What are some resources for barn designs to house multiple species of livestock?

J.F.VermontAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with barn designs to house multiple species of livestock. Cattle require shelter from extreme heat and cold, but the shelter need not be extravagant. For cattle, the lower critical temperature at which an animal becomes stressed and requires increased feed for maintenance of body heat is around -4? F, and the upper threshold temperature 86? F. The factors that affect these thresholds include humidity, thermal radiation, and wind speed.In the summer, a shade such as a shade cloth erected over a frame allows for ventilation as well as shade from the hot sun. In the winter, the primary idea is to keep the animals dry and out of the wind. Cattle can handle very cold temperatures, but wind and wet reduce the animal’s ability to maintain body heat and thus can cause stress and illness. In cold climates, a 3 sided lean-to shelter is ideal for beef cattle. Place the entrance to the shed facing the south so the north wind is blocked during the winter, and ensure the shed is on high ground with adequate drainage to prevent mud and water accumulation. The same shed is a decent sun-shade in the summer.Sheep and goats require much the same in the way of shelter as cattle do. Sheep can handle cold just fine, as long as they have warm, dry bedding and are out of the wind. Resist the temptation to completely enclose animals during winter, as ventilation is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer, especially for the removal of moisture and ammonia. Goats need to be kept dry during the cold weather, so provide good shelter from wind, rain, and snow. Several housing alternatives include hoop houses made from PVC or rebar covered with a tarp, a three-sided lean-to shed (as mentioned above). The lean-to can be constructed with a sliding door to allow the summer winds to ventilate the shed, and allow closure during extreme cold winter months.The ATTRA publication Hooped Shelters for Hogs, available online at http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/hooped.html, describes design and construction of hoophouses. Many farmers have used these designs not only for pigs but for small ruminants as well. Barn Design and Plan SourcesBuilding and Facility Plans, Extension Ag & Biosystems Engineering North Dakota State University http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/plans/index.htmBuilding Plans, Louisiana State Universityhttp://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offices/departments/Biological_Ag_Engineering/Features/Extension/Building_Plans/Canada Plan Servicehttp://www.cps.gov.on.ca/english/planmenu.htmMidwest Plan Service, Iowa State University122 Davidson HallIowa State UniversityAmes, IA 50011515-294-4337http://www.mwps.org/A university-based publishing cooperative dedicated to publishing and disseminating research-based, peer-reviewed, practical, and affordable engineering publications. Publications for sale include plans for beef, dairy, horse, sheep, and swine barns. There are also several free plans on the website for download.The Agricultural Building and Equipment Plan List, The University of Tennesseehttp://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/extension/extpubs/planlist97.htmMcKenzie-Jakes, A. 2007. Getting started in the meat goat business: Establishing the meat goat facility, Bulletin I, Vol. IV. Florida A&M University.http://www.famu.edu/goats/UserFiles/File/Facilities.pdfHousing for a Small Scale Pig Unit, FAO Corporate Document Repositoryhttp://www.fao.org/docrep/s1250e/S1250E14.htmLivestock Handling SystemsBorg, Robert. 1993. Corrals for Handling Beef Cattle. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Agdex 420/723-1. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 91 p.http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex27?opendocumentCopies of this book may be purchased for $10.00 by calling 800-292-5697 (tollfree in Canada) or 780-427-0391.Boyles, Stephen, Jeff Fisher, and Gary Fike. Cattle Handling and Working Facilities. The Ohio State University.http://ohioline.osu.edu/b906/index.htmlGrandin, Temple. Livestock Behaviour, Design of Facilities and Humane Slaughter. http://www.grandin.com/The nation’s premier authority on livestock handling system design. Website includes plans, how-to advice, specifications, and research papers.O’Brien, Anita. 2002. Planning Your Sheep Handling Facility. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/sheep/facts/02-057.htmSquire-Wilson, Tim and Jim Browne. 2000. Yard Designs for Goats. Australian Cashmere Growers Association Ltd. http://acga.org.au/goatnotes/B008.php