3 ways to be flexible
1 Get some panels (or gates) to fit together into a pen.
Ideally our panels would have been sized to fit our trailer as we often cart livestock. We have used them to: house guinea fowl until they settle in as a pen for piglets when they first arrive for ducklings that need to be kept separate for meat chickens so the others don’t scoff all their feed for the pet lamb on the lawn as a pen to shut the ducks away at night when they are laying so I can collect the eggs.
There would have been 101 other uses throughout the years.
2Have good yards
Our permanent stock yards are high enough for cattle, but the gaps are small enough to keep pigs and sheep in and they are used for all.
3Think multi-purpose for similar jobs
The cow shed is seasonally the calfraising shed, milking shed and hay shed. Occasionally its duties overlap and things get a bit crowded, but never for long.
A loading bank, truck-loading ramp, trailer-loading ramp and gate through into my next-door neighbour’s yards which line up alongside our driveway. It also serves as a turning bay or carpark when our gates are closed. Behind is a small yard for killing or shearing, with a short race for working stock.
Sheryn Clothier teaches a range of sustainable living skills from her block in Tirau, Waikato. See www.lals.nz for details about upcoming May courses on Planning the Home Orchard, and Block and Orchard Design.