The Wicklow Calf Company is one of Ireland’s largest calf farms, and in 2009 it erected a new shed capable of housing 300 calves.
As part of a recent open day held at the company’s headquarters in Co. Wicklow, farmers were given a chance to see the ins and outs of the shed design.
The Wicklow Calf Company has been operated by the Scallan family for the past 45 years and during peak periods it can hold between 1,500-1,600 calves.
The shed has an A-roof and stands at 190 foot long by 30 foot wide.
The building is divided in to two sections of 11 calf pens, while a care area and feeding area are also located under the one roof.
The external walls of the shed stand at approximately 6 feet high, allowing for a constant air flow throughout the design, while wind breakers are also used to reduce excessive draughts.
Video: Calf housing facilities at the Wicklow Calf Company
Since the shed was built in 2009, shelters have also been added to each individual pen allowing each calf to lie in underneath if the shed becomes to cold.
Due to the design of the shed, all of the pens in the building are easy to clean out and bed. This keeps the calves happy and healthy during their stay on the farm.
A drainage system is also centrally located in the shed to carry any excess seepage away from the calves bedding and out of the shed.
A milk replacer preparation area is also located in one of the corners of the shed, where milk is prepared to up to 300 calves on a daily basis.
The prepared milk is then transported through a series of pipes, allowing it to be easily distributed to each pen of calves in the shed.