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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Farm Structures: Pallets and Recycled Materials

Our name Redemptive Love farm has lots of meanings....we are redeemed through the life and death of Jesus, our animals are redeemed through rescue and rehabilitation, our land is redeemed by being bought, cleaned-up and re-claimed and old wood and metal (aka trash) is redeemed by becoming re-purposed farm structures!

Everywhere I look on our farm I see Redemptive Love!!!

We LOVE pallets! 
Most everything on our farm is made from them. Fences, sheds, hay catches, shelters, even our barn! It started that way because while we were focusing on paying off every penny of debt we had NO extra, even though we can afford a real barn, we still build recycled because we LOVE it, wood is wood is wood and the animals don't care what it cost, besides they are going to cover it in poop anyway!

Side garden fence made from pallets
Front garden fence made from cut recycled fencing
Rabbit Shelter:
With recycled wood and tin we made an easy shelter that holds the rabbit cages off the ground. That way we can move them to different garden beds, as needed, where they waste falls directly as organic fertilizer!
Rabbit cage shelter

A-Frame Shed:
Out of 8 pallets, scrap wood and a pool cover from the side of the road we built an A-frame shed. It is in our garden. We used it for new born bottle-baby calves for season but now have our incubator and chick cages with heat lamps in it.  
Front view

Side view

Small 4x8 Pen:
Using three cut pallets, scrap wood, tin and old fencing scraps we made a small 4x8 pen. It can be moved, by two people, to fresh ground every day. We have put new poultry we have to temporarily separate in it, young growing chicks and even small pigs that kept getting out of the bigger pasture fence.
Right-front view

Right-back view


Left-front view

We added an extra beam across top to hold feed and water buckets

Round 12ft Pen:
Using an old trampoline, turned upside down, an old gate, poultry fencing and wire we made a movable round pen. Literally, just wired fencing to upside down frame. Found the baby pool on the side of the road and the house is two broken porches made for dog houses that we re-built. It is sturdy yet light enough that two people can move it to fresh ground every day. We made two of these, one we now use for our petting zoo small poultry and one for our growing pigs.
Trampoline Pen

Trampoline pen door opened

Ducks happily enjoying their new pen

House Before

House After

Our small, bantam poultry flock now resides in trampoline pen!

And occasionally the pen houses a baby goat or two ;)

Boberry and Biscuit wanting food!!!

Pigs enjoying trampoline pen while they root up areas so we can plant grass seed!

Walk-thru Shelter/Hay Shelter
This is a great idea we found online. It is simply a two pallets attached to a cattle panel forming a U-shaped top and a tarp stretched across it. In our case we doubled it using four pallets, two cattle panels and two tarps to make a large walk-thru rain shelter for our cows. We made a second identical one of these for our hay bales to stay dry.
Walk-thru shelter
Shelter in background

Chicken Tractor
This is a simple, open chicken tractor design that we kinda made up as we went. It is a pallet with two old lockers attached on facing front and back making 12 nesting boxes. Then we wired a cattle panel to each side making a U-shaped top. Cut some bamboo perches to fit on cattle panel and duct-taped a tarp fitted tight around cattle panel. So it is a movable-nesting-box-roosting-station for our chickens and ducks!

The fencing is electric poultry netting fence from Premier1 with a solar panel battery charger. Now we can safely allow our chickens to graze and scratch, moving them to fresh ground daily, yet keeping them contained where we want them (not in the garden or on our porch...).
Chicken Tractor for nesting and roosting


Right side


Left side and pallet bottom


Guess she likes it!

Roosting for the night

Three Stall Stable:
This was our quick three stall pallet stable and chicken coop made from pallets, recycled scrap wood and roofing tin. It served it's purpose for our first year here but we always wanted a real barn. I never did get good detailed close-up pics of this stable before we took it down and moved it.
Built in early 2015 and taken down and re-built in early 2016

When we first got Willow, we added a pallet floor to the milking stall

Pallet Barn:
This is our current pallet barn built from over 50 pallets, scrap wood and recycled roofing tin. It has two large milking stalls, one we filled with concrete left around our property. Then on the other side we built 5 small stalls, 4 for ponies to be fed and 1 for goat milking stand. Then around the back there is one large stall with fencing and a gate creating one large animal pen. On the left side there is a small pallet shelter with fencing and two gates creating two pens for small animals. We have really enjoyed having the ability to separate animals during feeding but we still have plans to continue roofing the pathway between two sides so it is completely covered for extra shelter from the weather.
Our pallet barn

Front with double pallet entrance gate

Right side small stalls

Tes in small stall

Small dwarf goat milking stand made from pallet and an old bed headboard

Tes behind stall door

Left side large milking stalls

Mirabel milking Willow in pallet milking stall

Back view - Two small pens and one large

Two small pens in back can separate pregnant does or weaning kids

Inside view of small pen shelter

Large pen can separate pregnant cows and weaning calves

Pen was big enough for our Jersey cow to comfortably give birth to her first calf!

Want to see our previous pallet structures? Click here for our 2014 post

Don't be afraid of trying. Pallets are FREE! Just build something. You will improve it as you go and get better and better!!!


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