BIG Farms BIG Sheds, BIG Issues, BIG results....BIG Cow House
Over the past few years a new development of large in-house farming is taking foothold in at this stage mainly Southland. TechniPharms Dutch born founder Harmen Heesen has been involved with several projects as consultant and advisor, helping to blend the best of KIWI with the right aspects and experience of Northern Hemisphere in house dairy farming.
With a background in European and North American in house Dairy farming methods and having contacts around the globe, aswell as having 7 years NZ Dairy "coal face" farming experience and owning and running a successful Animal Handling and Farm Automation equipment company in both NZ and Australia for now over 20 years, Additionally at home I was exposed to what is involved in project management and architecture through my dads work. So combine all these facets and "I find myself uniquely placed" to deliver a lot of know-how and "not thought of" design aspects and detail to these large specialised projects. "When you house 600 or 1000 cows there are many issues to consider. Particular animal welfare is a major, you put cows in a confined space, social dynamic and behaviour changes. If the design is not right, big problems can arise, ranging from cows developing arthritis in the joints, not being happy in the shed." Location is an other major issue to consider, where do we place this often large building in relation to other existing structures. Is there enough room for feed out wagons, silage pits and so on, Effluent is significant; slurry (not dirty water) produced at a rate of 20-50 cube per day or more is not something you wash away with a hose. Pumps normally sold for NZ effluent simply do not cut the mustard, or "crap" shall we say?
"When a farmer or builder engages me we spent quality time going over plans, concepts idea and cost benefits. At all times the focus is on animal welfare and overall farm production benefits. Getting to understand what drives a farmer and how to tailor the project is important, cow size, feeding philosophy, future breeding plans are all factors engineers or builders do not talk about, I do. The investment in a Cow house is to increase the bottom line, make working conditions superior to owners and staff, create better cow health and better production sustainability.
Contrary to some believes, a Cowhouse in New Zealand's pasture based conditions is a key to being environmentally sustainable, adding control to the previous "always outside" uncontrollable environment.
If you are embarking on a Cowhouse project "I guarantee you will significantly benefit from my engagement." either for a few days to go over plans or to coordinate the entire project.