Shade is a must for pasture-based grazing systems. Shade helps to protect against heat stress in cattle. When temperatures are over 77 degrees Fahrenheit, cattle may begin to experience heat stress depending on a number of factors, such as relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, access to water, and diet. Although cattle typically prefer shade from trees rather than from constructed structures, these shade shelters are able to be moved and protect tree roots from becoming damaged.
Portable, low-cost shade structures can be built from 2.5 inch pipe and welded into a frame study enough to withstand cattle. Frames should have a skid-type bottom for easier transport. A portable shade structure should be no more than 10 x 20 feet to be practical. Shade cloth is typically used as the roof covering to allow air movement. You want to use a cloth that reduces light by 80%. Shade cloth is commonly available in black, though lighter colors reflect more heat. If secured tightly to the frame, shade cloth can last about five years before it needs to be replaced. You can also use solid roofing, such as corrugated metal, which is a cost-effective, low-maintenance option.
The cost to build a 10x20 structure is estimated around $1,100 - $1,200. This include the 10x20 sheet of pre-grommeted 70# occluded shade cloth.
Plans and dimensions for a shade structure can be found in the University of Kentucky publication below.
What is the cost to build a portable shade structure?
The cost to build a 10x20 structure is estimated around $1,100 - $1,200. This includes the 10x20 sheet of pre-grommeted 70# occluded shade cloth.
WHERE CAN I BUY THE SHADE CLOTH MATERIAL?
We purchased the shade cloth from FarmTek. They sell pre-cut, set size pieces with grommets as well as large rolls to grommet yourself and create custom sizes.
Was the metal structure made from rough stock steel tubing that you fabricated or from a purchased pre-cut type kit?
The metal came from stock square steel tubing that was cut, welded, and painted to fit the design.
will a shade structure blow over in the wind?
No, the wind does not blow the shade structures. The frame is made from 3 inch square tubing and are quite heavy. We use a lightweight zip tie to attach the shades to the frames so that if we get an extremely strong storm the zip ties will break instead of ripping out the gromets from the shade cloth. The most we have ever had come lose is just a few zip ties in the corner. We also take the shade cloth off before winter as the snow load will break and rip the shade cloth.
DOES EDEN SHALE FARM SELL A KIT OR MATERIALS TO BUILD A SHADE STRUCTURE?
No, Eden Shale Farm does not sell anything. We provide the designs and list of materials, but do not sell any materials or kits.