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If you’re a cattle farmer, your fortunes will largely be dictated by the health of your herd. But let’s face it – in rural Britain, it can be difficult to control the temperature in your own home, let alone your cow shed.

It may not always be at the front of your mind, but the ventilation system in your cattle shed is key to ensuring every cow stands the best chance of staying disease-free. When it comes to shed ventilation, there are a whole host of benefits on offer to both you and your herd – provided you invest in a system which is advanced enough to deliver.

So, let’s take a look at each of the benefits in more detail.

1. No more condensation
We all know that damp conditions and condensation are ripe for bacterial growth and respiratory infection, which is a particular risk for dairy and beef cattle over six months of age. This can be avoided by fitting adequate roof vents, ensuring hot, spent air can escape, before fresh air is brought in.

2. A draught-free calf shed
Keeping calves at their healthiest is dependent on the introduction of fresh air – but only in a very controlled manner. Too much can result in draughts, which raises the risk of secondary infection.

3. Keep temperatures even, whatever the weather
Opting for modern ventilation such as a tube ventilation system means air can be dispersed evenly to deliver a constant, but gentle supply of fresh air to the areas where calves need it most. This not only dilutes foul air, it also ensures even temperatures across your calf shed, no matter how hot or cold it might be outside.

4. The sensors do the hard work for you
Shed ventilation might be important for rearing calves, but I can sympathise if you’ve ever found yourself in a position where regulating it has felt like a delicate balancing act. Modern systems can be linked to temperature and humidity sensors which adjust the volume of air accordingly through specially designed plastic ducting, to ensure a uniform air exchange. Why do the hard work, when you don’t have to?

5. The air will stay fresh
Even with cows over six months old, the harsh reality is that leaving them to breathe in moisture laden, stale, dusty air means it will only be a matter of time before a form of respiratory infection takes hold. Making use of a well-sized, properly-installed agricultural ventilation system will reduce this risk significantly by ensuring the air stays fresh.

Why not take a look at how one experienced calf rearer dealt with a serious outbreak of pneumonia in the best possible way?