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Case Studies - Dairy Housing

The project listed here are a snapshot of what we have done over the years, projects are listed in year order, latest ones first, older ones last.

A snap shot of a project may give you a quick way to establish if any of our make farming ezy product solutions would work for you. We can also put you in contact with the farmer related to the project if you feel its beneficial to have a chat.


driver units visible at end of lanes (outside)
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Cowhouse Installation new scraper system 

Year Completed: 2020

Location:

Raglan 

Objective:

After the old system had done an estimated 300.000 Km of scraping over many years it was time to replace the old chain system with a more modren and easier to manage rope system 

Solution:

Rope scrapers managed per lane for best utilisation of use, when outer lanes not used the scrapers do not have to operate thus savig on wear and tear. ( multi lane loop systrems require the scrapers to run regardless of use) 


Scraper at workDrive unit shown
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Scraper reconditioning 

Year Completed: 2020

Location:

Studholme Canterbury 

Objective:

Recondition scrapers in 300 Cow Cowhouse. These scrapers done 10 years of hard work in a hybrid cowhouse without much mainteance, moving over 12000 Cube of sludge per year that is 120.000 Cube of sludge moved! that is a lot of #$%^&*

Solution:

Some parts news some parts reconditioned to get more life from good solid steel work which fundamentally is sound and to good to just row out.


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Cowhouse Wintering Barn

Year Completed: 2000

Location:

Otautau 

Objective:

1998-2000

Solution:

One of the first wintering barns in Southland. Initial discussions and design criteria were to create a cost effective model for NZ conditions and economic models. Supply of all sludge pumping systems.


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Calf Rearing And Calving All Indoors

Objective:

2009-2010

Solution:

This facility was designed to rear 1000 calves all indoors. With a collapsible gate system, the facility can be completely cleaned. Robotic feeding of milk and pellets for maximum growth of the replacement stock was seen as vital to grow the calves to top young stock and future cows.


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Conversion Herring Bone Shed

Objective:

2011-2012

Solution:

This project was mainly managed by the owners, with a level of assistance provided by Cowhouse Consulting regarding the location of the dairy layout (critical) and yard design, as well as some key points of advice regarding necessary considerations during the project.

On the subject of locating a dairy, Cowhouse and/or related infrastructure.. all projects I have been involved in, and where we spent considerable time exploring the ins and outs of locating infrastructure, the final outcome has been significantly better and more considered. Funds well spent.


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Cowhouse 600 Cows Otago

Objective:

2007-2008

Solution:

Hybrid development for 600 cow dairy herd. Wet areas in winter and spring determined that gains could be made by fully housing cows over winter, and part-time housing in spring and autumn. The development was a challenge due to low water tables and falls.

Effluent management was a critical part of the project.

An off farm owner farm management approach provided an additional challenge.


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Cowhouse Hybrid 740 Cows Southland

Objective:

2013

Solution:

The project is in the deep South, where key drivers are managing the environmental extremes and providing sustainable wintering options. This facility is designed to optimise animal well-being and feed utilisation. Commissioned May 2013.

In the first year of use the SCC dropped significantly in comparison to previous years. This is in line with what we find elsewhere in NZ in well designed and managed systems. Contrary to some overseas data, NZ cows under a pasture based wintering model are subject to prolonged wet and muddy conditions, and it is likely that this environment is far more damaging to cows than a dry, clean housed system will ever be. Low SCC data trends also suggest cows are not under stress and thus well adjusted to housed systems.


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Cowhouse Hybrid Central Otago

Objective:

2013

Solution:

Hybrid facility for wintering and extended season objectives.

This location required careful land management and feed utilization.

Feasibility to realisation advice and support was provided, as well as the source and supply of sludge management systems and animal grooming brushes.


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Cowhouse Outram

Objective:

Project 400-800 Cows 2015-2016

Solution:

An existing feed pad with limitations was to be converted to a housing facility. The design of the feed pad was done without consideration for future proofing the design, and as such may become obsolete.

A new master plan was developed for housing all 800 cows starting with a stage one project feed lane with scraper lanes and roof structure.


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Dairy House Taranaki

Objective:

Project 400 Cows Dairy House 2015-2016

Solution:

A project on a highly productive farm for a Hybrid model incorporating the Dairy House design.

This very clean and bird proof design is ideal for herds of up to 400-450 Cows. Great ventilation and light distribution.


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Ecobag Nutrient Capture

Objective:

Fde Storage And Management

Solution:

Conversion in Rangiora, large dairy with feed pad. 3 Pivots, limited space for dairy and surrounding infrastructure. 7000 open pond required under pond calculator. ECOBAG provided solution for 3500 Cube, include Greenwash and separation( GEA) System compliant on 1000 cube initial storage for recirculating greenwash, 2500 Cube for longer term wet period storage and re injection to Pivot Irrigation system. No smell , no crusting, no danger of people falling into an open pond, best of all no rainwater storage.


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Herringbone Shed Conversion

Objective:

2011-2012

Solution:

This project involved designing and planning the conversion of a sheep farm property to dairying.

Specific skills were exercised to confine all earthworks to clear specifications and a fixed price.

Extensive time was spent on shed positioning to ensure all aspects of weather, cow flow and people ergonomics were taken into account. Cow handling, exit yard design and related cow flow were also high on the agenda.


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Open To Air Freestall™

Objective:

New Design Open To Air Freestall

Solution:

This project is being developed in Canterbury and is designed to create an effective, efficient, environmentally sustainable, best animal well-being model of dairy housing.

This high producing facility will have Lely robotic milking equipment facilities.


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Project Cowhouse 1000 Cows

Objective:

2011-2012

Solution:

This freestall Cowhouse was built in the deep south to very high specifications, particular in relation to silage and sludge facilities/management. Cowhouse Consulting provided general advice and background information. TechniPharm Brouwers provided the Polysoft cow mats and all heavy duty side curtains. A great project which will last a long time.


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Project Cowhouse 1100 Cows

Objective:

2010-2011

Solution:

This project was an integration of 2 farms into one, with use of a Cowhouse hybrid facility for 1100 cows (Cowhouse for 750 cows). The cows rotate through the facility in 3 herds; high producing, winter milking and lower producing cows.

The facility was built complete with silage bunkers and a vege waste bunker.

A complex traffic management roundabout and interlinking tracks to and from the dairy required a good understanding, as well as and detailed planning of "how this would all work".

A 7500 cube effluent sludge storage facility ensure this property is self sustaining in nutrients and has sufficient storage for many months if the ground is wet.

In 2013/2014 cow numbers increased to 1400, with the herd using the facility in split herd capacity to maximise the investment. The capture of the nutrients drives fertiliser cost down and feed harvested has increased as a result of no winter purging. Nutrient is applied in applications of 2-3 mm when grass is in a growth phase.


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Project Cowhouse 1200 Cows 2014

Objective:

Sth Canterburry "revolving Herd"

Solution:

This project involves a 1200 cow herd which is milked every 16 hours in split herds. The Cowhouse will be used as a feeding area and for the containment for nutrients.

Spring and Autumn will provide the additional comfort and feed needed to peak cows and save pasture.

800 cows will be wintered, of which a portion will be winter milked.

The objective of the farm owner is to be "self contained" and not be dependent on wintering off-farm or having growth restrictions due to N llimitations.


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Project Cowhouse 350 Cows

Objective:

2009-2010

Solution:

This facility close to Milton is a "smaller" facility for 350 cows. The location is wet and cold, particularly in July and August. Cows were up to their udders in mud and simply not performing as they could have been. Since the facility was completed the owners have never looked back. Cows doing well, land and grass performing and the bank manager is happy.


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Project Cowhouse 380 Cows

Objective:

2010-2011

Solution:

Coastal land is in many areas subject to low lying water issues. Growing plenty of grass when the sun shines, but access can be shocking.

The owners of this property were ready to move off the farm and start again somewhere else. Instead, they invested in a very realistic hybrid development designed and built to a high standard for very well producing cows.

Today the farm is well on track for projected production targets which were detailed in a feasibility study ahead of the project development.

Managed by husband and wife and one staff member, there is no more work, but plenty more results. This facility was the first in the country to have a calving area designed within the Cowhouse.


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Project Cowhouse 600 Cows

Objective:

2007-2008

Solution:

This hybrid freestall Cowhouse was one of the first to be designed and built in Otago.

Wet and wild winters drove the owners to think about moving. A new lease of life was created and farm results and profits have gone up too.

Now cows are comfortable and happy, come winter or shine..and the owners and workers no longer battle mud.


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Project Cowhouse 600 Cows S Cant.

Objective:

2007-2008

Solution:

This project was the first Cowhouse on the other side of the Waitaki river for a winter milking property. TMR feeding was resulting in much paddock waste, and wet ground was very challenging in winter. Now fully hybrid integrated with a new dairy, this is a good example of 365 days a year use of all available resources.

In 2012/2013 this property will be milking 1200 cows in 2 herds which will spent 12 hours inside 12 hours outside rotation per herd.

Needles to say,this operation is very profitable and fully environmentally sustainable, and very little to no artificial fertilser is imported onto this farm.

2014 cow numbers have increased to 1400 with the property receiving a new resource consent, reflecting the best use nutrients collected and reduced leaching.


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Project Cowhouse 650 Cows

Objective:

2006-2007

Solution:

This facility was the first in Tapanui, and new standards of cow comfort were established. High BW cows can only perform if they are "well watered and well fed".

Through smart design and infrastructure decisions, and with excellent management this farm achieves one of the higher MS/cow in the country.

Now in its seventh year, the cow mats used in this system could be lifted up and cleaned to look like new. Cows continue to do well and the farm is a high performing, well maintained and managed farm.

It is a good example of an Otago high efficiency farm utilising feed and nutrients to the best standards.


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Project Cowhouse 900 Cows

Objective:

2011-2012

Solution:

Lake Ellesmere is surrounded by dairy farms and is coming to grips with potential environmental sustainable systems ensuring water quality.

The objective of this large 900 cow hybrid Cowhouse was to create a much more sustainable platform for land, grass and cows.

The water table can be very high here and cows can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. Restoring land and pasture takes time, and long term grass production was severely affected. Cows never really "took off" and a vicious circle of events ruled the farm and drove the owners to desperation.

Now fully integrated, this property is set to break new records on all fronts, particularly environmentally. A new 12 million litre capacity concrete pond was designed to allow full containment of a full year of both Cowhouse and dairy shed effluent. N leaching is now less than 10 kg/ha for up to 1500 cows.

Minister of Ag Hon. Nathan Guy visitd the Cowhouse in August 2014 ( source twitter).


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Project Cowhouse Hybrid Lower Massey Uni.

Objective:

Project Completion 2013

Solution:

Cowhouse for Massey University with the aim of providing NZ-based research outcomes and a working model for sustainability results. This has been a great project, and congratulations to Massey's team for the position taken as the first University farm in NZ to have a proper freestall Cowhouse .

Working with a university research team is nothing like working with farmers, that said the challenges encountered were refreshing, with many questions posed. This process underlined the fact that the amount of knowledge which still needs to find its way to the NZ farming community about housing cows is huge.

This will be a project to watch as over the next few years. Some interesting data will become available which will help many farmers understand housing cows better, and create confidence around the "new farming model".


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Project Gallery

Solution:

The below stated projects are a selection of projects either completed or under feasibility evaluation.

We respect that our clients' time is valuable, and they do not need to have their investment developments totally exposed to the general public.

If you wish to speak to clients we have completed projects for please ask us and we will facilitate a meeting or contact.

0800 80 90 98
hj@cowhouse.co.nz

Developments in progress and project completed:

Dairy conversions
Herringbone shed developments
Dairy Housing designs
Large concrete lined effluent pond and stirring system
Ecobag Nutrient Capture storage system
Conversion of slatted shelter facility to Dairy Housing
Robotic milking, fully housed facility
Hybrid Cowhouse development
Dairy conversion feasibilities
Robotic milking hybrid development
Dairy plant evaluation and assessment for warranty matters
Auto drafting project for dairy shed
Dairy handling and EID automation yard for large dairy development
Feasibility for Hybrid 900 cow winter milk project
Feasibility for low water table environmental sensitive area development
Investment consortium proposal for Hybrid farm development
Herringbone shed and extended feed areas development
Closed Loop feasibility for Lake water improvement through N reduction farm systems


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Project Rotary Dairy

Objective:

2009-2010

Solution:

This project was a complete design build from the ground up for an all year round facility. Every part of the project was considered and discussed with the farmer before the "go ahead" was given.
Working with the farmer to design the whole operation was a pleasure and challenge at the same time. Deadlines where tight as we moved from the old shed to the new shed in between milking. A very worthwhile project with a great result.


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Renovation Kaitangata

Objective:

2009-2010

Solution:

This project involved the conversion of an old sheep shed into a dairy housing facility for around 100 winter milking cows. The core of the project revolved around providing integrated, automated scrapers in 3 lanes at 90 degree angles to allow for all lanes to be kept clean.

An extended area was provided with Polysoft and a cow brush was also installed.

Interesting challenges with the outcome a practical, good long term solution.


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Renovation Kaitangata Cowhouse

Objective:

2009-2010

Solution:

A facility built in the late 70s to the then best EU standards, and well ahead of its time in NZ. It served the owner and its cows for over 40 years! Cows where still on straw in short stalls and there were narrow scraper lanes which needed manual cleaning.

A complete re-design using all existing space better, and installing no-maintenance polysoft bedding and automatic scrapers brought this facility up to date with minimal cost. There is no feeding inside as cows are only inside at night.


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Replacement Herringbone Shed

Objective:

2011-2012

Solution:

The owner of this farm wanted to create a new, low cost 40 aside herringbone shed on a more centrally located part of the farm. The location was selected carefully and was well considered.

Planning budgets and specifications had to be very tight and closely monitored to final outcomes. Over the duration of the project some variations where implemented. Yard design, including handling and fully automatic drafting facilities were a key driver in the final design.


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Two Years On Production Up 40% And Environmentally Sustainable

Objective:

Garrett Family Received Award

Solution:

Two years on from changing their farm system, in addition to many years of planting trees and scrubs the Garrett family received this award.

Caring for the environment and producing more milk can go hand in hand.

Congratulations to the Garrett family.


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Village Milk Cowhouse

Objective:

Smallest Cowhouse In Nz 2015- 2016

Solution:

Smallest Cowhouse in NZ, Oxford (SI) Village milk is a 20 cow dairy farm which produces raw milk and sells this trough a vending machine, its very popular! The cows are milked trough a 10 asside herringbone...(just one row each side and the whole herd is done, nice.. The cows live mostly in the paddock but Geoff and Sandra Roundtree have been uncomfortable with cows being outside in adverse and winter conditions, simply their clients did not like it either to see cows in mud... So now after some modification to an existing shed, we helped them getting this sorted, and now there is a small 20 Stall Cowhouse.... Great effort Geoff and Sandra.
Google them at Village Milk Oxford