Big Ideas for a Small Farms: Deep Pack Barns for Your Herd

November 22, 2016

What are Deep Pack Barns?

Deep pack barns (DPB), also called compost bedding barns or pack barns, are designed to provide a comfortable shelter for cattle during inclement weather and are an interesting alternative to tie-stalling dairy herds. They are a covered structure with either a hard clay or concrete flooring. Though popular in Canada as a winter shelter, they are also used in other climates. They can be less expensive than free-stalling and more comfortable for the herd. Careful management of the pack is essential and some areas may have restrictions on DPBs.

Benefits of a Pack Barn

  • Cows have the freedom to choose their lying position.
  • Pack can be very comfortable.
  • Can be less expensive to maintain.
  • Positive effects on the health of the herd.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Pack Barn

  • Hygiene is essential to maintain herd health and prevent contamination.
  • Building size should reflect a minimum of 100 sq. ft./cow in resting areas. Don’t forget feed and water space, this is often overlooked.
  • Sawdust bedding is best and careful management is a must to keep the bed composting.
  • Ventilation should take advantage of wind direction for your location. Use fans to manage temperatures and keep the bed dry.
  • Provide multiple access points for the herd to the barn.

Example of a Pack Barn from Calhoun dealer, Lussier Barn Builders

Butterworks Farms in Westfield, Vermont recently set up a 60′ x 100′ pack barn using a Calhoun’s CC Series fabric structure. The natural lighting and quick installation of this building, along with the venting options and affordability, made this Calhoun fabric structure an easy choice.


Butterworks Farm

Interested in getting a quote on a fabric structure for your farm? Contact us at 1-800-265-3994 or get a quote.

For more information about pack barns, check out the following links: