Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Planning winter housing facilities for sheep

The provision of new sheep housing facilities is eligible for grant aid under TAMS II – 60% aid for the young trained farmer and 40% for all other applicants. Damian Costello, Teagasc Sheep Specialist and Michael Conroy, Teagasc Advisor outline the key considerations when designing new sheep housing

(Photo above: Michael Conroy, Advisor and Shane Moore, BETTER Sheep farmer in Shane's new sheep shed. Photo courtesy of Mark Moore, Today's Farm)

The following are among the key considerations when designing new sheep housing:

  • Sufficient feed space so that all ewes comfortably eat concentrates at one time being fed by one person without entering sheep pens (see Table 1).


  • Adequate floor space depending on housing system – slatted or straw-bedded (see Table 2).

  • Number of pen divisions so that ewes can be grouped by scanned litter size and expected lambing date, based on raddle colour
  • Ventilation that will help keep fresh air in the shed and remove many airborne pathogens and other harmful bacteria.
  • Option of straw-bedded or  Option of straw-bedded or slatted accommodation.
  • Access to a suitable water supply in all pens.
  • Easy access to individual lambing pens (ideally under same roof).
  • Feed passages wide enough for machinery access and/or using for individual pens.
  • Removable penning for ease of cleaning out and option to use building for other purposes during the rest of year.
  • Suitable lighting and power sockets

Where all concentrate feeding is being done from the feed passage along front of pen, then relatively shallow pens of 2.5 to 3m will provide enough floor floor space. If pens are say 6m in width then walk-through troughs will be needed to optimise number of ewes that can be accommodated in pens, balancing floor space and feed space.

Read the full article on New housing BETTER for man and sheep here in Today's Farm.

If you liked this article read more articles from Teagasc magazine Today's Farm (March/April 2021) here