HomeAGRICULTURE NOTESFARM STRUCTURES.

FARM STRUCTURES.

FARM STRUCTURES.

Farm structure, Any physical construction found on the farm.

Construction of farm structures. 

Involves: planning, site preparation and selection of materials.

Panning for farm structures.

Factors to consider.

  • Various farm activities to be carried out.
  • Size of the enterprise.
  • Potential for expansion.
  • Accessibility

SITING FARM STRUCTURES.

Factors to consider.

  1. Location of the homestead.

Should be sited at a point where it would be possible to have a good view of the farm.

  1. Accessibility

Structures should be easy to reach from most parts of the farm.

  1. Security

Structures should be safe from predators, thieves and trespassers.

  1. Drainage

Should be in a well drained area to prevent destruction by water. Damp conditions encourages disease infection.

  1. Direction of prevailing wind.

Structures where foul smell is likely to occur should be constructed on leeward side of homestead. Others requires good ventilation but free from draught.

  1. Relationship between structures.

Structures with related uses should be constructed close to each other to save time and labour.

  1. Farmers taste and preference.

E.g. some prefer to have the homestead in a sheltered placed.

  1. Proximity of amenities e.g. electricity and water supply.

Homestead should be located near power line and water supply.

  1. Topography

Most requires a relatively level site. Slopy site is expensive as it requires levelling.

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Site preparation.

 Involves clearing of bush and levelling of the site. 

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS.

Types of materials.

1) Stones.

Advantages. 

  • Resistant to weather elements.
  • Fire resistant.
  • Resistant to insect damage and rotting.

However stones are expensive to acquire and slope.

Stones are used for foundations, floor and walls.

2) Concrete blocks.

Made of cement: sand: ballast 1:2:3 by volume.

Water added should be controlled so that the blocks are not very dry or wet.

Water should not have impurities such as acids, bases or oils. They reduce binding ability of cement.

Blocks are placed under shade to enhance gradual curing.

Should be wetted during curing.

Advantages.

  • Resistant to fire insect damage and elements of weather.
  • Resistant to rotting.

3) Concrete.

Prepared from aggregate: sand: cement 3:2:1.

Use water free from impurities.

Uses.

  • Making pillars, blocks, posts, surveyor’s beacon.

Concrete floors should be kept damp during curing.

Concrete is reinforced with steel rods or welded wire and compacted when being used to enhance strength.

Advantages.

  • Strong and durable.
  • Resistant to insect damage, fire, rotting and weather elements.

4) Mud blocks.

Made up of a mixture of clay and sand thoroughly puddled with water.

N/B.

  • Chopped grass is incorporated to enhance strength of blocks.
  • Blocks are dried in open sun but covered with dry grass.
  • To enhance durability, walls should be plastered with mortar (sand and cement mixture)

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FARM STRUCTURES.

Bricks

Prepared using special type of soil with high amount of clay.

Are dried and then baked in a kiln. They make durable structures if well joined with mortar.

They are resistant to fire and insect damage.

Metals

  1. a) Corrugated iron sheets.

Used in making walls and roofs. Supported on wooden or metal frames.

Advantages.

  • Leak proof.
  • Resistant to insect damage.
  1. Bars and rods.

Posts, iron rods, wires and frames.

Iron rods are sued to reinforce concrete.

Metal frames are used to make trusses, windows, doors and gates.

  1. Aluminium sheets.

Used for making prefabricated structures, gates, doors and windows. Also used to make feed troughs and waterers.

  1. Construction accessories.

Includes: metal hinges, screws, nuts, bolts and latches. Used for assembling structures.

7) Timber.

Uses.

  • Poles, rails, purlins, rafters, struts and beams in construction works. S Sawn timber used for floors, celling, fascial board.

Timber should be treated to make it resistant to insect attack, weather elements and fungal attack.

Methods of treating timber.

Drying/seasoning.

Dried to reduce moisture content. Dry in a shaded place away from direct sunlight and rain.

Reasons for seasoning timber.

  • Prevent warping.
  • Prevent rotting due to fungal attack and insect damage.

Chemical treatment.

  1. Fungal attack.

Sodium dichromate, copper sulphate and arsenicpentoxide.

  1. Insect damage.

Old engine oil, pentachlorophenol tributyl tin oxide.

  1. Weather elements (humid conditions) Creosote, tar, tanex.

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CHEMICAL TREATMENT METHODS.

  1. Sap displacement method/end diffusion.

Fresh cut posts are packed in containers filled with wood preservatives and left to stand in the containers for 10 days.

The preservative is drawn through the wood grains as the sap dries out.

  1. Pressure/vacuum treatment.

Peeled wood is arranged in steel cylinders and the preservative forced through them under very high pressure.

  1. Hot and cold soaking.

Wood is immersed into a tank containing creosote or other preservative heated for two hours and heat maintained just below boiling point.

Moisture in the wood cells expand and contract once heat is removed.

Contraction draws the preservative deep into the wood fibres.          

8) Thatch.

Used for roofing. Made from coconut leaves, tall grass/papyrus reeds etc.

Limitations.

  • Prone to fire.
  • Prone to insect damage hence require regular replacement.

9) Tiles. 

Made from clay or a mixture of clay and sand.

Used for roofing, decorating walls and floors.

Merits.

  • Resistant to insect damage, weather elements and fungal attack.
  • Are good insulators.
  • Makes structures attractive.

However if poorly made, they absorb a lot of water, becomes eroded hence begin leaking.

  • Bamboo and sisal poles.

Used as rails, rafters and droppers in fences.

Used for internal decorations.

  • Plasticis

Used as water pipes, conduits during wiring and construction of green houses.

SELECTION OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS.

Factors to consider.

  • Availability of materials.
  • Cost of the materials.
  • Suitability of the materials.
  • Suitability to prevailing weather conditions.
  • Durability of the materials.
  • Strength of the materials.
  • Workability of the materials.

TYPES OF FARM STRUCTURES. 

Farm building.

Building is a structure that consist of the foundation, walls and the roof.

Importance of farm buildings.

  • Protect the farmer and livestock from predators.
  • Help in the control of livestock diseases and parasites.
  • Provide shelter against extreme weather conditions.
  • Provide storage of farm produce and other variable inputs.
  • Increases the efficiency of production and management in the farm.

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PARTS OF A BUILDING.

The foundation.

Part of the building that is constructed below the ground.

The foundation helps to evenly distribute the load of the building.

The foundation should be reinforced with concrete especially in humid waterlogged areas.

Drainage channel is installed to prevent undermining the foundation by water.

Establishment of the foundation.

Foundation is measured, pegged and dugged to remove all loose soil.

Concrete of ratio 1:2:4 or 1:3:6 (may be reinforced with steel rods) is placed in the trench, compacted and the foundation stone laid up to about 15cm above the ground level. Mortar (1:6) is used to join the foundation stones.

Role of PVC course.

Reduce termite and moisture rising up the wall.

Foundation floor.

Part of the building laid immediately after foundation wall.

Filled with stones/hard core and rammed/compacted to make it firm and a concrete slab 1:2:4 cement: sand: aggregate used.

Walls.

Forms outer vertical part of the building.

Wall is raid in direct contact with the PVC material.

Bricks should not overlap to form straight joints that create weak points.

Plumb bob and spirit level are used to ensure it is vertical.

Lintel is built to reinforce wall above windows and doors.

4 courses are laid after the lintel then the wall plate is laid.

The roof.

Consist of a framework of trusses and purlins on which the roofing material is placed.

Trusses should be well constructed to avoid collapsing of the roof.

Parts of a roof.

Truss.

Made up of a tie or beam as the base, two rafters above the base to form a triangular structure and a number of struts for support.

Truss may be made of wood or steel bars.

Trusses for large buildings are prepared on the ground before they are hosted.

After hosting, purlins are nailed horizontally on the rafters.

Pitch/rise.

For grass or tiles rise should be 40 degrees to let water run off easily. The height of the truss above the wall plate in this case is half the length of the width of the house.

For corrugated iron sheet the truss is a quarter the width of the house.

Establish a straight line at the lowest end of the roof by putting a string so that roofing materials are laid on a straight line.

LIVESTOCK STRUCTURES.

Crush.

Narrow fenced passage where livestock movement can be controlled.

Used in routine management practices such as:

  • Spraying livestock against external parasites.
  • Identifying animals.
  • Administering prophylactic drugs.
  • Treating sick animals.
  • Pregnancy test.
  • Taking body temperatures.
  • Hoof trimming. S

Materials for construction.

Posts, rails, nails and concrete.

Posts and rails should be treated with old engine oil.

Parts of post to be fixed in the ground may be charred (partially burned) to prevent termite attack.

Factors to consider siting a crush.

  • Topography

Should be well drained and relatively flat.

  • Accessibility

Should be next to livestock sheds in large farms or near the road where services are offered by the government.

Maintenance.

Any broken parts should be repaired or replaced.

Dips.

Used for tick control.

  • Plunge dip.
  • Machakos dip.

Parts of a plunge dip.

  • Animal holding yard.

Holding animals before dipping.

Should allow 2m2    per head of cattle.

Should have a concrete floor and stones to help in removing mud from hooves befoe getting into the dip wash.

  • Foot bath.

Next to the animal holding yard.

4M long and 20CM deep.

Purpose.

  • To wash feet of animals before getting into the dip wash.
  • Contains chemicals for controlling foot rot. E.g. copper sulphate (blue vitriol) at 510% or 2-5%$ formalin solution.

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  • The jump.

Narrow entrance to the dip tank with short steps.

Allows animals to jump singly into the dip tank.

Should be 35-45CM above the dip wash level to ensure maximum immersion and allows dip wash to splash back.

  • Dip tank.

Deep tank constructed below ground level.

Measures 5M long at the bottom, 8M at the top and 1.6M deep at the highest level of acaricide. (10,000 litres of dip wash).

Should have exit steps that allows animals to come out of the dip wash slowly.

  • Drainage race.

Has a sloping floor towards the dip tank to allow dip wash from animals to drip back to the dip tank.

  • Drying yard.

Prevents pasture contamination and also ensures all the animals are released at the same time.

  • Silt trap outlet.

Trap silt before it flows back into the dip tank. This prevents siltation preventing regular washing.

  • Dip tank shelter.

Constructed above dip tank to lower evaporation of dip wash and dilution of dip wash by rain water.

It also acts as roof catchment for collecting rainwater.

  • Water tank.

For storing water used for dipping purposes.

  • Waste pit.

Used as a dumping site for sediments from dip tank.

Prevent environmental pollution by acaricide.

The ‘Machakos’ Dip.

Suitable in areas with water and capital scarcity.

Suitable where the herd is small.

Similar to plunge dip but dip tank is smaller and animals walk down the steps and stands in the deepest part where the belly and underside are beneath the wash then dip wash is poured over the rest part using buckets.

Construction materials.

  • Cement, sand, ballast and hardcores.
  • Stone blocks.
  • Corrugated iron sheets and galvanised sheets.
  • Posts and rails.
  • Nails, screws and hinges.
  • Wood preservatives. S Bolts and nuts.

Maintenance.

  • Broken timber rails should be replaced.
  • Dip tank should be cleaned regularly removing all sediments.
  • The roof should be maintained to ensure they are leak proof.
  • Cracks in the various parts should be repaired.

Advantages of using a plunge dip.

  • Animals are completely immersed in dip wash ensuring the whole body is wetted hence more effective in tick control.
  • Suitable for large herds of cattle. S Has low operational cost.

Disadvantages of plunge dip.

  • Not suitable for heavy, pregnant or sick animals as they may get shock.
  • Animals may swallow some of the dip wash resulting in death.
  • High initial capital.

The spray race.

Animals are showered with acaricide from nozzles as they pass through narrow passage, the race.

Acaricide is drawn by a centrifugal pump driven by an engine of tractor PTO shaft.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

PARTS OF SPRAY RACE.

  • Sidewalls

Provide support to the piping system and ensures spray wash is directed back to the pump via the drainage pipe.

  • Spray pipe system.

Consist of a series of pipes fitted with nozzles at regular intervals, nozzles atomise the chemical into spray form.

  • Drainage pipe.

Conducts the used chemical back to the pump for re-cycling.

Fitted with sieves to filter sediments thus preventing blockage of nozzles.

  • Pump/reservoir.

Mixing tank fitted with an agitator pipe and centrifugal pump.

  • Pressure gauge.

Measures the recommended working pressure of the pump.

Advantages of using spray race.

  • Suitable for pregnant and sick animals than plunge dip as animals do not get a shock.
  • No wastage of acaricide thus requiring less amount of acaricide as compared to plunge dip.
  • Animals cannot swallow the acaricide wash.
  • Spraying is faster.
  • Less labour is required.

Disadvantages of spray race.

  • High operational cost.
  • Requires skilled labour to operate and maintain.
  • It is only economical with large herd.
  • In wet weather, nozzles tend to clog with dirt in the wash.

Maintenance.

  • Broken rails should be replaced.
  • Worn out floors should be repaired.
  • Sump should be cleaned regularly removing all sediments. S Blocked nozzles should be cleaned.

DAIRY SHED.

Used during milking.

Consist of:

  • Milking parlour.
  • Feed store.
  • Calf pens.
  • Equipments store. S Recording room.

Should be constructed in a well-drained area.

Should have concrete floor for easy cleaning.

Parts of a milking shed.

  • Milking stalls.

For milking. May be fitted with head yokes used for other management practices.

  • Feed store.

Storing feeds. Feeding records are done here.

  • Calf pens.

Should be near milking shed to ensure milk is given to calves immediately after milking. 4) Milk recording room.

Fitted with weighing balance and a recording board.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

5) Milk store.

For cooling milk after milking before being sold.

Materials for construction. 

  • Corrugated iron sheets for roofing.
  • Post
  • Rails
  • Cement, sand, ballast and hardcore. S Nails, bolts and nuts.

Maintenance.

  • Milking shed should be cleaned thoroughly after milking.
  • Pot holes in the concrete floors should be filled.
  • Broken rails should be replaced.
  • Cooling system should be kept in good working conditions.

ZERO GRAZING UNIT.

 Cattle remain in the structures for most of the time.

 PARTS OF A ZERO GRAZING UNIT.

  • Milking stall.

For restraining cows during milking.

  • Calf pens.

For rearing calves up to weaning.

  • Sleeping cubicles.

Providing shelter to the animals. Should have litter to make them warm.

Should be bare (no concrete) to avoid chilly conditions at night.

Bare soil supplies micro-organisms that break down the bedding.

  • Loafing area.

Used for resting and dunging.

Should not be roofed for animals to obtain sunlight necessary for vitamin D synthesis.

  • Feed and water troughs.

For feeding and watering animals.

  • Feed preparation room.

For preparation of feed rations.

  • Milk recording room.

Used for keeping individual milk records for dairy cows.

Store.

Keeping dairy equipments such as milking bucket, strip cup, dairy feeds tec.

CALF PENS.

Structural requirements.  

  • Concrete floor/easy to clean.

Makes cleaning easy.

  • Adequate space/spacious.

Large enough to allow room for exercise, feeding and watering equipments. 1.8MX1.8M

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3) Single housing.

Prevents calves from licking each other leading to formation of hair balls in their rumen.

It also helps to control spread of worms and skin infection.

  • Proper lighting/well lit.

Front wall should be constructed solid 60-90CM high while the rest of the space is fitted with wire mesh.

This allows sunlight for vitamin D synthesis.

  • Proper drainage.

The area should be well drained.

Poor drainage causes dampness in the calf pen which predisposes the calf to infection.

May have slatted floor to facilitate drainage.

  • Draught free.

Windward side should be completely solid top to bottom to prevent entry of cold winds.

These predisposes the calf to pneumonia.

  • Leak proof.

To avoid wetness in the house. Wetness encourages infections such as pneumonia, naval illness and scours.

Raised calf pen with slatted floor.    

 Materials for construction.

  • Timber posts and frames.
  • Nails
  • Roofing materials.

Maintenance.

  • Should be kept clean.
  • Leaking roof should be repaired.
  • Walls should be white washed instead of painting to prevent lead poisoning
  • Should be kept dry and warm by placing dry litter on the floor which should be changed once a week.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

POULTRY HOUSES.

Folds.

Birds are confined in small structures (arks/fold).

Fold measures 3,5Mlong X1.5M wideX1.5M high.

1 /3 of the fold is roofed to provide shelter and the rest is enclosed by a wire mesh. (For sunlight and exercises)

Should be moved daily to reduce disease and parasite build up.

Only a few birds may be kept.

Night shelters and runs.

Used in free range system where birds are allowed to move freely in fenced enclosures (runs) and spend the night in shelters. (Laying nest are also in the shelter) Raised on stands or hung on a tree to discourage predators.

Should preferably be movable to prevent disease and parasite build up.

Deep litter houses.

Houses in which birds are totally confined.

Structural requirements. 

  1. Well ventilated.

Leeward side should be solid up to 90CM from the ground while the rest is wire mesh.

  1. Leak proof.

To avoid dampness in the house that encourages disease infection.

  1. Litter on the floor.

15-30cm deep.

Helps to keep the house warm and dry by absorbing moisture.

  1. Draught-free.

Windward side wall should be solid top to bottom.

  1. Enough space.

To avoid overcrowding. Allow 2-3 birds per 1M2

  1. Proper drainage.

Should be built in a well drained area to avoid dampness.

Battery cage system houses.

Birds are kept in battery cages fixed in the house 60-90 Cm above the ground and arranged in tiers so that droppings are easily disposed.

Coops.

Special cages for rearing hens while brooding.

Construction materials for poultry house.

  • Roofing materials.
  • Wire netting.
  • Timber posts, off-cuts and rails.
  • Cement, sand and aggregate.
  • Nails, hinges and latches.
  • Pre-fabricated battery cages. S Stones or blocks.

Maintenance. 

  • Regular cleaning.
  • Repair leaking roof, broken hinges and doors.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

A PIGGERY UNIT.

Parts of a piggery unit.

  • Feed store.

For storing pig feeds.

  • Records room.

Keeping feed and weight records.

  • Pig pens.

Pigs are kept in pens according to age and sex.

Include:

  1. Farrowing pens.

Used for farrowing and rearing piglets.

Provided with farrowing crates to prevent the sow from lying on the piglet and from eating creep feed meant for the piglet.

  1. Gilts’ pen.

For rearing young females up to service (12 months)

  1. Boars’ pens.

Houses the breeding boar.

Spacious enough to allow room for exercise and mating.

  1. In-pigs pens.

Houses pregnant sows awaiting farrowing.

  1. Weaner’s/ fattening pen.

Houses piglets awaiting weaning and up to 6 months.

  • Running yard.

Extension of the pens. For dunging and basking.

  • Water troughs/ drinking nipples.

Watering points for the pigs.

Structural requirements of a pig’s house.

  • Should have a concrete floor for easy cleaning.
  • Should be free from draught to prevent pneumonia.
  • Should have adequate space.
  • Should have a well drained floor.

Construction materials. 

  • Corrugated iron sheets.
  • Cement, sand and ballast.
  • Posts and rails.
  • Nails and hinges.

Maintenance.

  • The house should be kept clean.
  • Should be kept dry and warm.
  • Holes in the floor should be filled with concrete.
  • Timber rails enclosing the runs should be replaced when broken.

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RABBITRY.

Structure for housing rabbits.

Morant cage.

Measures 2M long X 1M wide X 9M high. This is enough for a colony of 15 rabbits.

Wire netting on the floor, side and at the top except at corners for shelter.

Hutch.

Room for the doe with her litter or buck.

Measures 1M long X0.6 M wide X 0.4M high.

Should have sleeping and exercise yard.

Structural requirements. 

  • Large enough to allow space for feeding and exercise and sleeping.
  • Should be raised 90-100CM above the ground to facilitate drying of bedding and prevent entry of predators and rats. S Draught free but well ventilated.

Construction materials.

  • Corrugated iron sheets or thatch.
  • Wire netting.
  • Posts, timber, rails and off-cuts.
  • Cement, sand and ballast.
  • Nails, screws, hinges and latches.

Maintenance.

  • Should be kept clean and dry.
  • Broken part should be repaired or replaced. S Should be shaded in hot climate.

FISH PONDS.

Factors to consider in siting a fish pond.

  • Source of water.

Should be near a reliable source of water and the water should flow easily to the pond.

  • Soil type.

Clay soil is suitable. Sandy and loamy soils allows too much water seepage thus not ideal.

  • Topography

Gently sloping to allow free flow of water tom and from the pond.

  • Nature of land.

Grounds with big cracks or with anthills are not ideal as they allow too much water to be lost.

Construction of a fish pond.

Pond walls are made by digging out soil from the pond floor and soil heaped on the sides.

Reinforcement (timber or stone wall) is important on the lower side wall that holds more weight of the pond. Walls should have a level top crest.

Dam crest.

Should be level. Pond bottom should be smooth so that fishing net are not torn while being dragged along.

Inlet furrow is dug to connect the water source to the pond and should be on the upper side.

Spillway on the lower side to allow excess water out and prevent water from flowing over the lower pond wall.

Grass is planted on wall side to firm the soil and prevent soil erosion.

Drain pipe on lower wall to drain water from the pond during cleaning or harvesting fish.

Maintenance. 

  • Planting grass on the wall tops to prevent soil erosion.
  • Weeds growing around the pond should be removed.
  • Fencing the pond area to keep off predators and other animals that pollute water.
  • Cleaning the pond to remove foreign materials. S Maintaining good level of water in the pond.

 BEEHIVES.

Structures for housing bees.

Kenya Top Bar Hive.

Wooden box whose long sides slope inwards at an angle of 65 to prevent bees from attaching their combs to the sides of the hive.

Bees attach combs on the top bars.

Siting Beehives.

Factors considered.

  • Should be placed away from homesteads, pastures and roads to avoid stings from bees.
  • Should be in a sheltered quiet place away from disturbances.
  • Provide shade or place hives under trees.
  • Near a water source with flowering plants for nectar collection.

 Construction materials.

  • Timbers
  • Posts
  • Nails
  • Corrugated iron sheet. S Wire loops.

 Maintenance. 

  • Broken parts should be repaired or replaced.
  • All cracks should be sealed.
  • Grease on posts should be replaced if melted.

SILOS. 

Used for preparation and storage of silage.

Include:

  • Trench silo.
  • Tower silo.
  • Clamp or bunkers silo.

              Clamp silo.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

FARM STORES.

Structures used for storing seeds, feeds, farm tools, agro-chemicals and crop product.

Product stores.

Structures used to hold farm produce.

Includes:

  • Traditional granaries.
  • Modern store.
  • Cyprus bin.

Modern store.

 Structural requirements.

  • Should be vermin proof. Rat guards/deflectors should be installed on all posts 50CM above the ground.
  • Should be well ventilated. To avoid dampness.
  • Should be water proof. To keep off rain water.
  • Should be easy to clean. Should not have cracks or crevices where pests can hide.
  • Raised 50CM above the ground to prevent dampness which causes rotting of grains.

Materials for construction.

  • Posts, timber and rails.
  • Hinges and laches.
  • Strings and wires.

Maintenance.

  • Vegetation around the store should be slashed to keep off vermin.
  • Stores should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Leaking roof should be repaired.
  • Broken parts should be repaired or replaced.

Silos.

Structures for bulk storage of grains. Constructed above the ground. Have concrete, bricks, metal or wooden walls.

Cyprus bins.

Pits partially or completely underground with circular walls made of concrete or wood.

Structural requirements for grain silo and Cyprus bins.

  • Properly constructed roof to protect crop from sun and rain.
  • Walls should be plastered with mortar or mud to make them smooth and airtight.
  • All inlets and outlets should be made of tight covers and should be easy to lock.

Maintenance.

  • All broken parts should be repaired to avoid leaking.
  • Any cracks in the surface of the walls should be sealed.
  • The area around the silo should be kept clean by slashing vegetation to keep off rodents.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting at regular intervals.

FENCES.

Uses.

  • The perimeter fence constructed along the boundary demarcates the farm land from that of the neighbours.
  • Fences keep off wild animals and other intruders from outside the farm.
  • They are used to separate crop fields from pastures facilitating mixed farming.
  • Used to divide pastures into paddocks facilitating controlled grazing systems.
  • Controls movement of animals and people preventing formation of unnecessary paths in the farm.
  • Helps to control spread of parasites and diseases by keeping off wild and stray animals from the farm.
  • Enables the farmer to control breeding by rearing different animals in different paddocks.
  • Provide security to the homestead and farm animals.

Types of fences.

  • Live fences.
  • Dead fences.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

Live fences.

Made of growing plants.

E.g. kei apple, crotons, cypress, cacti, sisal, Euphorbia, bougainvillea, tick berry.

Advantages of live fences.

  • Cheap and easy to establish since seedlings can easily be raised in a nursery bed.
  • Tall varieties e.g. kei apple acts as wind breaks.
  • Their roots hold soil firmly thus controlling soil erosion.
  • Some species e.g. tick berry act as livestock feed.
  • Provide shade to livestock.
  • When trimmed, they act as a source of organic natter and wood fuel.
  • Some species have medicinal value.
  • Thorny species are effective in controlling intruders.

Disadvantages of live fences.

  • Take many years to grow and make an effective fence.
  • Cannot be used for paddocking because they occupy a lot of space.
  • Hedges can be hiding places for rodents and thieves.
  • Thorny species can cause injury to animals and livestock.
  • Requires regular trimming and infilling of gaps which is laborious and expensive.
  • Their growth may be irregular thus allowing gaps for thieves and animals to pass through.

DEAD FENCES.

  1. Wire fences.
  • Plain wire fence.
  • Barbed wire fence.
  • Chicken wire. S Woven wire.
  1. a) Barbed wire.

Distance from one strand to another is 40-50CM and 4-5 lines are required.

Droppers are used to reinforce the barbed wire and are 25CM apart or strainers between 2 intermediate posts in absence of droppers.

Not ideal for sheep because:

S May result to injury to the animal. S Tears off fleece from the sheep.

  1. Plain wire fence.

Made of regular gauge wire without barbs.

Mostly alternated with barbed wire.

Used in docile animals.

Used in partitions other than the perimeter fence.

  1. Woven wire fence.

Include chain link and chicken wires.

Chain link makes a very strong fence.

They are held in position by posts and 3-4 strands of plain or barbed wires.

The bottom part of woven wire is buried in the ground 20-30CM to avoid animals and people from lifting it.

 PROCEDURE OF ESTABLISHING A FENCE.

  • Clear the fence line 2M wide.
  • Measure and mark points on the fence line where holes are to be dug determining the position of the gates. Spacing 4-6M.
  • Dig holes 60CM deep for the main fence and 75-90CM for corner and gate post.
  • Place treated posts in the holes in an upright position.
  • Mix concrete 1:3:5 and place in the holes or put soil and stone in the holes and ram to firm the base.
  • Nail barbed wires onto the posts with fencing staples while stretching using a wire strainer.
  • Fix the lower strand of wire first and use it as a guide to fix the next up to the required number.

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FARM STRUCTURES.

GATES AND CORNER POSTS.

Gates and corner posts should be slightly larger and stronger. Holes should be deeper 7590CM deep and concrete used to fill the hole after putting the posts.

Allow the concrete to dry before fixing the wire fence.

Braces should be fixed to provide support to the posts and prevent sagging of wire.

  1. Quarry chips, concrete blocks, stones or brick fences.

Are strong and long lasting but expensive to construct and provide security to the homestead.

  1. Electric fence.

Mostly temporally constructed for controlling grazing in high quality pastures where strip grazing is practised.

Also used to keep off wild animals in areas where the farm neighbours forest reserves and are a community or government projects as they are expensive.

  1. Wooden fences.

Cheap to construct. However, they are easily destroyed by termites and moulds.

Should be treated against termites and fungi.

Materials for construction of fences.

  • Barbed wire.
  • Plain wire.
  • Chicken wire.
  • Chain link wire.
  • Nails and staples.
  • Posts and rails.
  • Off-cuts.
  • Cement, sand and ballast.
  • Sticks for use as droppers.

Maintenance of fences.

  • Loose or sagging wires should be straightened by use of a wire strainer.
  • Broken wires should be spliced.
  • Worn out posts should be replaced.
  • Broken brace posts and droppers should be replaced.

GREEN HOUSES.

Structures made of glass of translucent walls and roof for growing horticultural crops.

Creates a micro climate effects which facilitate production of certain crops out of season.

Construction materials.

  • Metal or wooden frames.
  • Translucent materials such as polythene sheets.

Maintenance. 

  • Broken frames should be repaired or replaced.
  • Torn polythene materials should be replaced. S Dirty polythene sheets should be cleaned.

CROP PRODUCTION STRUCTURES. 

  • Nursery beds.
  • Compost pits/ heaps.

Nursery structures. 

Small plot of land used for raising seedlings.

Include:

  • Direct nursery bed.
  • Seed boxes
  • Vegetative propagation unit.

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  • Direct Nursery bed.

Temporal shade should be constructed over the nursery bed (1.0-1.2M wide and 0.6M high.) Helps to reduce light intensity protecting seeds from direct sunlight.

Remove the shade gradually.

  • Seed boxes.

Used for germinating seeds which are then pricked out into the ordinary nursery bed or polythene bags. It is 40CM long 40CM wide X 10 CM deep.

Seed boxes are then placed under a shade or green house

  • Vegetative propagation unit.

Used for raising vegetative propagation materials e.g. coffee, tea, citrus and fruit trees.

3.66M X1.22M (holds 1200 sleeves).

Sleeves are filled with rooting mixture (sub soil, DSP and sulphate of Potash) Sleeves are then arranged in the unit.

Factors to consider in siting a Nursery structure.

  1. Source of water.

Near a reliable source for adequate watering of seedlings.

  1. Soil type.

Fertile and well drained.

  1. Sunshine

Should receive enough sunshine thus located away from tall trees. Roots of trees may also interfere with seedling growth.

  1. Security

Well fenced to guard against thieves and livestock.

  1. Location in relation to filed where crops are finally established.

Should be near the seedbed to save on time and labour during transplanting.

Construction materials for nursery beds.

  • Timber posts and off cuts.
  • Forked sticks.
  • Polythene sheets, glass or translucent sheets.
  • Bamboo splits.
  • Thatch or woven thatch materials. S Nails, laches and hinges.

Maintenance. 

  • Repair and replace broken parts.
  • Replace worn out polythene sheet and thatch.

COMPOST HEAPS.

Structures for decomposing plant materials.

Built on flat ground and materials heaped on top of each other in layers.

Are 1.2M high 1.5M wide and 1.5M long.

FARM STRUCTURES.

ALL AGRICULTURENOTES FORM 1-4 WITH TOPICAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

PRIMARY NOTES, SCHEMES OF WORK AND EXAMINATIONS

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