Farm layout ideas

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ihedrick, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    Anyone have good ideas in regards to where to locate animals on your farm? Like having the chickens facing east; pig pens downwind or something like that? I currently have chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, goats, pigs, sheep, and a llama. I am about to start building permanent structures (read finally getting my barn!) for the animals and don't want to regret the location. Most of my property is flat, with access to wooded areas with a slope. Any ideas, suggestions, thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    without having the book onhand, though I'm sure if I make a mistake with names you can look in your local library for books by it's either Jim or Bill Mollison on permaculture. They go very in depth with situating everything to make the most of your area ,i.e. having your rabbits near an area you can raise worms in..keeping an herb garden near to your door for easy access to fresh herbs as you cook......
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you don't put the barn in a low spot that will collect water when it's wet out.

    Don't put the animals too close to your well, either.

    Pigs definitely downwind, LOL!

    Goats should have a southfacing three-sided shed or pen in the barn that's open to the south. You don't want to close them in tight unless the weather is REALLY nasty.

    Poultry should also be on the south side for the extra heat in winter, otherwise east-facing is good so the sun can warm them up in the mornings, but they have shade from afternoon heat.

    Rabbits need a location that stays cool in the summer; sunshine isn't necessary for their health, but good ventilation is. Some people do put the rabbit cages up in the poultry house, but make sure the chickens can't get up on top of the rabbit cages. They'll roost up there at night and make a big mess. Also try to keep the poultry bedding from getting too dusty, as dust isn't good for the rabbits. Or, put worm bins under the rabbit cages (not in the poultry house, or you won't have any worms left!).

    Sheep do just fine with a three-sided shed in their pasture (goats do, too, actually, but if you are milking it's convenient to have them in the barn close to where you milk).

    Llamas I know nothing about.

    Permaculture does have a lot of useful ideas. The animals that you have to visit most often (poultry to collect eggs, goats to milk) should be closest to the house. Those who only need checked on once a day could be farther away (sheep, llama).

    Kathleen

    Editted to add: The Permaculture book you are thinking of was written by Bill Mollison, but there are several others out now, too. They are all expensive, so see if you can find them at the library before buying one.
     
  4. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check out the old book, the Have More Plan. It's great!
     
  5. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Know your micro climate - most of our storms blow in from the south. If I had a shelter open to the south it would be soaking wet inside.
     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    In that case, make it deep, too deep for rain to blow all the way in it, and maybe partially close the south side. But it's good, in winter, to have the south side open for solar exposure. Second best, as I mentioned with the poultry, would be an eastern exposure. Here on the eastern edge of the Cascades, our fiercest winds come from the west, though once in a while we get a bad one from the south east, off the Klamath Basin. So my ideal layout for the goat shelter would be enclosed on the west, north, east, and the southeast corner. Only the west half of the south side would be open, as we never get rain out of the southwest.

    Kathleen
     
  7. Turkeyfether

    Turkeyfether Well-Known Member

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    keep your chickens,turkeys,etc.,by your horses. :angel: The day after they are seperated from your horses, the FOX WILL come. :Bawling: Guaranteed.I've seen it happen repeatedly.
     
  8. northstarpermie

    northstarpermie Well-Known Member

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    I have taken the Permaculture Design Course. I recommend you first read Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison. It's much cheaper than the big manual & you will understand it a whole lot better. Here's the ISBN 0-908228-08-2 If the library doesn't have one see if Amazon or Ebay has a used one. Your money is well spent on it for what your looking for. If you want to get deeper into Permaculture, I would then suggest you get the big book Permaculture A Designers' Manual ISBN 0-908228-01-5 David Holmgren also wrote a big manaul on Permaculture. It's informative as well, but I'm partial to Bill's book.

    If you do it correctly you won't smell your pigs & other animals at all, no matter how many you get. It teaches you to use everything so there is little waste if any at all. Most people who have animals know some of it already, but there were some things that I learned as well. For me the hardest part was not doing everything I wanted to do, all at once.

    Good luck with your project! It's always nice to build a barn the way you want it.