Mono-Slope Beef Barns

There is growing interest in feeding cattle in bedded confinement buildings for a multitude of reasons including (but not limited to): performance advantages, limited space for open lots, and keeping manure dry as well as preventing feedlot run-off and reducing environmental concerns. Oftentimes these confined cattle are housed in mono-slope barns.

What Is a Monoslope Beef Barn?

This video is excerpted from a webcast presentation by Shawn Shouse, Iowa State University



Mono-slope barns, by definition have only one slope to their roof and are usually naturally ventilated. They are typically positioned to take advantage of seasonal climatic conditions. This means in the northern hemisphere the higher side would be south-facing with the lower side to the north. This allows for shade in the summer and sun exposure in the winter.  In bedded units, the bedding absorbs moisture and provides a softer surface for cattle to walk and lay on.

Comparing Confinement Farms with Conventional Feedlots


Shawn Shouse of Iowa State University compares
confinement systems to open lots for beef cattle.


While there are many advantages to mono-slope beef barns, the question that has been raised is: “What is the quality of air in these barns?”. A recent, on-going research project takes on this question.

Recommended Reading


Inquiries about the mono-slope barns may be directed to:

Beth Doran, Iowa State University (phone: 712-737-4230)

Kris Kohl, Iowa State University (phone: 712-732-5056)

Erin Cortus, South Dakota State University (phone: 605-688-5141)

Mindy Spiehs, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (phone: 402-762-4271)

This page was developed as a part of the Monoslope Research project that was funded by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2010-85112-20510 awarded to South Dakota State University, USDA ARS U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Iowa State University, and University of Nebraska – Lincoln from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

project partner logos - South Dakota State University, USDA-ARS, Iowa State University, and University of Nebraska - Lincoln