Sunday, April 1, 2012

How To Build Animal Housing by Carol Ekarius

Cows and horses, donkeys and mules, sheep and goats, pigs and fowl, even llamas are living on small farms and in backyard barnyards throughout the United States. But how and where are these critters being housed?

Author Carol Ekarius knows. In How to Build Animal Housing, she provides dozens of plans--with illustrated, step-by-step instructions--for species-specific shelters that are well ventilated, safe, appropriate for the animals, appealing, convenient, and a solid value for their owners.

The book is essential reading for anyone interested in animal health and welfare. It includes complete plans and step-by-step, illustrated instructions for sheds, coops, hutches, multipurpose barns, and economical easy-to-build windbreaks and shade structures. Ekarius covers new high-tech, portable structures made of plastics and fabrics, such as hoop houses and hen spas, as well as more traditional alternatives, such as straw-bale structures. Always practical, she enumerates the advantages and disadvantages of ready-to-build kits and modular barnyard buildings and includes designs for watering systems, feeders, chutes, stanchions, and more--the essentials that help owners keep their animals healthy and happy.

Ekarius wisely emphasizes the importance of careful planning, choosing an appropriate housing site, and complying with local zoning regulations; pest control, basic housing maintenance, and insurance costs are also discussed. Real-world advice from farmers and veterinarians on the types of housing and facilities animals like best enliven the text throughout.

How to Build Animal Housing is the most comprehensive and useful guide of its kind. For small-scale farmers, hobby farmers, do-it-yourselfers, and animal lovers, this book is indispensable. This description was found HERE.

I borrowed this book from a local library a couple weeks ago. We were trying to figure out what we were going to do about a home for the boys show rabbits they planned to buy (and did over the weekend). I can honestly say that this is a fantastic book for someone with carpentry skill. It is FULL of plans for every type of animal housing you could possibly imagine. Some are very complex.

However, like myself, if you have no experience with carpentry, this book may not be as helpful for you. I would really like to see some step-by-step photographs explaining how to build basic housing and inventory lists of exactly the supplies you would need. A little hand holding goes a long way! And *I* would certainly need it if I were to build a hutch by myself. Thankfully, my brother is a carpenter and the plans in these books would be simple for him to follow.


Grace said...

I need this information in the worst way! Thanks for letting us know about this book.

Alana Jo said...

Very welcome.