Pole Barn and fencing

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by holsteintater, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. holsteintater

    holsteintater Well-Known Member

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    CA
    The property I want to buy has a pole barn with electric and water. The size is 29x36. First, I want to know if this would be possible! I want to build a long fence around it so the animals can semi-free range. I want to house two goats and several chickens together in the barn. Is that doable? Can they coexist? Would it take much work/money to make the pole barn into an animal barn?

    Second, how much would it cost to fence an acre so goats/chickens cannot escape?

    This property seems to meet our needs the best, but I'm not sure how much it will cost to make it appropriate for the animals.
     
  2. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    Tennessee
    Goats range free and chickens roost in trees. Anything beyond that is housing. If the barn will keep off the rain and block the wind, they will be okay and they'll do fine housed together. You'll have issues like keeping the goats out of the chicken feed, but that's very manageable.

    How much work it will take depends on you. Both species have predators. Are you going to raise young ones? They need more protection both from the weather and from varmits than the adults. Will you have laying hens? They'll lay lots of places. If you want the eggs, though, you'll probably want nesting boxes. You call it a pole barn. Is it solid construction or are there spaces in the walls? It requires a lot more details to give you help on that, and there are lots of people on the various forums that can give you more help than I can.

    How much will it take to fence an acre so goats/chickens cannot escape? About a million dollars. Well, not quite, but it will require some good wire, that doesn't come cheap, and a lot of work. Goats are escape artists and they apparently devote a great deal of their waking hours to perfecting new techniques.

    Summary: Yes it is doable, and you're starting off with a barn, which many of us didn't. Start making plans and asking specific questions here; the members of HT know an awful lot of stuff. :nerd:

    Ray
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds doable. About $150 would be a start of a fence for the goats. Add $125 for electric setup to keep them in. :) Ckickens, I'd set up a chicken tractor or some such to let them graze on their own? Making a fence to hold chickens is not an easy thing - they can fly.

    Describe the building. What is the floor?

    What is the bottom part of the walls, right by the floor?

    For livestock concrete floor & a couple feet of concrete going up is best.

    Dirt floor & couple feet of wood going up the wall works.

    Just sheet tin on the bottom edge, & the goats will like to damage it, their manure will rust it, you likely need to line the area you keep the goats with wood anyhow. Chickens, you would want to set up a pen area that weasels (and many other critters) can't get into.

    But, sounds like you have a great start there. You would have room left for feed storage & the like, divy the shed into a pen for goats, an enclosed pen for chickens.

    --->Paul
     
  4. holsteintater

    holsteintater Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I haven't seen the barn in person because we are moving across the country as soon as this house here sells.

    I don't understand this whole chicken tractor thing. I've seen them but I don't understand how they'll just stay on your property! From my understanding, it was like a moveable playpen and the chickens run around in and outside of it. I'll need to look closer into that.
     
  5. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Chickens can't fly if you clip one (1) of there wings. My friends dad did that and none of his chickens escaped. When they tried to fly, the just went around in circles. Unless there are reasons not to, i would build a chicken house in the barn, accessible from the outside for the chickens that would contain their nest boxes and a place to roost at night, and let them free range during the day. You don't say what part of the country you are moving too, that would help some.
     
  6. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    Florida
    Our barn is just as you are talking about. Keep in mind we live in florida so walls to keep them warm is not as important as open to keep them cool. We had built last year a 40 X 21 Metal roof building with only the long back wall. Leaving 3 sides open. Against the back wall the length of the building We built two 12 X 12 stalls in the center and two 8X12 stalls, one on each side of the 12 X 12's . That was fine until the goats had so many children, Then we built an addition to one of the 8X12 that included half of the "hall way" . We call it the tinker toy barn becasue we change the configuration pretty regularly. It seems that each week I come in and say to my husband " I have an idea" or " This is the final solution, really " . The beauty of it is that as our needs change or we discover something isn't working as well as we hoped we can change it easily and inexpensively. This little barn comfortably houses a horse, mule, donkey, 7 goats, two chickens and alot of the geese who sleep in the hall way at night. WE also built a 10 X 10 roof out one side to put a round bale of hay in to keep the rain off and allow access to eat it for the animals. We also put up bull panel half walls across all but the center 10 feet of the front. I use tarps that roll up and drop down and tie to keep heavy rain from blowing in and to close it off in the winter when the temperature drops. I am really proud of that barn and if your interested would be thrilled to post pictures.
     
  7. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are planning on milking goats you probably want to think about a sanitary area for milking...one sans chickens flying around leaving their usual calling cards. Our chickens have a house and yard; I don't like chickens roosting everywhere and doubt it is that healthy a practice. Everyone to their own though....just a thought. DEE