FARM STRUCTURES

Introduction

  • Farm structures are physical constructions on the farm used to increase efficiency in production.

Construction of Farm Structures

 Involves:

Planning for farm structures ;

Consider;

  • Farm activities.
  • Size of the enterprise.
  • Future of the enterprise.
  • Accessibility.
  • Soil type.

Siting farm structures;

Consider:

  • The location of the homestead.
  • Accessibility.
  • Security.
  • Drainage/topography.
  • Wind direction.
  • Relationship between the structures.
  • Proximity to social amenities.
  • Farmer’s taste and preference.

 

Materials for Construction

       Structural Materials and Use

Factors which determine the type of materials to use are;

  • durability,
  • strength,
  • labour,
  • availability,
  • workability,
  • serviceability,
  • cost

Stones and Bricks

 Advantages

  • Stones and bricks are durable, easy to disinfect, resistant to weather and insects decay and are easily available. 

       Disadvantages

  • They are bulky and require skilled labour to make them.

Plastic and Synthetic Materials

These include;

  • glass,
  • asbestos fibre
  • polythene materials.

Advantages

  • Light,
  • cheep depending on quality,
  • easy to disinfect,
  • can be moulded into any shape,
  • are durable,
  • cannot be destroyed by insects and fungus
  • are water-proof.

Disadvantages

  • Are easily destroyed,
  • fragile,
  • very expensive
  • require skilled labour.

Wood (Timber)

Advantages

  • They are workable,
  • cheap,
  • can be re-used
  • are fairly strong.

Disadvantages

  • They can catch fire easily,
  • decay if exposed to water
  • are affected by fungus and insects.

 

Concrete

  • Is a mixture of cement, sand, aggregate and water
  • e.g. in making blocks the ratio is 1:2:3; one part cement, two parts sand and three parts aggregate.

 Uses

  • Making posts for fencing.
  • Making walls and floor of buildings.
  • Making gabions and water channels to prevent erosion.
  • Making water troughs.

 

Advantages

These materials are;

  • durable, workable,
  • easy to disinfect,
  • cheap to maintain,
  • fire resistant

Disadvantages

  • These materials are ;
  • expensive,
  • require skilled labour,
  • bulky,
  • cannot be reused

 

Animal handling structures

  • The crush –used when doing following activities;
  • Spraying livestock to control ticks,
  • milking,
  • examining sick animals,
  • artificial insemination,
  • treating animals, eg drenching, vaccination,
  • dong routine jobs such as dehorning, identification marks,
  • The spray race-used in the control of ticks by spraying livestock with acaricides
  • The dip- machakos type, and the pludge dip. This is used in the control of ticks by dipping livestock

 

Farm Buildings

Factors to be considered in site selection;

  • Security
  • Nearness to a source of water
  • Topography
  • Direction of the prevailing wind
  • Direction of the sun
  • Personal whims/tastes and preference
  • Nearness to means of communication.

Types of farm buildings

  • Houses for farm animals.
  • Stores for farm produce.
  • Stores for equipment, tools and supplies.
  • Buildings for growing crops e.g  green house.
  • Building for processing plant e.g  milk plant.

Parts of a building

  • The foundation,
  • The walls,
  • The roof

Include;

  • kingpost,
  • rafters,
  • struts,
  • tie beam,
  • rafter batten

Include;

  • concrete floor,
  • foundation wall,
  • PVC sheet (damp-proof course)
  • the compacted fill (hard core).

Fences

  • Importance of Fence in a Farm
  • Keep out intruders to the farm,
  • Define the boundary lines of the farm.
  • Paddocking of fields to make rotational grazing possible.
  • Live fences serve as windbreaks.
  • Fences are used in mixed farming to protect crops from. damage by livestock.
  • Fences add aesthetic values to the farm.
  • It is easy to control breeding.
  • It is easy to isolate sick animals from the rest of the herd.

Types of Fences

  • Dead fences.
  • Barbed wire fences.
  • Electric fence.
  • Concrete fence.
  • Chicken wire fence (mesh wire fence).
  • Woven wire fence (chain link).
  • Wooden fence.

Fencing Practice

Materials include;

  • wires,
  • staples,
  • nails,
  • posts,
  • droppers
  • concrete materials.
  • Size of posts:
  • General purpose 2.5m by 25cm in diameter
  • Strainer units and corner posts 3m by 30cm in diameter:
  • Distance between the posts:
  • 3m between posts, 10m if droppers are to be used.
  • 200m between strainer units.
  • Depth of holes – 60cm.

Gate Posts, Gates and Strainer Units

  • Gates should be hung on posts separate from the fence.
  • Mechanical implements for example tractors require 4.0-4.5m width of gate.
  • Entrance gates for pedestrians can be accommodated within the fence.

 Steps in Fencing

  • Locate the corners
  • Clear the fencing area.
  • Mark gates, strainers, pass places and standards by pegging.
  • Dig holes to proper depths.
  • Fix the standard posts.
  • Firm around posts or apply concrete.
  • Fix wires on posts.
  • Fix the droppers.
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