In the previous place we had goats the soil was extreme clay. It was a slippery, muddy mess when moisture came. We chose a pen area that nobody wanted. It slanted in two directions forming a V. Others chose flat areas and their animals bogged down in the mud when the heavy rains came while our pens formed a little ditch draining off the moisture leaving our area dry before anyone else's. Level is not always best.
Our current soil is sandy and rocky, meaning good drainage. In this situation we can enjoy a fairly level pen area. There were existing buildings, the loafing shed and barn, on the north side of the property. Hence we needed to add pens and new buildings in that area. The problem is this area of the property typically is 3 to 4 feet under snow the entire winter. We would have built to the south putting the house more north. The septic tank is south of the house meaning nothing can be built on top of it as it must be maintained and hopefully never dug up but one never knows.
Just in case you don't call building like this a loafing shed. It is the structure in the back of the picture attached to the barn. It would have been nice to have the first small pen just off the barn but alas, that is not how the previous owners set things up. They had no stock. Our land also has the challenge of only a portion of it is on a fairly flat area and the rest steeply off to the west. Obviously constructing a building on the steep slope is not a reasonable thing to do. Nor on the south side which has the fruit trees and septic tank. Also we need an area out of the heavy snow to park our trailers. That means the south side of the property. That will be done after we move the small rock wall. Not an easy task. We are going to put in another garden on the south side next to the fruit trees but one thing at a time. The other garden is on the north end of the place west of the barn. We over doubled the size of the existing garden in this area.
Had we constructed the whole place ourselves we would have done things a little differently but thankfully we don't have to start from scratch. I don't want to have to build a house, loafing shed, and barn. So taking what we have we have we make changes that are the best option in the present situation. That meant making the part of the loafing shed they had enclosed into a chicken coop. Just not another location on the place would work and not be expensive. This is a good spot in that it is protected and stays warm in the winter but it blocks the side door off the barn. Since we don't use the barn a great deal to house the stock because Kirk makes a lot of noise when he uses the trip hammers inside it will have to do. We do have one pen there to put a doe that is kidding. This location has the wonderful kid warming barrel. I knew we would have to eventually build a run off of this coop and we did need it already since the fox came to feast but it is still a ways down the to do list.
We have decided to increase the number of does we keep for milking. Our goal is to try and meet the requirements for ag and gain a tax break on our land and a tax write off. We have to look into this further. We are also looking for added income during retirement. Maybe not a lot but every little bit would help. We are doing this anyway we would just do it a little bit more commercially. Increasing our livestock numbers slightly may require a few changes to our design.