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Old 11-12-2019, 01:11 PM
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Question - what kind of infrastructure and / or outbuildings would be needed in a pasture raised poultry and pork enterprise?

I have some ideas / hopes of buying a small rural property with the intentions of raising pasture raised poultry and pork.

As I look at properties, there are plenty of "hobby farm" type options. But these usually have a barn and several pole buildings. Although a barn is cool, I don't think I would have a use for one, nor several pole sheds. But maybe I'm overlooking some usefulness. Seems like the I would mostly need one or two outbuildings / sheds. One for a brooder, and another for any small implements / livestock trailers, chicken crates / feed storage etc.

I suspect I'm overlooking some obvious things though.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:28 PM
gonphurcoughie gonphurcoughie is offline
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good fences
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:51 PM
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Probably depends on your location but in Wyo any pig and chicken growers have some sort of shelter for them. If you knew ahead of time what you were going to end up raising, it would probably be a good idea to have the pigs and chickens in the same building.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:18 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is offline
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don't pigs eat chickens?

Your pastured chickens are going to be meat breeds? Are you using the Salitin method?
If you aren't raising them in the winter then a barn isn't as needful.

If you aren't using the Salitin method, then how are you going to protect the chicks/growers from hawks? Will you be using production growers? [slaughter at 8 weeks?] Or slow grow chicken breeds? [slaughter at 14-16 weeks?]

How big of an installation are you planning? One to supply a couple of restraunts or just general selling? [100 growers to slaughter at a time or 10,000?]

Repeat questions with pigs. Plus how much foraging are your pigs going to do? How many pigs per acre? How long to let the ground rest/recover. Are you going to have breeders? Get a place with oak trees for acorns.

Talk with a ag extension office. Go online to your local ag university.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:15 PM
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Hogs/ pigs can root up a large area. I have friends that raise both. I'm not qualified to say what you can do "Pasture Raised". Anything pasture raised takes longer, and possible losses. Sows can be run with the boars until baby time, then they need shelter. Farrowing crates can save baby pigs. My friend's dad raised hogs and his mother raised turkeys. They took 20+ butcher hogs to the market every week. A smooth operation. That meant they had 3 sows farrowing each week.

A large fenced in area is best for chickens. But, I'm not sure what ur calling pasture raised. My grandfather had an egg production with about 1000 hens. They run daily in an enclosed orchard. You will need a brooder house for chicks until they are old enough for the out doors.
Purchased or incubate ur own?
All in all, a big investment just to get started.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:37 PM
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Sorry, I was short on specifics. Would be raising broilers. Chicks would be purchased and eventually raised in movable tractors on pasture, so yes basically the Joel Salatin approach as it probably best known as. It would be seasonal growing for both pigs and chickens, so winter housing wouldn’t be a factor. They will be in a freezer at that point. The pigs would likely be in rotated paddocks with a shelter of some sort. Ideally they would have some woodlands to rut around in. Some Grassfed beef cattle may be added later, so a sustainable, regenerative approach to pasture management needs to be kept in mind as well. All in all, I think I just need a couple pole sheds. But having zero farm experience, I know I have to ask a lot of questions.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:40 PM
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well after having started my homestead [ten years at this point]I am finding it takes time to figure out your own needs ,fences are in the way of moving tractors ,,,gates not big enough ,,,ect ,,,so my recommendation is build with a eye towards redoing it in a few years as your needs ,plan changes

I started with growing a huge garden,,,fenced it to keep deer ,rabbits ect out, now I wish I had added gates at different places to make it easier to control different critters ,as in letting chickens in to remove pest from garden/orchard ,,,but keep rabbits out
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
Sorry, I was short on specifics. Would be raising broilers. Chicks would be purchased and eventually raised in movable tractors on pasture, so yes basically the Joel Salatin approach as it probably best known as. It would be seasonal growing for both pigs and chickens, so winter housing wouldn’t be a factor. They will be in a freezer at that point. The pigs would likely be in rotated paddocks with a shelter of some sort. Ideally they would have some woodlands to rut around in. Some Grassfed beef cattle may be added later, so a sustainable, regenerative approach to pasture management needs to be kept in mind as well. All in all, I think I just need a couple pole sheds. But having zero farm experience, I know I have to ask a lot of questions.
Good luck with ur adventure. U have a big big learning curve to overcome. Keeping breeding stock, saving the pasture, and just getting started is a lot to digest.
I suggest starting with one, let it grow before branching into another. And is property for this adventure in ur near future?
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:52 PM
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As noted above, you really need to watch every video on you tube and consider your own capabilities, resources, climate, predators and scenarios unique to you and where you are . Honestly I see just as much that some of them are doing wrong as they do right and I learn just as much from a bad example as a good one . Good advice to master one thing at a time .
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:39 PM
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We were raised on farms. Our folks never let the hogs roam. The will ruin good pastures, kill the trees, and can dig under fences. They raised hatching eggs, broilers, and hereford cattle. Pasture is for cattle, sheep, horses, & hay. Free range chickens will eat up destroy ur garden.

I see ur in the upper mid west. I spent a lifetime in Missouri. It gets a lot of snow & ice. Heck its 17 here presently amd ur livestock has to have shelter & water. Everything goes to heck in cold weather. I've chopped a many a hole in the pond for the cattle to get water.
Are U planning to buy livestock feed or raise ur own?
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:32 PM
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This wouldn’t happen all at once. I would intend to start with either just a few pigs or maybe 50 chicks. Probably chickens first. Learn by doing with one of those, while establishing a clientele, working on marketing and networking. But the property purchase would need to have an eye towards the future in regards to expansion of the enterprises. This would be a side hustle with intentions of making it a full time income over time.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:43 PM
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I once met a wonderful old woman, a "farm girl" who took over her family's farm, and who never got around to getting married.
I was smitten when I saw her front yard filled with fruit trees, and bee hives.
We stumbled across her, because she was also a Realtor and had a "For Sale" sign on the property.
We stopped and visited and learned that her house and farm weren't really for sale - it was just advertising for her business. . . And the locals knew that.
Best part, she gave us a tour of her farm. Her pride and joy was a big concrete barn. She explained that they suffered a major loss when the old wooden structure burned down - killing stock. She still has nightmares from the screams of the dying animals.
Her words of wisdom made sense then and now - don't follow tradition for tradition sake. And build with fire resistant concrete NOW, not after you suffered from being burned out.


As an addendum, check out basalt reinforcement for concrete. Recently declassified, it's the bees knees - won't corrode - and has the same co-efficient of expansion of concrete.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilltopper View Post
As noted above, you really need to watch every video on you tube and consider your own capabilities, resources, climate, predators and scenarios unique to you and where you are . Honestly I see just as much that some of them are doing wrong as they do right and I learn just as much from a bad example as a good one . Good advice to master one thing at a time .
I listen to a lot of podcasts on the subject, and videos as well. But as they say, experience is the best teacher.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:58 PM
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I should also add that the learning part of all this is another discussion entirely. Mostly, I'm curious as to what I should look for in a property given this sort of potential small farm enterprise.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:13 PM
Hilltopper Hilltopper is offline
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Some of those people haven't got a very good grip on what they are doing, they are trying to build up a following hoping to augment their farming income . Others are very good , so like I say watch carefully and learn from both the good and bad examples.

Well what to look for in a property in really specific to each person as well , its going to be different where I am with bigger predators say, than surrounded by encroaching development , so pay attention to surrounding land use and zoning . I mean think about it , if a cattle feed lot is beside the land you might have water contamination . You really need to be thinking for yourself .
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:06 AM
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This is the general idea with the pigs.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two bits View Post
Free range chickens will eat up destroy ur garden.
They won't be free range. They are pasture raised in mobile tractors that get rotated in a pattern.

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Old 11-13-2019, 10:59 AM
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Be absolutely sure of your commitment. Livestock needs round the clock husbandry, 24/7. Nix vacations and long visits unless you have responsible coverage. Been there done that, thoroughly enjoyed knowing our food source and new kids (goats).
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
Sorry, I was short on specifics. Would be raising broilers. Chicks would be purchased and eventually raised in movable tractors on pasture,
We have played with chicken-tractors. If the pigs catch on they will destroy a chicken-tractor pretty quick.

If your pigs get hungry they will swallow a chicken.



Quote:
... It would be seasonal growing for both pigs and chickens, so winter housing wouldn’t be a factor. They will be in a freezer at that point.
Pasture-only pigs grow slowly and they will never get fat. I have done that.

It is not possible to get a pig up to butchering weight between March to November, without a lot of supplemental feed.

If you do not over-winter, than you can not have any breeding stock. So are you thinking about buying piglets every spring?
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForestBeekeeper View Post
We have played with chicken-tractors. If the pigs catch on they will destroy a chicken-tractor pretty quick.

If your pigs get hungry they will swallow a chicken.





Pasture-only pigs grow slowly and they will never get fat. I have done that.

It is not possible to get a pig up to butchering weight between March to November, without a lot of supplemental feed.

If you do not over-winter, than you can not have any breeding stock. So are you thinking about buying piglets every spring?
The pigs and chickens wouldn’t be kept together. Pigs wouldn’t be in tractors at all. The “pasture” terminology is in regards to their environment rather than their diet. There would certainly need to be non GMO supplemental feed for both animals. I wouldn’t initially plan to breed the pigs. The podcasts I mostly listen to
purchase the stock.
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