2nd February 2022
Bayscreen vs Yorkshire boarding
The key things to consider when selecting a weatherproofing solution for livestock housing, are light transmission, the effectiveness as a windbreak, reduction of rain penetration, impact on ventilation and cost.
Here, we compare the two main options for weatherproofing livestock housing, Bayscreens and Yorkshire boarding.
Exposure to natural light can help livestock to express natural behaviours, improving welfare and boosting productivity. In poultry, having the right level of brightness in the shed in the morning can encourage the birds to feed straight away, while in dairy cows, optimising the levels of light and having a period of darkness can lead to a 6% to 10% increase in milk production. A bright environment with lots of natural light is also much more pleasant to work in for farm staff.
Bayscreens allow 23% light transmission into livestock housing. Yorkshire boarding only allows 1.5% transmission, creating a dark environment which requires more investment in alternative light sources such as LEDs.
Livestock need an effective windbreak to protect them against wind chill, especially during colder months or in poor weather. Even if the air temperature is mild, wind chill can result in livestock eating more to keep themselves warm, reducing feed conversion efficiency.
Bayscreens with the standard Galebreaker M75 mesh material offer an equivalent level of windbreak effectiveness to Yorkshire boarding. However the M90 High Performance mesh in Bayscreens can increase windbreak efficiency by more than 20%, which is useful for livestock which are more vulnerable, such as calves, lambs or pigs.
As with windproofing, youngstock of some species may benefit from enhanced protection from rain, as damp bedding creates an environment where diseases which impact youngstock, like coccidiosis, can thrive.
Bayscreens and Yorkshire boarding are comparable in this area as they both achieve a minor 2% rain penetration, keeping the housed environment protected from wet weather. Both outperform space boarding, which has exposed gaps between the panels, allowing a significant amount of rain to enter the shed.
A good flow of fresh air is required for all housed livestock. It can help prevent the spread of respiratory disease and creates a clean environment by allowing bedding to dry, leading to an improvement in comfort and overall performance.
Bayscreens offer 25% ventilation, compared with 13% offered by Yorkshire boarding.
Not only is a better level of airflow achieved with Bayscreens, but they also offer increased flexibility, which Yorkshire boarding can’t. When the weather is warm and humid, the clip-on mesh screens can easily be removed to further increase airflow through the housing when needed. This can avoid the requirement for more costly means of ventilation during hot weather, such as use of fans.
With imported wood and steel increasing in cost by 64% since last July (BEIS), now is the perfect time to review the products available for weatherproofing livestock housing. This is important for both new-builds and existing buildings in need of an updated solution.
Yorkshire boarding costs approximately £22/m2, while a Bayscreen costs £19/m2. This makes Bayscreens the most cost-effective option for farmers aiming to optimise light levels and ventilation, while providing good weatherproofing for livestock.
To find out more, speak to our team today.