The heat and moisture production and manure generation of cattle combine to make ventilation primary in design of beef housing, regardless of climatic conditions. Adequate ventilation in cold climates means removal of moisture generated by respiration and evaporated from urine and feces. Given the limited moisture-holding capacity of cold air, insulation of the structure is important to limit condensation.
The performance advantage for housing beef in cold climates results from blocking wind, precipitation, and accumulation of snow.[2,5-8] For very cold climates, warm housing may be economically feasible, but results have been mixed.
Regardless of climatic conditions or type of structure, effective separation of accumulated waste from the animal is the key to comfort and sanitation. Concerns over odor issues have heightened interest in housing beef animals as a tool for reducing and/or controlling odor and nitrogen volatilization. The value of this management practice is not fully known and requires additional research. Floor design, space, and diet formulation are critical elements of proper manure management.
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