At Claredale Farms, we are committed to the comfort, health, and wellness of our animals. Our cows are housed in naturally ventilated 4 aisle free stall barns in a “head-to-head” configuration. This barn configuration allows us to provide the most comfortable living environment possible for our cows. The term “free stall” actually means “bed”, and each free stall is a bed where the cows relax. These beds are laid out in 4 parallel rows (2 on each side of the feed alley) with the cows facing each other.
We use natural sand bedding for our cows which is considered the “gold standard in dairy cattle bedding.” Just like you can move the sand on a beach to be comfortable, the cows shuffle the sand in their bed around to provide them with comfort and support. Some of the sand is naturally kicked into the walkways where it serves a second purpose of providing traction for the cows.
Our barns are naturally ventilated to help keep the cows comfortable. Each barn has curtain sides that provide a wind break in colder weather but can be rolled up to increase airflow when it is hot. In addition to the natural ventilation, large fans move enormous amounts of air through the barns to cool the cows. During periods of extreme temperature and humidity, soakers are used for further cooling.