Case Study: Autumn calving and beyond

Apr 17, 2023

When dairy farmers Jared and Louette Breingan were on the lookout for a calving shelter in 2018 they approached Outpost Buildings because they wanted something that was as robust as it was versatile.

Based outside of Taupo with 550 cows on 240 hectares, they loved the fact that Outpost is a New Zealand family owned business and that the service was so personal. They had a specific need for their shelter and asked the team to make some adaptions to the large Upland paddock shelter.

The Upland End Opening Shelter is 2.5 metres in height and 3m wide and features corrugated iron roofing and an exterior treated plywood end wall. It usually runs at 5.8m long but the Breingans lengthened theirs to 7m.

“We appreciate the fact that Outpost was so flexible and adjusted it to our requirements because we did want a bigger shed. That was a major for us,” says Louette.

The couple’s philosophy is that they want to get calves into the paddock as soon as possible.

“It’s a lot more of a natural environment for them and we find that they thrive a lot more being able to roam around, be outdoors, keep fresh air around them and eat grass. So, by having a shelter out in the paddock, we can get calves out there as soon as possible and then move them around daily.”

Upland shelter

Portable Calf Shelters

Louette says the shed is easy to move with their four wheel drive, ute or tractor – whatever they have handy at the time.

“A big thing for us is the fact that it’s on skids and relocatable. If you have a shed on the same spot for a long period of time, bugs start developing so by moving it daily we’re keeping the ground fresh and avoiding bugs developing which is fantastic.”

Outpost is known for being built tough. The kitsets are strong, super durable and weather proof so Louette says she doesn’t ever have to worry about it blowing around in the wind or getting damaged. She also really loves the height of it.

“You can walk in there and handle the animals without bumping your head, which sounds minor but it’s actually a really big thing!”

Just as importantly as the couple loving the functionality and practicality of the shed for running their business is the fact that the animals love it.

“On horrible days, they literally all just go in there and they love it. And it’s not something that I ever have to chase them into which obviously means it’s quite comfortable and sheltered for them, she says.

“The design of the shed prevents the weather from driving in there while also allowing for good air flow and ventilation so it doesn’t get stinky either and again, helps prevent those bugs.”

When the couple are not calving, they have found multiple other uses for their shelter amongst their menagerie on the farm. It serves as a great storage area for equipment like standards and reels and parking bikes. They says it’s been really handy because normally there’s a whole heap of gear sitting around the cow shed so it keeps things nice and tidy.

Their four children also utilize the shed for their lambs in the spring and when it gets really hot over the summer they move it beside their chickens who love hanging out in it.

Another great convenience of the shed was displayed last year when they bought some bull calves and realised they were scouring when they arrived on farm.

“We could instantly isolate them away from all our other calves in our fantastic Outpost shed. Once again, I just shifted the shed daily to ensure the calves had nice fresh grass to rest on. The calves were pretty bad at the start but they all fully recovered and the bugs didn’t spread to our other calves.”

They also do a lot of planting on their farm and collect a lot of seeds. Due to the great ventilation in the shed it is a great place to hang seeds to dry. 

“Having additional benefits and uses for the shelter is key.”

Overall, Louette says their experience with Outpost was fantastic.

“The shed is definitely value for money. I can’t fault it – it’s made brilliantly and will last a lifetime.”

Bobby Calf Regulations NZ

From June this year, new regulations will be introduced around the management of non-replacement calves and the duration in which they are to be kept on the farm.

Outpost has a number of Relocatable Paddock Shelters including the newly designed Hunter Calf Shelter which is made with heavy duty treated timber framing.

With a front height of 2.3m and a back wall height of 1.9m it makes it easy to get inside and inspect the calves and the skid mounted base allows for easy relocation.

It features exterior treated 12mm plywood end walls and a Zincalume corrugated iron roofing and back wall and optional timber gates are available for the front.

To find out more about Outpost's livestock shelters click here.

Upland End Opening Shelter

Product code UR301
5.8M X 3M X 2.5M HIGH
Upland shelter

Relocatable kitset paddock shelter that is great for calves, alpacas or ponies. Built Tough - a seriously strong design made with high quality NZ 6x2 inch timber framing and Zincalume or Colorsteel roof cladding that comes with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee. Designed to be easily relocated, extra strong so it can be lifted onto a truck or dragged short distances for site positioning.

Outpost Buildings are supplied as a kitset that comes complete with all the hardware, fittings and fixings such as nails and screws that you will need for assembly as well as step-by-step instructions. 

The Upland shelter has some heavy parts and requires 2 people with basic building skills to assemble.

For more information on our Upland End Opening Shelter visit

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