Building design helps Linn Willow Creek Dairy in Kansas improve cow comfort.

The 1,200-cow facility has oriented its barns east-to-west (at an 18-degree angle from true east) to take advantage of sun angles. During the winter, the sun shines into the barns most of the day, thus providing maximum warmth. During the summer, the sun is higher in the sky, so it does not shine into the barns nearly as much.

And, during the summer, the managers install sunshade over the feed line.

Another advantage: The high roof peak — 22 feet — along the south side of the buildings helps with ventilation.

Researchers at KansasStateUniversity suggest that producers orient their barns east-west rather than north-south to take advantage of sun angles. (For more, please see the article “Orient your free-stall barn east/west.”)

   

On this December morning, the temperature was barely 15 degrees F. So, it was good to have abundant sunshine in the free-stall barn.