Shelter Requirements and Housing of Dairy Animals in Tropics

The aim of housing dairy animals is to provide a congenial environment for better growth, reproduction and production performance. In planning and designing of suitable housing accommodation for dairy cattle, consideration should be given to the comfort and health of the animals along with economic use of labour for various dairy farm operations like feeding, cleaning milking and maintenance of farm sanitation etc. For the better welfare of the animals following points are to be considered in planning and construction of dairy cattle housing.

There are some basic considerations before a plan for building housing unit for dairy animals is envisaged.

Selection of dairy farm site

In case of a new dairy farm is to be set up, the following points need consideration before the building is constructed for dairy animals.

Nearness to the market/residential areas:

The proposed unit should be near the market and easily accessible through road from a village or town as the case may be. The milk, unless it is cooled at shorter intervals is liable to be spoiled. It has to be seen that the unit should be constructed where there is ready market for the milk. The other alternative is that milk should be supplied to the collection centers where the chilling facilities are available.


The land at which animal building is proposed to be built should not have uneven on undulating topography. It has been observed that land which has low and high altitude normally have water logging problems not well drained area can cause the outbreak of water borne diseases. A relatively level area requires less site preparation expenses, thus lowering the building construction costs.

Drainage during rainy season

The land should be porous and the slope gentle so that rain water as well as the urine is drained off towards the fields and the building remain dry.

Size and slope of the area

The area selected should have adequate size depending on the number of animals proposed to be kept. The farm should be on one side of the road and away from the Railway track so as to avoid noise. The slope should be gentle so that urine is drained off.

Sun exposure and wind protection

The farm building should be located at a site having maximum sun exposure forwards North and minimum in the South for protection of animals from the prevailing winds. The protection from the winds can be attained by planting popular trees on the boundaries of the building. A farm building site with many trees around it is ideal as the trees act as a wind breaker and also provides natural shade to the animals.

Labour availability

There must be sufficient labour availability near the farm. The farm structure should be such so that the labour employed is not wasted. The unit should be compact and all activities of the dairy unit should centered at one place. For example, if the feed store of day and green fodder is located far away from the unit than it is wastage of time to bring dry fodder and concentrate.