Re: The Definitive Agriculture/Permaculture Thread
Hi Earthwise, thanks for the info. Yep, heat is a big commodity up here in the winter, and it’s one of the main reasons I was thinking about a single barn. We’re already planning to build a larger/taller barn rather than a squatter shed since we need the hayloft (we’re putting up our own hay — hopefully). Four walls are definitely a must, at least during the dead of winter (2-3 months), but we’re planning to have big sliding doors to open up the walls during the summers, probably even dutch doors in the pen areas so we can have access from the outside and ventilation without needing to open the big doors. If we could rely on fans for ventialtion that would help a lot, but power is almost as rare a commodity in the winter up here since we’re off grid. Maybe if we can stock the freezer during the warm and sunny months, we won’t need to house so many breeders and broilers in the winter… timing might get tricky 🙂
I’ve seen drainboards for rabbit hutches that separate the manure from the urine, so I might be able to figure out a way to get the manure to drop into the worm bins and the urine to run into a gutter drain outside to a compost heap or something so the fumes don’t kill us. I’d think most carbon-heavy wastes like wood and straw would work well for helping to neutrilize the nitrogen, and we should have plenty of both since we use it for our composting toilet as well.
So, I think I’ll plan for a large barn with hay loft and separate penned areas for the critters, larger than I think I’ll need to accomodate expansion down the road. If I design it right, I may be able to (temporarily) close off any unused bays in the barn to keep the heat concentrated in the main in-use areas. At least a full hay loft will act as insulation for the roof for a while (if we can fill it, fingers crossed that the pastures grow like we think they will!).