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Hello, last year we purchased our own small homestead that we plan to utilize to become self sustainable. The issue is that neither of us have extensive knowledge of planning out land. I have spent time on my relatives farms in Lithuania, but the environment and how you do things are very different from here in the states. We live in Colorado, in a plains area just at the foot of the mountains, so we can get pretty brutal winds. We are looking for any advice or suggestions anyone can give us, we have lots of things we'd love to do but we truly are relatively clueless as most things show square plans/ideas and our property doesn't quiet fit that!
Here are the additional things we'd like to incorporate:
1. Goat Barn- Roughly 5-6 for milk and possibly meat
2. Pig pen - For two hogs for meat
3. Horse Stall/Barn - To house two horses for personal use. (This is still a maybe and we are worried about space)
4. Food plots - We would like to be able to grow as much food as we can as opposed to buying it.
5. Fruit Trees - If possible we would like to plant a few fruit trees for produce in the future.

The property is 4.3 acres and we are now installing 10 ft spaced t-posts around the exterior of our property with two non barbed 12 gauge wire and three 17 gauge electric wire. We HAD chickens up until about two weeks ago when raccoons killed them. So we are updating all the fencing. We will also be placing an automated gate at the entrance of the property so that we can utilize as much space as we can.

Again, any help or advice is GREATLY appreciated! Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions.

THANK YOU!
-Alexandra and Aaron
 

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Well, you need a barn, does it need shelter from prevailing winds? Close to electric and water is easier, so somewhere close to the current cluster of buildings.

The right point of the triangle cries out to be the pasture and crops. Good ground is crops, poorer ground is pasture typically.

Garden around the greenhouse, if its good ground there? Or fruit trees.

The horses will want pasture, and kinda upset the sustainable part. You have enough room to be kinda sustainable or to have horses, gets pretty crowded for both.....

Paul
 

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I'd be inclined to skip the new road, and put the shop building close to what looks like your entrance road. Presuming the pic is oriented with N to the top, does your proposed greenhouse location get shaded out partway through the day? Do you make good use of a 3-car garage for vehicles? Retrofitting a structure is always a possibility, and can cost way less than new construction. That looks like a lot of trees to the south and close to the house, if you want to take advantage of the sun in winter.
 

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Put your barns either back of the machine shed that you are going to put up, or else out by your garage. You have to get to the animals in the winter time and if you get a lot of snow you want them at a reasonable distance. You also probably have electric at garage and will have it at machine shed, which makes it easier, and if you run a water line to the animals and they are located near the machine shed, you could have a bathroom installed there, as well, which would be nice if it's a business.

There is about 200' back of your proposed machine shed to the property line, and that's lots of room for a small goat and/or horse barn with a small goat pasture that the horses could share in the winter time. In the summer you could leave the horses in the pasture out front so they could have a bigger area for 9 months of the year. You'd have to water them with a garden hose, but that wouldn't be a problem.

Put your fruit trees and garden in back of the house (greenhouse to garage for garden, fruit trees the other direction from the greenhouse) and consider adding to the shelter belt there at your property line.

Don't think of your place as triangular and odd shaped, simply use that piece as rambler says as pasture or hay, and never mind it's odd shaped. Lots of odd shaped pastures and hay fields on farms. :)

Lastly, I'd take into consideration your neighbors as to where you put your hog barn. I know two animals would not be a problem for smell, but people unused to "country odors" probably would imagine it, if nothing else, if they know they are there.

Good luck! Seems like a nice place. I visited a college roommate's aunt out there who is very near you about 100 years ago. ;)
 

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Perhaps a hen house? Or a safer place for them to sleep?

Racoons are a real threat to poultry! I shut my poultry in at night in a shed. The racoons are strong and they have fingers so I FASTEN the door shut with a clip: I can sometimes tell that the racoons have tried to open the door but they have not succeeded. (A racoon cannot use a door knob but my shed closes with a metal bar that slides over and they CAN move that) Racoons also climb fences VERY well!

My husband laughed because he thought I was trying too hard to keep them safe, until one day he saw where they had tried to get in.

Using a shed means that they MUST be let out on hot summer mornings or the shed will get too hot, but at least the birds can sleep in peace!

So, I would add a hen house or a shed for your poultry. I have heard that pigs will eat chickens so they cannot share with the pigs: I do not know if they can share with goats!
 

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Hello, last year we purchased our own small homestead that we plan to utilize to become self sustainable. The issue is that neither of us have extensive knowledge of planning out land. I have spent time on my relatives farms in Lithuania, but the environment and how you do things are very different from here in the states. We live in Colorado, in a plains area just at the foot of the mountains, so we can get pretty brutal winds. We are looking for any advice or suggestions anyone can give us, we have lots of things we'd love to do but we truly are relatively clueless as most things show square plans/ideas and our property doesn't quiet fit that!
Here are the additional things we'd like to incorporate:
1. Goat Barn- Roughly 5-6 for milk and possibly meat
2. Pig pen - For two hogs for meat
3. Horse Stall/Barn - To house two horses for personal use. (This is still a maybe and we are worried about space)
4. Food plots - We would like to be able to grow as much food as we can as opposed to buying it.
5. Fruit Trees - If possible we would like to plant a few fruit trees for produce in the future.

The property is 4.3 acres and we are now installing 10 ft spaced t-posts around the exterior of our property with two non barbed 12 gauge wire and three 17 gauge electric wire. We HAD chickens up until about two weeks ago when raccoons killed them. So we are updating all the fencing. We will also be placing an automated gate at the entrance of the property so that we can utilize as much space as we can.

Again, any help or advice is GREATLY appreciated! Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions.

THANK YOU!
-Alexandra and Aaron
Capital improvements are not dependent on square property lines. Pastures and other animal containment such as fences do not need to be square. A horse will eat the grass without regard to the fence.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not being snarky, but regular fences are not going to stop racoons.
That is just the exterior fence that we are putting in, more so for the coyotes as they are extremely active in our area. Last year a small group actually attacked someone in our neighborhood. We will be putting up more livestock specific fencing after we plan everything and figure out placement of the barns and such :)
 

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Can you convert your garage into your business space? If not can you convert it into housing for your animals? Can you add the greenhouse to the south side of your house or garage? That will help with heating cost.
 

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I'd be inclined to skip the new road, and put the shop building close to what looks like your entrance road. Presuming the pic is oriented with N to the top, does your proposed greenhouse location get shaded out partway through the day? Do you make good use of a 3-car garage for vehicles? Retrofitting a structure is always a possibility, and can cost way less than new construction. That looks like a lot of trees to the south and close to the house, if you want to take advantage of the sun in winter.
We are playing with the idea of just retrofitting the three car garage into our machine shop. Personally I hate to use up all that open space and nice green grass. We run an engineering company out of our house and have large equipment such as a huge CNC mill, lathe, welding equipment, plasma table, bandsaw, and pick and place. We are trying to figure out how to redo that three car garage as it has no insulation, multiple holes (the backside was were the previous owners kept the horses but it is not stall like at all, the neighbors said they were not very good people) and the previous owners ripped a bunch of stuff out to spite us. (The home was foreclosed on) We'll have to keep venturing on that, cause we did just put on a very durable and ncie roof on there, we just need to figure out how to raise the roof! Thanks for that idea!

The location of the greenhouse will be moved closer to the back of the property so that it does not get shaded out. I just really sucked at the Onenote application I tried to use to put the info on the pictures, sorry!

Thanks for all your help and suggestions, we really appreciate it!
 

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Put your barns either back of the machine shed that you are going to put up, or else out by your garage. You have to get to the animals in the winter time and if you get a lot of snow you want them at a reasonable distance. You also probably have electric at garage and will have it at machine shed, which makes it easier, and if you run a water line to the animals and they are located near the machine shed, you could have a bathroom installed there, as well, which would be nice if it's a business.

There is about 200' back of your proposed machine shed to the property line, and that's lots of room for a small goat and/or horse barn with a small goat pasture that the horses could share in the winter time. In the summer you could leave the horses in the pasture out front so they could have a bigger area for 9 months of the year. You'd have to water them with a garden hose, but that wouldn't be a problem.

Put your fruit trees and garden in back of the house (greenhouse to garage for garden, fruit trees the other direction from the greenhouse) and consider adding to the shelter belt there at your property line.

Don't think of your place as triangular and odd shaped, simply use that piece as rambler says as pasture or hay, and never mind it's odd shaped. Lots of odd shaped pastures and hay fields on farms. :)

Lastly, I'd take into consideration your neighbors as to where you put your hog barn. I know two animals would not be a problem for smell, but people unused to "country odors" probably would imagine it, if nothing else, if they know they are there.

Good luck! Seems like a nice place. I visited a college roommate's aunt out there who is very near you about 100 years ago. ;)

You have been incredibly helpful and I really appreciate all your insight and advice! Luckily we live near all other farms and all at decent distances from us! I'll be keeping a copy of your recommendations on hand! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Perhaps a hen house? Or a safer place for them to sleep?

Racoons are a real threat to poultry! I shut my poultry in at night in a shed. The racoons are strong and they have fingers so I FASTEN the door shut with a clip: I can sometimes tell that the racoons have tried to open the door but they have not succeeded. (A racoon cannot use a door knob but my shed closes with a metal bar that slides over and they CAN move that) Racoons also climb fences VERY well!

My husband laughed because he thought I was trying too hard to keep them safe, until one day he saw where they had tried to get in.

Using a shed means that they MUST be let out on hot summer mornings or the shed will get too hot, but at least the birds can sleep in peace!

So, I would add a hen house or a shed for your poultry. I have heard that pigs will eat chickens so they cannot share with the pigs: I do not know if they can share with goats!
We had them in a hen house with an air compressed door that we had timed to open and close morning and evening. Those little sneaky bastards miraculously somehow pried open the door. We think there might have been a leak in our compression line as when we put it in, we were not even able to pry it open. (My fiancee is a mechanical engineer who creates things for a living, he has over 20 patents right now and he is only 26, so that was his design) We will definitely be rebuilding a much more safe and bigger hen house. The shed idea is new to me, but it does sound like a really good one. I will definitely keep the pigs away from the chickens, oddly enough my lab was best friends with our chickens and would always protect them, hopefully when we get some replacements, they can have the same relationship. Thanks so much for your advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Can you convert your garage into your business space? If not can you convert it into housing for your animals? Can you add the greenhouse to the south side of your house or garage? That will help with heating cost.
I think that I am now going to present that option, you all have convinced me and I really hated the idea of tearing up all the fertile ground and space. Plus it already has electricity and water running to it! Greenhouse on the south side is brilliant actually, never thought of that before! Thanks so much for your advice and knowledge, you've been a great help!
 

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Raccoons are generally nocturnal. We were able to free range our ducks and chickens, as long as they were behind electric netting at net. Fox will hunt in the afternoon, so if you have fox you should be able to let the chickens out in the morning and put them behind the electric around noon or 2:00 p.m. Chickens eat fleas and ticks as well as kill mice and small snakes.
 

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although horses are great fun they are hungry and if you are trying to homestead (be self sufficient) you don't have enough ground for them and your crops. you will be buying feed for you or them one or the other. here hay has gotten out of control the last few years. 120 lbs bales are going for 14 to 20 dollars. i have only one horse left i couldn't find the guts to turn loose and he eats 1 1/2 per week. so 20 to 30 bucks a week. the other posters here had such great ideas for you the only other thing i think you might benefit from is a line of trees to block the wind. it will not only help with sheltering your crops and animals but also will keep your fields from drying out. i don't know what your water situation is but trees will help regardless. also it will be some firewood on your place if you for some reason need to heat your house and cant get to the mountains. if you can make improvements on it and get some equity built up you would be better off selling it and getting more land 4 acres will put a dent in your feed bill but wont be able to live off it.
 
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