The distance of a ruminant farm from residential areas depends largely on the type of ruminant being raised and the size of the farm. Sheep and Goat have been raised very close to residential areas without much problem apart from the fact that most of them are usually raised in small number using extensive system of management.
This due expose them to roaming and its attendants risks like theft, accident, maiming etc. however, to raise cattle and even sheep and goat in large number will need an intensive system of management.
Likelihood of odor complaints by neighbors may be a major deterrent to siting large livestock operations in many locations.
Determine the attitude of neighbors toward a new or expanded livestock operation at the site you are considering. Documenting that adequate consideration has been given to siting the livestock operation in an environmentally responsible manner may help if litigation occurs.
Odors are inherent in livestock operations, especially when manure is being applied to the land. The larger the livestock operation, the more important it is to plan, design, construct and operate the facility in a manner that will minimize off-site (and on-site) odors.
It is important to control sufficient land to provide an adequate buffer between neighbors and the more odoriferous locations at the livestock facility. Odors from large livestock production units may be noticeable a few miles away.
Therefore, the farm should be sited in a place that is not too close to residential areas so that it does not soon become a nuisance to the neighborhood.
A livestock feeding operation site should be selected to minimize visual contact with neighbors and traffic and to separate odor-producing facilities from neighbors.
Biosecurity considerations should include isolation for incoming seedstock, proximity of neighboring livestock production units (especially for production of breeding stock), and, possibly, multiple-site production.
Very large livestock operations should be isolated from residential areas such as villages and towns by two miles or more, if possible.
Ruminant Farm Space Considerations
Plan for expansion 20 to 30 years into the future; consider doubling the size anticipated at present. Avoid locating facilities near property lines, streams, steep topography, porous geology, housing developments, public-use areas, or other features that will limit expansion.
Additionally, buildings should be spaced at least 50 feet apart (75 feet is better for firetrucks) to reduce the spread of fire. Naturally ventilated buildings may need to be from 50 to 200 feet apart in the north-south direction for optimum summer airflow.
Considerable space may be needed for isolating incoming traffic from the animal areas to prevent the spreading of diseases that may be brought in from the outside. The minimum radius for driveways used by semitrailers is approximately 55 feet.
Ruminant Farms Proximity of Neighbors
Avoid placing livestock facilities near existing (or future) “non-owned residences” (residences not owned by the owners of the animal feeding operation), especially clusters of homes, built-up areas and parks. Preferably, livestock facilities should be out of your neighbors’ sight.
Consider having a tree windbreak or other visual barrier to shield the operation. Depending on the size of the facility, the minimum distance from non-owned residences should be from 1,000 to 3,000 feet, although this is no guarantee of immunity from complaints.
A separation of at least a mile may be needed between large livestock operations and non-owned residences, depending on such considerations as topography and prevailing wind direction.
There are several factors to consider when planning adequate livestock shelter in cold weather:
• Air quality: Animal shelters should be open, providing natural ventilation, or enclosed, using fans and proper air inlets around the ceiling perimeter to provide good air circulation. Tight buildings result in a buildup of respiration gases, and animal odors, which can irritate the animal’s lungs and cause pneumonia. Dangerous ammonia levels1can also build up and lead to suffocation death of animals and their caretakers.
• Drafts: Animals can stand cold temperatures, but you should protect them from drafts. Constructing panels in front of an open building can reduce drafts. Consider drafts at animal height, not person height. When animals are allowed to run loose in a pen instead of being hitched, they will search for the most comfortable spots as needed.
• Dry bedding area: Animals will be far more comfortable in the cold if they have clean, dry bedding. A thick, dry bed provides insulation from the cold ground and decreases the amount of energy the animal has to expend to keep warm. Shelter from the snow and rain allows an animal’s coat to remain dry, which provides maximum insulating value.
• Fresh water2: All animals need water to survive. Under cold conditions, provide fresh water often or use freeze-proof watering devices. Animals will drink more when water is 50°F.
• Adequate food: Animals can endure severe cold temperatures if they eat enough food (energy) to maintain their energy reserves (body fat). Animals need energy for growth and maintenance. Extra energy is expended to keep warm.
Therefore, they will require additional amounts of good quality feed during cold weather. For herbivores, free choice hay in hay racks should be supplied in addition to a purchased feed.
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