chickens, rabbits, & goats in one area ideas....

emyers(8 SC)October 23, 2008

Looking for ideas for planning an "area" with structures as required to contain chickens, rabbits, & goats.

I'm thinking about quantities that will eventually be enough to feed a family of 4 (meat, eggs, milk).

Was thinking of the following:

1. one central structure that would be for grain, hay, medications, related tools etc. and possibly milking station.

2. a shed area attached to the central structure that ideally would contain the coops, 3 sided area for goats, and possibly rabbit hutches (if they need to be under a roof).

3. Yard/Yards. Don't know if all the animals could use the same yard or if I'd want to separate them for manure purposes (chickens might make goats "messy" for milking purposes etc). Was also thinking I'd put a slab down under chicken coops and rabbit hutches and in feeding areas where chickens would be, but not in their yard per se. Where are most of the chicken droppings going to be anyway? I'm guessing EVERYWHERE but is there any way to kind of make sure the majority of the droppings end up in a slab area where they are fed or something?

4. Only want one door to the central structure, so was trying to figure out a way to easily feed all the different varieties of the animals from the central area.

5. Access to compost piles for the purposes of adding manure/cleaning up etc.

6. Centrally located in garden

7. Delivery area for hay/grain/supplies.

8. Orientation/relationship to sunny areas & shade. We live in SC so don't think I need any heated areas per se, but I am thinking need both sunny and shaded & wind break areas for all animal types. Was wondering if there are any general "rules" for orienting shade and sun areas as they relate to N, S, E, W. Was thinking orient the open yards to the south with the enclosed/covered areas more towards the North but attached to the South side of the Central storage structure that is oriented to the North. That would give them some shade to get out of in the blistering summer (if needed) and a sunny yard to hang out in when it's relatively warm in the winter. However, this would not be the ideal location as far as keeping cool goes (would be better on North side of Central structure). So, just wondering how you decided to orient.

9. Any relatively easy way to deal with watering all the animals, maybe simultaneously?

  1. Somehow allow for free range possibilities. Maybe as simple as open a gate and let them all go at the same time if they can use the same yard.... but maybe not. What do I need to think about here?

As you can see, I'm in the initial planning stages of this so any help I can get would be appreciated.

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I have 2 goats,7 hens and 3 rabbit hutches all in the same space's a huge fenced area(I'm not good with measurments!) one small barn(that used to be a gazebo) for the goats,and 1 chicken coop. they're separate buildings,but it's one entrance into their yard. The hutches are not in a barn but they have houses attached to the ends of their hutch..I find that they're very happy together,they all get along great! The difference is mine are all for pets,not actual "farming" for milk or meat.
Just use the eggs.
I find most of the droppings from the hens are in their coop at night,under where they roost.
As for water,I have a heated bucket in the gaots house because they won't drink frozen or really cold water,my flemish giant shares the goats house as well,,so she gets water like that.
The hens have a heat lamp in their coop with the bucket of water under it so it never freezes,,.and the rabbits in the hutches have a margarine container in the winter so I can pop out the frozen water in the morning and refill with fresh. I do have to carry a large watering can with me every morning down to them,but that's life. Life is just a bit harder in the winter..:( In the summer they all drink out of a water fountain I gave them! as well as having water in their house.
That's about all I can think of for now..are you getting ducks?? I do keep my ducks away from the gang,they have their own set up..

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 10:11AM
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emyers(8 SC)

a quick thanks for the reply. Sounds reassuring. I'm going away for the weekend but will be back with more questions after I read a little closer.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 5:56PM
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I like the central station idea. My problem is I have a heated stock tank for the goats and a heated water bucket for the chickens (the goats and chickens are in separate areas right now). I need to figure out a way to keep the chickens from pooping in the tank and the bucket as they like to perch on them in the winter for warmth. I let the chickens and goats free range every day and lock them up at night.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 5:23PM
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