In a mild climate, cattle may need only a small three-sided shed, or a protected
fence corner with a roof and some boards or plywood on the sides for
windbreak. You can make a simple shed by setting a roof on tall, sturdy posts. A
freestanding shed with walls on three sides will better protect the animals from
Before you build a shed, figure out which way the wind usually blows in that
spot. Place the shed walls to offer the greatest protection from wind. Two sheets of exterior grade plywood placed on each side of a fence corner make a nice windbreak; add another sheet of plywood to make a roof.
If you live in a hot climate, a shed roof will provide shade, but you’ll also
need airflow to help keep the animals cool. The roof should be high rather than
low, and the shelter should have no walls, which would halt air movement.
The shed should be built on a high, dry spot with good drainage. The roof should slope so rain will run off. Make sure it slopes away from the main pen so the runoff doesn’t create mud in the pen or flow into the shed.
Add bedding for your animal to lie in. Straw, bark mulch, or wood chips
scattered into a bed in the corner of the shed will give them a dry place to sleep.
Make sure the bedding area is in a high, dry spot. The animal should always
have dry bedding. Moist, dirty bedding contains harmful bacteria and also
conducts warmth away from the animal’s body, causing it to become chilled and more susceptible to disease. Also, ammonia gases given off by bedding that is wet from urine and manure can irritate and weaken the animal’s lungs, especially a young calf’s, and allow bacteria to become established and lead to pneumonia.