Challenge – Keeping animals out of the elements
Solution – ClearSpan Beef Master™ System
Size – 50′ wide x 224′ long
Application – Livestock housing
Wichmann Farms is a family cattle farm located in South Amana, Iowa. Clint Wichmann runs the farm with his wife Elizabeth, and they also get a little help from their two children, Megan and Jacob.
With 125 cow-calf pairings, it was evident the farm needed a sturdy, covered space to keep their animals out of the elements. Wichmann decided to purchase a 50′ wide by 224′ long Beef Master™ Systems from ClearSpan.
They divided the structure in two sections: one for spring calving and one for fall calving. The front section of the structure contains the calves that need to be weaned, so that they can easily be moved out of the barn afterwards. The calving cows are kept in the back section of the barn, so that they’re separated throughout the entire course of the calving season.
Wichmann noticed an immediate transformation while weaning the calves. He explained, “It only took about 30 seconds to shut the gate. We creep feed the calves by hand, so they walk right in. Now that they’re weaned and in the other barn, they’re very calm. You can walk right through them, and we don’t have any problems.”
It’s the separation and privacy of the fabric barn that’s caused the livestock to stay extremely calm. “One of the biggest advantages is that they’re very quiet and they aren’t wild. It’s a great human to animal contact that we get from having this building,” Wichmann stated. Elizabeth Wichmann also added, “The pull-up doors are great, because when we’re working, the cows can’t see outside, so they stay in there where they’re supposed to be.”
On top of calm livestock, protection from the elements has been a key factor for the farm’s gains. “The major benefit is that the animals are out of the elements, and we’ve seen a better rate of gain because of it.” During the hot summers the building provides a cooler environment, which is also better for the animals. “I think it’s nice. It reflects the sun and keeps it fairly cool in here. I would say in the summer on the really hot days, it was probably 15 to 20 degrees cooler inside.”
An extra bonus in having the Beef Master is the 7 foot overhang over the bunks. Wichmann explained, “It keeps the feed dry. It allows you to fill the bunks, and if it rains that afternoon the feed will still be dry and the animals will still come up.”
The Beef Master™ Systems has been a successful addition for Wichmann Farms. Most importantly, the structure has helped increase gains, which is crucial to Wichmann’s business.
For more information on Wichmann Farms and their Beef Master™ building, call Clint Wichmann at 1.319.530.5052.