How much space does a cow need in a shed that allows them to go in and out?

The Midwest Planning Service has an excellent publication titled “Beef Housing and Equipment Handbook” that has diagrams of working facilities, barn design, and space requirements for livestock in many different scenarios. Barn space for a cow that weighs 1,000 to 1,300 lb is 20 to 30 square feet, and the cattle have access to a lot. If the cattle do not have access to a lot that is adjacent to the barn, then the space requirement is 35 to 50 square feet per cow.