By Albert Makendenge
Farm buildings and structures are meant to protect livestock from predators, to help control diseases and parasites in livestock, to provide shelter against extreme weather conditions, to provide storage for farm inputs and produce as well as to enhance efficiency in the production process. For the smooth flow of these and various other functions, constructions have got to be sited perfectly and below is a checklist you can follow to ensure this.
Wind direction – open sides of livestock structures should face away from the direction of prevailing winds to prevent animals from chilling while structures producing bad smell should be sited on the leeward side of the farm house.
Topography – gently sloping and well drained areas that facilitate the free flow of water are best for setting up structures.
Accessibility – the place should strategically positioned and easy to reach to avoid wastage of time.
Existing facilities or resources – farm structures should be located near to the existing services such as electricity and water supply to reduce costs.
Soil type – deep, stable and fairly drained soils make for intact structures that cannot easily be destroyed.
Security – structures holding certain enterprises such as poultry houses and fish ponds should be located where they are secure.
Government regulations – laws and principles governing the placement of structures should be strictly adhered to, for example structures should not be situated underneath power lines.
Future expansions – current or soon to be structures should make way and provide enough room for future expansions, should the need arise.
Enterprise relationship – structures holding related enterprises should be located close to one another to save time and reduce costs.
Although it may be difficult to strike a perfect balance amongst all these factors, farmers should strive to meet as many of these requirements as possible.
With all these factors in place, you are likely to have a successful livestock farming venture. We challenge you to start today and please share your experience with us.