Homestead animals and their habitats – Chicken coops, Goat Pens, Pig Sty and more

Homestead animals and their habitats

After deciding what kind of animals will be a part of your homestead, you should secure them in an appropriate shelter, your homestead animals. Let’s look at examples of shelters for chickens, goats, cattle, and pigs.

Chicken coops

As a first-time chicken owner, you should first decide on the max number of chickens you want and what you’re allowed to have if you’re in an urban area. If you’re living in an urban, you may be able to have a few chickens and no rooster. So, check the law in your area. If you’re living in a rural area there might not be a max number, but you want to make sure you’re not getting more chickens than your homestead can handle. Remember the more you have the more you must care for. Knowing how many you might have will allow you to invest or build an adequate coop for their size and number. You don’t want their shelter to be too small.

  • Ideally, your coop will offer comfort to your chickens while also being practical for you. Once that is done, consider the accessibility that your coop provides to you and your chickens.
  • Being able to go into the coop, collect eggs, and clean should be a priority as it will affect the overall functionality of your day-to-day activities.
  • Make sure you read the reviews if you plan to purchase your chicken coop. Safety should also be a top concern when you search for a coop. You want your chickens to be protected throughout the night against potential predators, so you may want to invest in fencing for this.
  • Your coop setup is also a fact to consider if you are opting to do it yourself. You may think that design is frivolous, but it should be a consideration as it boosts the pleasantness of your homestead.
  • A chicken coop and fencing should be complete before you ever bring chickens to your homestead. You don’t want the chickens to show up and have no place for them.
  • You also want a small setup indoors like in the garage or basement if you’re starting with baby chicks.

Goats require pens to keep them sheltered.

They need to be contained in an adequate space as they are known to wreak havoc when left to their own devices. A pen is not only a sheltered spot for your goats but also a safety net, so they stay away from toxic plants and predators. For this reason, ensure that you have your pen set up before you bring your goats to your property. This requires planning.

  • The first thing you want to consider before constructing your pen is what type of goats you will be raising on your property.
  • Some goats are for meat and others are for dairy. This information is vital as it will allow you to determine what pen you will choose. Your property size is a factor to consider as well.
  • Goats need to roam around during the day, so you will need a considerable amount of space to keep them safely contained.
  • A single goat requires about 200 square feet, and because they need to live in pairs, you should budget 400 square feet per pair of goats.
  • Putting your goat in a pen requires fencing because this sets the boundaries for how far they are allowed to roam.
  • The main fencing options for your goat are woven wires, barbed wire, an electric fence, sheep and cattle panels, or a pallet fence.
  • Whichever fence you choose, ensure it is at least four feet tall. This is a height that guarantees that your goats won’t be able to jump over.

Cattle

You need to be on a larger homestead to have cattle, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a 20-acre plot. A few acres are sufficient for good-sized cattle sheds, so long as your infrastructure is in alignment with your goals. Having the correct facility built requires some planning.

  • Observe your property before commencing any construction. The head of cattle you keep will ultimately determine how much space you need to fence off on your property.
  • Each head requires at least two acres of your land, and this is also contingent upon the quality of your land for feeding.
  • You could always consult a local cattle rancher to get some more advice regarding how much land you may need to set aside for each head.
  • You can boost the quality of your cattle shed by supplementing the land with grain feed and hay, as it will allow you to contain more heads in a smaller acreage.
  • Try to make the most out of your space without overcrowding it. Your cattle shed should be equipped with adequate fencing to delegate parameters.
  • High-tensile steel wire fencing is the most optimal fencing method for cattle due to its slower rusting time in comparison to the rotting of wooden board fences.
  • The cattle design you can go for is wooden sheds, metal pole barns, or open barns.
  • The interior space needs to take the weight and size of the cattle into account, as they should be able to move around, ruminate, and lie down comfortably.

Pigs

Pigs are generally placed within frames for their shelter. The A-frame is one of the most famous types for raising pigs on a pasture. This frame provides the pigs with great coverage that provides warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer.

  • Your A-frame shelter can be built from green-treated plywood. This will be used to construct the frame.
  • A-frame pig shelters don’t have floors, so you don’t need to measure the bottom part of the shelter. Instead, cut these pieces at a 45-degree angle on both sides for a snug fit to both the bottom and the top peak section.
  • You can use whichever measurements are best suited for the size of your desired A-frame, although the above-mentioned frames can accommodate fully grown Idaho pigs.
  • Add straw to the A-frame during the winter months for added warmth. Your shelter placement will be determined by how the wind blows across your property because you want to ensure that there is coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter.
  • Ducks can also have their shelters built in an A-frame format, so long as there is the addition of a pool for them to have access to water.