Help with a small farm layout plan

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DreamChasers's picture
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Help with a small farm layout plan

Hi all,

My husband and I are working towards realising our dream of living a full-time life of subsistence farming and in preparation for this I'm trying to map out an efficient, hygienic and healthy farm layout. For example where animal runs / pens, slaughter house, water tanks and septic should be in relation to the house (as in distance from). Also any other out buildings a farm needs that I haven't mentioned. I'd love to draw on everyone's previous experience and knowledge on this as it will help me draw up a rough plan within the space we have to work with.

We have 20 Acres and we're planning on a fence around the centrally located house with veggie patches inside the fence, and the livestock outside the fence in the paddock. We're planning on Chooks, Rabbits and a tiny flock of Dorpers.

I appreciate any tips anyone can give.

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Joined: 28/02/2011 - 2:19pm

Hi 20offgridders,

Welcome to the small farming forum and thanks for the question. Congratulations on working towards achieving your dream.

If you could draft an initial farm plan and post that, you will be likely to get some helpful feedback.

We also have an active Facebook discussion group which you might like to join and post the draft farm plan to. The group is pinned to the top of our Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/farmstyleaustralia/

Regards,
Charlie

DreamChasers's picture
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Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 23/06/2018 - 11:21am

Hi Charlie,
Thanks for your reply and tips.

We have put together a basic plan which I think satisfies and takes into account our needs, the needs of the animals, the landscape and council requirements with regard to the Salinity Management Overlay we have.

What I'm actually hoping for is any info regarding general farming regs or just common sense things which haven't occurred to us for things like how far away from a dwelling or water supply animal pens need to be etc... or even how far away from each other the animals need to be.

Also, we're just starting out so apart from actual regulations, is there anyone experienced in keeping Dorpers or meat rabbits who can share basic day to day husbandry / housing / animal management tips they have learnt through trial and error? I have planned a separate smaller paddock with shelters for keeping either the lambing ewes in while the ram is out in the main paddock, or vice versa, and the same set up for the rabbits to keep them separated until I want to breed them.

We're in central Victoria, and space is not an issue as we're on 20 acres and only planning a ram with maybe 2 - 3 ewes so they'll have plenty of ground to cover.

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Joined: 07/10/2017 - 2:38am

Why so few animals ?

I think it is hard to nut things out this way, some things will be dictated depending on zoning etc, the septic I would have the tank away from the house by a fair bit if the council allows.

The animals etc, well until your there, know the lay of the land and encounter problems that need solutions, it will be hard to know, and what you do will be different to what I do, etc

I have sheep and goats, chooks etc, only the chooks have a shed, and I have made some extra paddocks to separate which sheep I want to breed with which, they can pretty much look after themselves if there is pasture and water on the property.

If there is no existing fencing, this is what I would put a lot of thought into on the perimeter more so, and find out of other locals all relevant info of the area, such as pests and weeds etc, you will prob find idiot people with their pet dogs one of the biggest problems, many people think their lovely pet dogs are not a problem out and roaming about, but they kill stock, or chase them, etc.

I would also prob look for some land that is rural zoned, so you can do more.

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Joined: 16/09/2018 - 2:39pm

Hi dreamchasers,
Good luck on your adventure. Here is another tip, if you have land with some slope, is to have some roof catchment (shed or house) uphill of the tanks to store rain water, and if possible, have both these uphill of where you would like to run water to (gardens, irrigation, troughs, sink or flushing loo etc), so you can gravity feed water with the use of floats and taps and never need a pump. It's great to appreciate the Quiet and nature sounds without having to hear a pump engage because you ran a tap. Also put gutter guard on to save you having to clean out gutters.
The other is to think about prevailing winds , so if your area the damaging winds normally come from the north, plan to have things that appreciate shelter behind protection from that side. consider large trees and proximity to infrastructure in a similar way, so think where in a storm a dropped tree branch may fall And plan for it to be out of harms way.
Keep a worm farm where it would have roughly constant temperature. Best of luck.

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