6. Cows will generally use the resting space provided more efficiently when they have multiple entry access points along the long side of the rectangular resting area. Concrete feed alleys should be 16 feet wide with access to the bedded pack located every 50 feet and at each end.
7. Because cows defecate and urinate more around feed and water, they should have access to waterers only on the alley side. Alley-only access minimizes excess moisture in the pack and keeps water cleaner. It also eliminates the need to alter waterer height as the pack depth changes.
8. Eave overhangs should be equal to 1/3 the height of the sidewall to minimize rain from reaching the pack and install roof gutters to reduce roof runoff from blowing into the pack.
9. Properly positioned fans help cool cows and dry bedding material. Most dairy producers have installed round or box fans or high volume low speed fans. Manufacturer recommendations for fan spacing should be consulted for fan placement. Fans should be placed to supplement and not fight natural airflow. When not enough fans are used, dead spots, with little airflow will result. Cows will not rest in these areas of the barn. Dead spots create conditions where cows bunch or congregate in certain areas of the barn. This scenario increases heat stress and impairs compost performance with excessively wet and dry areas.
10. The bedded pack is often surrounded on all sides by 2 to 4-foot walls, including a wall to separate the bedded pack from the feed alley. A concrete retaining wall provides separation between the feed alley and the pack area, which is helpful in managing pack moisture. Additionally, on the outside of the barn the retaining wall keeps bedding material within the barn. These walls may be cast-in-place concrete, moveable concrete panels, highway guardrail, or wooden panels.