What Could Affect The Design Of Livestock Shade Structures?

By: Elizabeth Horsfall

Posted on: 2018-11-15

Do you need proper livestock shade structures? Whether you are raising different kinds of animals like poultry, pigs or cattle providing them enough shade during hot weather conditions in summer season is essential. Why? Adequate shading given to livestock when needed will not only bring comfort, but, also promote their healthy wellbeing. So, if you are still drafting the design for your livestock shade structures, here are some of the factors to consider:

Open-wall shade structures options

Open-wall livestock shade structures come in four options; the pole type structure with a roof, pole type structure with cloth or snow fence, mobile shade structure and trees. The pole type structure with roof is considered a permanent solution of providing shade. This type of shade structure may require a sturdy structure like steel and a solid roof.

When building this type of shade structure make sure any farm equipment or vehicle can get through like skid-steer or farm tractor and allow any cleaning be done with ease. However, if you prefer the pole type structure with cloth or snow fence this is applicable for cables or pen that are parallel to each other.

Here, the poles should be at least 10 feet in height and the cloth must be around 8 feet in height. The cables and the cloth can be designed removable for quick access during scheduled cleaning. Mobile shade structures can be made from wood materials or metal frame on skids to allow animals to move freely.

The last open shade structure proves and tested to provide enough shading for farm animals and livestock are trees. If you are just starting with tree planting  avoid cherry trees, oak trees and ponderosa pine. Why? These trees may contain toxins that could endanger your livestock, specifically cattle.

Size of the livestock shade structures

Another factor that will have a huge impact on the design and layout of the livestock shade structures is the size. The standard requirement for shade structures is around 20 to 48 square feet per animal.

What does this imply? It simply means if you are considering putting a shade for a pen with 100 the recommended structure of the shade is around 2000-4800 square feet to provide enough shading. Determining the right size of the shade structure is crucial in keeping the animals comfortable and away from the scorching heat of the sun.

Location of the livestock shade structures

Yes, this is another key factor to consider when designing the livestock shade structures the location. Most shade structures are placed over the center of the southern part of the fence line (east to west) and not north to south on an eastern or western fence because the cattle will find have difficulty reaching the shade during half of the day.

The chosen location where the livestock shade structures must also be near water sources because during hot weather conditions farm animals’ body temperature rise up, making them sweat a lot. So, the water supply must be available to keep them hydrated.

What others things to consider for the construction of livestock shade structures?

The crucial element that should be considered when planning the design and layout of the construction of livestock shade structures decrease the heat stress felt by the animals. If you want to get a solid advice on the various types of livestock shade structures contact a representative at Polytex.