Livestock - Indoor Accommodation Requirements


Space Requirements

  • Species dependent. Needs to be adequate for species.
    • Pigs
      • Weaners/rearing pigs - 0.15m² for each pig - weight less than 10kg
      • Dry sows/gilts - 1.64m² for each sow
      • Boars - 6m² minimum unobstructed floor space
    • Poultry
      • meat chickens - 1.5 square feet per bird
      • laying hens - 2-3 square feet per bird
    • Cattle
      • calves up to 90kg - 10 cubic metres per calf
      • young animal 90-150kg - 13 cubic metres per animal
      • larger animal 150kg+ - 15 cubic metres per animal
    • Sheep
      • lowland ewes - 1.2-1.4m² during pregnancy per animal
      • hill ewes - 1-1.2m² during pregnancy per animal
      • lambs up to 12 weeks old - 0.5-0.6m² floor space per lamb
  • Warmth
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  • Schedule 1, paragraph 3 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 requires that:
    • adequate lighting shall be available to enable them to be thoroughly inspected at any time
    • animals kept in a building shall not be in permanent darkness
    • where natural light is insufficient to meet physiological and theological needs then artificial lighting should be provided
    • animals kept in buildings should be given adequate rest from artificial lighting
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Insulation and Temperature

  • roofs may need insulation to keep indoor accommodation at an adequate temperature
  • the 'comfort zone' for farm animals is thought to be between 10°C and 20°C
    • heat exchange can be regulated solely by physical means such as constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the skin
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  • must make sure that air circulation, dust levels, temperature, relative humidity and gas concentration are kept at levels that do not harm the animals
  • all building should be designed to keep animals comfortable
    • prevent respiratory diseases
  • ventilation should work throughout the year for the type, number and size of stock housed
  • avoid draughts
  • shut gable end doors
  • side openings must be above stock level
  • surroundings are important
  • smoke testing
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  • chalk
  • bedding
  • slats
  • health problems
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  • machinery
  • inspection
  • treatment
  • feeding
  • water
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Health and Hygiene

  • cleaning
  • PPE
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Animal Welfare

  • codes of practice (DEFRA)
  • stress avoidance - the identification of abnormal and stereotypic behaviours
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  • beware overcrowding
  • no escape for animals low in 'pecking order'
  • absence of horns
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  • should not have sharp objects protruding from them
  • no tight corners where the stock may be trapped
  • safest construction is breeze block with reinforced concrete via steel rods
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  • Secure hinges
  • Should be of a steel construction – will ensure they do not give way under pressure
  • Be aware of rust as it is toxic to animals
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  • Not smooth concrete
  • Preferably with grooves or a rough finish for non-slip footing
  • Animals who do the ‘splits’ on concrete are likely to suffer dislocation of the pelvis (particularly if pregnant or early post-natal)
  • Most housing for cattle incorporates a bedding area and a concrete apron for feeding at a trough that can be scraped regularly
  • Sharp flints in concrete can cause many foot problems
  • Where slatted floors are used, particular attention should be paid to the type of slats
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Feed and Water

  • Equipment should be designed to avoid contamination and harmful effects of competition between individuals
  • Bars located at a sufficient distance apart for an ‘easy fit’ for the animal’s head
  • Water troughs preferably situated along a pen wall/division
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Stock Person

  • Provision of escape routes with entire male animals
    • e.g., boars and bulls
  • No person should be in a pen with bulls on their own or without assistance
  • Dairy bulls should not be run with cows
    • Allow for contact with cows
    • With their own pen
    • Beef breeds are more docile
  • ·  When cleaning bull pens, the bulls head should be yoked in a locking device before entry
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Legislation in Relation to Housing: Animal Welfare

  • Suitable accommodation
    • Adequate ventilation
  • Suitable diet
  • Suitable social groupings
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Legislation in Relation to Housing: Health and Saf

  • Employers owe the following duties to their employees:
    • Ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and others who might be affected by their business
    • Assess risks in the workplace, tell employees about risks and how they will protect them and provide training on how to tackle these risks
    • Ensure safety of employees in connection with the use, storage and transport of articles
    • Consult employees on health and safety issues
  • Everyone is responsible for health and safety
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Legislation in Relation to Housing: COSHH

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
  • Use disinfectant and cleaners in the right proportions in livestock housing
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Risk Assessment

  • Risk assessments should always be performed by an employer to identify risks and determine whether something needs to be done to reduce or remove risk
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