HomeCattleRecommended zero grazing housing plan

Recommended zero grazing housing plan

The cubicle of a dairy cow shed has three distinct areas:

  • The resting and sleeping cubicle or compartment
  • The cattle walking or manure places
  • The cattle forage, feeding and watering place


The resting and sleeping cubicle or compartment

Each animal has its own compartment or sleeping place. Separation between compartments is done by wooden rails or posts.

The floor of the house can be constructed from ordinary soil from the farm. Soil is much more cheaper and comfortable to the animal than concrete or stones. The soil can be replaced if  dirty or worn out. The floor of the sleeping place is raised 25cm above the level of walking and manuring passage.

The recommended standard width is 4ft or 120cm and standard length of 7ft or 210cm. The cubicle should not be too long or too wide or the floor will get dirty and consequently also the animals. The cubicle is of the right size if the droppings fall on the walking and manuring and not on the floor of the resting and sleeping compartment. For heifers the length and width of the cow cubicle should be reduced by moving the neck control posts towards the manuring and walking passage and by fitting another side wall into the cubicle.

Provide a roof over the resting and sleeping compartment in order to provide shade and to prevent the area from getting wet and dirty.

The cattle walking or manure places

This should be constructed solidly with concrete because the area is used heavily by animals. Mix cement, sand and ballast in the ration of 1:2:3. The floor should slope towards the end of the building where manure is stored in a pit about 3-5m away from the stable.

The feeding and watering place

Construct troughs for feeding and drinking water on the opposite side of the sleeping and resting compartment along the walking manuring passage. 2.5-3ft or 90cm long feed troughs per cow can be constructed using woods, stonesor concrete.

Construct a water trough between the cow and young stock section. Use concrete or water drum.

Material requirements and estimated building cost

Item description Units Unit cost (Kshs) Amount Total
Cedar posts 18 ft long No 250 24 6000
3" x 3" timber running rails metres 35 60 2100
3" x 2" timber running rails metres 30 55 1650
2" x 2" timber running rails metres 25 50 1250
6" x 2 ½" half board metres 100 50 5000
off cuts pieces 150 40 6000
corrugate iron sheets 28G, 3m long No 800 25 20000
Lorry load hard core 7 tons No 3000 1 3000
Lorry load ballast 7 tons No 3000 1 3000
Cement bags 850 20 17000
Total       65000



Top view


Side elevation


Download the recommended zero grazing housing here




+2 # loise 2011-10-24 23:33
thanks for the tailor made ZG plan. it helps a lot
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judy tuda
+3 # judy tuda 2012-05-05 16:06
Am interested in dairy farming for business. Thanks for the plan. Maybe we can communicate more on the subject.
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Geoffrey Memia Waweru
-1 # Geoffrey Memia Waweru 2012-09-08 12:45
Thank you for the very resourceful information. The above information is typically what will conform with my setting. What area of land can the downloadable zero grazing plan occupy.
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0 # mike 2012-09-14 10:39
its a good site of learning Zero grazing.
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Francis M. Kimani
+3 # Francis M. Kimani 2012-09-19 13:02
The above information is quite good,however it is not complete.
A lot more is missing. Thanks.
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frederick owino ademba
-1 # frederick owino ademba 2012-11-16 11:24
send me full visible drrawing, i need to construct for three dairy cows
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+1 # Emmanuel1 2012-11-17 13:34
this has been very helpful.
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+1 # Max 2012-12-12 10:10
I love the info, however, the plan and section has faded in some areas. But I indeed thank you very much for this which will enable me start my project.
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0 # Dan 2012-12-19 22:13
Barikiwa saana
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mark mugambi
-2 # mark mugambi 2013-01-21 10:44
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0 # kim 2013-03-16 09:25
thanks for the plan,have managed to construct similar one.
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0 # admin 2013-06-23 21:38
That's very encouraging Kim
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-1 # karis 2013-02-01 12:08
that'nice bt can u please add more on this
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michael mwai
+4 # michael mwai 2013-02-04 17:05
Did you mean 18ft ceder posts or 8ft? Clarify please.
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Akoth Ouko
0 # Akoth Ouko 2013-02-05 19:09
Quite commendable information. Just to understand what did you mean by `per lactation'. Is it the productive period of the dairy?
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0 # admin 2013-02-05 21:25
Lactation period is the period a cow produces milk in a milking cycle. It is usually calculated at 305 days per year. A year has 365 days and when you remove the 60 days a cow is supposed to be dried off, you are left with 305 days.
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0 # cjmckenzie 2013-04-26 12:04
Are these prices for real? They seem very cheap.. 18 foot cedar for sh250? I must be reading it wrongly.
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0 # UWITONZE Louise 2013-04-26 21:41
thank you for your informations but i would like to send for me more detailed informations related to arrangement of cows in cattle house
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Douglas Kariuki Ihura
0 # Douglas Kariuki Ihura 2013-05-06 15:11
How should a structured beef beef cattle look like approximately 12 animals.
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+1 # admin 2013-06-23 21:41
Beef cattle is normally raised under extensive systems. It would be very expensive and probably uneconomical to construct a structure like this for beef animals.
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Gerald Ngatia
+1 # Gerald Ngatia 2013-05-16 20:42
Zero grazing is now the best and most effective way of increasing benefits for small scale farmer.
Thanks for your education.
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0 # toni 2013-06-19 11:43
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+1 # halffoxh 2013-08-07 17:54
good work. Zero grazing is a family based business with stable income. The estimate above are accurate thou few variances which one should suit his dairy farm. every farm is unique in its own way.
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Jamel Mambo
-1 # Jamel Mambo 2013-10-04 18:10
Thanx alot, this has been the most helpful website in my career. I hail from Nyeri county specificcally Maston village, Kabaru location(On the slopes of Mt Kenya) the place is very cold and I have been trying to plant lucerne but it wilts during cold season. Is there a special type i can plant or can I just spray dithane n Ridomil as we do with potatoes? wont the chemicals be poisonous to my animals?
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0 # grifo 2013-11-08 20:18
This is rich information. Thanks
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-1 # waigwa 2014-03-19 14:54
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syprian rabura
0 # syprian rabura 2014-03-25 19:02
Hi, where can i get these fodder seeds and at how much per kg? I'm in nairobi but i want to plant them in busia.
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kiptoo josphat
0 # kiptoo josphat 2014-07-07 15:57
Thanks alotfor the plan
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0 # BRO DENNO 2014-07-18 16:48
excellent zero grazing unit! let me try it @ home
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paul  macharia
0 # paul macharia 2014-07-30 11:07
Thanks a lot for the plan now which is the best breed of dairy cow can do well in kirinyaga county (Kerugoya)
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