - $20 m3 + GST + delivery.
Why use a clear roofing material like Durashelter?
The secret and strength of the Redpath Dairyshelter system is its clear roof! Redpath additionally use an ‘open portal’ truss design to allow even more of the sun’s natural energy into the building to help keep the flooring dry and keep the cows in a warm comfortable environment. Letting the sunshine and natural UV in, the floor is kept cleaner and more bacteria free than any comparable shed system. This feature is a very important factor in the success of the Redpath housing.
My site is really windy – will the clear Durashelter covering last?
Definitely, Redpath excel at building and installing high wind resistant structures with flexible cladding. Many of our building’s are located in the most extreme parts of the country (as those are the farms that need them the most!). Our customers are constantly amazed at the durability and life of our covering. In fact we are so confident in it that not only do we say that it gives at least a 10 year service life, but “if it fails within the first 5 years, we’ll replace it for free”*. *Some conditions do apply
How much does the covering cost?
Surprisingly the covering is less than 10% the value of the overall structure, so generally it is very cost effective to replace if required. Plus Redpaths designs utilise a ‘box section’ roof truss beam – which allows small sections of the roof paneling to be replaced in case of a failure (rather than replacing an entire length roof membrane)
What time of the year should I build?
Ideally spring / summer / autumn - although you should allow at least 90 days to obtain the permit etc. before the builders start, so planning well ahead is a good idea. Redpath take bookings throughout winter/spring for summertime and autumn build times on site.
Do I need a building permit?
Yes, normally you do. Redpath can apply for the building consent if requested.
Who applies for the building permit & what does it cost?
If Redpath are supplying a constructed price Redpath would usually apply for the building permit and submit the site plan for the building to your local council. There are some fees that the council will charge for the permit and possibly for resource consent also and these will be on-charged to you at cost price. Costs for permits do vary from council to council – however the building permit is typically not more than 3-4% of the value of the building. Allow 4-6 weeks to obtain an approved building permit.
Does my local council support this type of building?
In our experience local councils are very supportive of the Redpath shelter system. The shelter places you in control of the effluent on the intensively operated feedpad or standing area and eliminates uncontrolled washing of the effluent from rainfall into the wastewater systems / drains / creeks.
How long do they take to erect?
Not very long at all, a 200 cow dairyshelter might take 15 days overall on site, whilst a 400 cow unit might take 20-25 days. During winter the weather can play a part in delaying construction of course!
What extras do I need to allow for?
You will need to allow for some site preparation of the pad (scraping the site) ready for the building, some drainage + pipes, rock/clay base materials and the deep litter materials (woodchip) if a soft floor is to be used. There may be gates and possibly some other infrastructure such as races or concrete pads needed at access points for laying feed near to the building.
What size can the Redpath dairyshelter be constructed to?
A typical Redpath Dairyshelter length is anywhere between 30 and 120m in length, there is no real limit as such. The width could be just one single span of 6m, 7.5m, 9.2m or 10.65m. Or any of these spans may be inter-connected to make up a multi span design. Example: 9.2+9.2 = 18.4m, or 10.65m + 6m + 10.65m = 27.3m.
There is no real limit as to how large the structures can be built and we have regularly erected buildings in excess of 1 hectare. Roof ventilation would normally be introduced in the designs if the buildings are very large.
What type of ventilation or shading system do Redpath offer for using the shelter in summertime?
The “A” frame truss Redpath designs can have roof ventilation fitted for the full length and these offer excellent control of the Dairyshelters internal temperature and humidity. The roof ventilation is rack & pinion driven and can be operated either manually or be fully automated. Contact us for pricing.
It’s also very simple to fit a shade screen as part of the initial build or as an optional extra after construction. The cost is minimal, typically no more than $9 - $11 + GST m2 to install a simple manually pulled wire and cloth system. Fully automatic shade / thermal screens are also an option.
I have an existing concrete pad – can you cover that?
Yes definitely! This is becoming a popular option for farmers wanting to restrict the rainfall from falling on their existing feedpad. We can usually adjust our spans to fit between existing infrastructure troughs, gates and fences etc. The existing pad is unlikely to be suitable as a loafing barn though – as the hard concrete is not a very comfortable place for the cows to lie down and they can easily be injured.
Can I visit a building near to me?
Yes, it is quite likely that there will be a Redpath Dairyshelter near to your location as many have been built over the past few seasons throughout New Zealand and Australia - simply send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or Free Ph 1 800 024 680 for a referral.
How much overhead clearance is there in the buildings for tractor access?
Redpath’s unique “A” frame design truss that eliminates overhead clutter or any horizontal chords. It allows quite large machinery to be operated within the structure and also eliminates bird perching and nesting points. Our open plan roof truss allows you to tip litter off the trucks and enter the structure to pick up a downed cow etc. Another option is to install a ‘gable end gate’ option – and this allows even larger machinery to enter the building.
How do I best manage effluent run-off?
Some underfloor drains will likely be needed to handle any run-off that finds its way through the litter system. These drains would normally lead to a small 1000 -2000 litre holding tank which would have a pump to send any liquids through to your effluent pond. As the Redpath roof protects the floor from the vast majority of rainfall – there is very little run-off if any to deal with + the clear roofing is very effective at harnessing the suns energy and keeping the floor dry.
My site has peaty or soft soils – can you construct on this?
Yes, but often we will design a ‘site-specific’ footing design for the pole foundation and this may require more concrete and labour than a standard footing design.
Are there any milk supplier (Fonterra) regulations I need to consider?
There are some distance limitations to consider when locating your feed or dairyshelter to the milk shed, discuss these with your supplier or Redpath.
Will the effluent rust the Redpath dairyshelter posts?
Redpath pay special attention to protecting the poles of the structure that are exposed to effluent. We use heavy galvanizing combined with rubberised sleeves over the pole to avoid effluent contact and provide extra durability.
What other uses can the Redpath shelter be used for?
Often we see farmers using the Redpath Standoffshelter for calving, calf rearing, implement shedding, etc.
How do I feed-out in my shelter?
Typically you would feed out along the sidewalls, although it is becoming popular to supply the buildings with a central ‘service lane’ so that you can drive through the centre of the building and drop feed under cover and out of the rain. See pictures on this page for feeding out methods.
How do you handle storm-water runoff?
All Redpath shelters are fitted with gutters along all internal pole lines and external pole line. The rainwater is collected by a dedicated 100% non corrosive rain head and then you can connect to that with down pipes & drain flow pipe.
Is the building supplied with a warranty?
Yes - We offer a warranty for the framework and we design to a 25 year return period (like a normal farm shed), we also have a warranty for the roofing.
Free Phone 1 800 024 680 - for immediate answers on any farm specific questions you might have