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Farm structures - Agriculture Form 3

Suggested Topic Activities

1) Observe the wall and the roof of various buildings in the school and identify the construction materials used. Give probable reasons why these materials were used.(Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg83-92)
2) Identify the types of fences used in the school compound (Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg124-132)
3) Identify the various parts of a roof made up of timber in your area (Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg92 fig 3.4)

4) Visit a dairy farm and observe features of a dairy shed. Discuss the maintenance practices that can be carried out on a dairy shed.(Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg100-102 fig 3.8 a&b)
5) Visit an apiary and study how bees are placed (Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg118-120)
6) Construct any of the following livestock structures:
7) i). a crush (Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg93-94)
ii). A rabbit hatch (Ref sec agric klb bk3 pg113-115)

Background information

In your previous studies you covered common livestock management practices. These include control of parasites and diseases, breeding, dehorning, castration, hoof trimming etc. These practices need to done in special livestock handling structures for example a crush.
Livestock management practices include:

    control of parasites and diseases
    hoof trimming etc
    These practices need to done in special livestock handling structures for example a crush.


Acaricide- a substance that kills ticks and mites
Brick-baked or dried clay used for building

Concrete- a mixture of water, gravel, sand and cement allowed to dry and used for construction of farm buildings
Dip-wash- mixture of acaricide and water in a dip tank
Eave- the part of a roof that projects beyond the wall that supports it

Enterprise- organized business activities aimed specifically at growth and profit

Farm structures-different types of physical constructions that are put-up on the farm
Fermentation-anaerobic breakdown of organic materials by the action of enzymes produced by microorganisms
Fingerling- young one of fish, less than one year old.
Fish pond- structure used for rearing fish
Forage-plants grown to feed livestock
Green houses- structures made of glass or translucent walls and roof and used for growing crops.
Hedge-a close-set row of bushes, usually with their branches intermingled, forming a barrier or boundary in the farm.
Hutch- a small shelter, usually constructed from wire and wood, for keeping small animals such as rabbits
Latch-a device for holding a door, gate, or other opening closed consisting of a movable bar that drops into a hole or notch
Parasite-an organism which lives on or in another organism and depends on it for food and/or shelter causing harm to it.
Predator-an animal that kills and eats other animals
Silo- a structure for storing grains, animal feeds or for making silage

Silage- animal fodder that is made by storing green materials in a silo where it is preserved by partial fermentation
Strut-a rod or bar used to strengthen or support a structure
Translucent-allowing light to pass through, but only diffusely, so that objects on the other side cannot be clearly distinguished

Truss- physical structure with a network of beams and bars used to support roofing materials
Odour-smell whether pleasant or unpleasant

Wall plate- a horizontal structural member placed along the top of a wall to support the ends of beams or trusses.

Lesson objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to;

    describe parts of a building

    describe various farm structures and their uses

    identify materials for construction

    describe siting of various farm structures

    construct and maintain farm structures




There are many farm structures in the farm. The physical constructions put up on the farm are called farm structures and they are used to increase efficiency in production. Some of them include crushes, cattle dips and fences.

Farm buildings

Types of farm buildings i. Homesteads. ii. Houses for farm animals iii. Stores for farm produce, tools, equipment, inputs and machinery iv. Buildings for growing crops e.g. green houses v. Buildings for processing farm produce.

Parts of a farm building

A building consists of a foundation, walls and the roof A wooden roof has several parts. These are:

  • Cross tie (beam)-connects the roof to the wall
  • Strut- supports the rafters
  • Tie- supports the rafters
  • Rafters- support the purlins
  • Purling- supports the roofing materials
  • Eaves- protects the wall against rain water

Most of the farm structures have a foundation with the following parts

Most of the farm structures have a foundation with the following parts

Planning and Siting of Farm Structures

Siting of farm structures

Factors considered when siting farm structures: 1. The location of homestead 2. Direction of prevailing wind 3. Topography 4. Accessibility 5. Security among others

Ag3-0310001D Illustration

Siting of farm structures

Click the button to see the structures

Livestock handling structures

Animal crush

A crush is a farm structure made up of a holding yard and a fenced narrow passage.Some routine animal husbandry practices carried out to an animal in a crush include: a)Spraying with acaricide b)Identification c)Vaccination d)Dehorning e)Artificial insemination

Drenching of a cow in a crush

Animals are restrained in crush for different kinds of routine animal husbandry practices for example drenching.

Cattle dip

A dip is a farm structure constructed for control of external parasites. There are two types of dips. These are: 1.Plunge dips- where animals are totally immersed in the dip-wash 2.Machakos dips- where animals stand in the dip-wash and only the belly, legs and the underside of the animal are beneath the surface of the wash.

Spray race

A spray race is a farm structure specifically designed for tick control. Animals walk through a confined area (race) where pipework with nozzles at certain intervals and angles are fitted.
The parts of a spray race include

  • Sidewalls
  • Spray pipe system
  • Drainage pipe
  • Pump/reservoir
  • Pressure gauge

Spraying of animals in a spray race

In a spray race the animals are made entirely wet with dip-wash spraying through the nozzles. Nozzles are strategically placed on the side, floor and overhead pipes.

Calf pens

A calf pen is a shelter in which a dairy calf is reared during the early stages of growth up to 16 weeks. Calves should be reared in a calf pen with the following features:
1)concrete floor- for ease of cleaning 2)Single housing- to avoid licking of each other 3)Properly drained -to avoid wetness 4)Leak proof roof- to avoid wetness

Piggery (pigsty) unit

A piggery is a structure used for housing pigs. Pigs are sensitive to extreme weather conditions because of the thin hair covering on their body. They should therefore be provided with a warm and well ventilated house.A good piggery unit is composed of the following parts: a. Feed store b. Records room c. Pig pens, Gilts pen, Boars pen, In-pig pens, Weaners or Fatteners pen d. Farrowing pens e. Running yard f. water troughs or drinking nipples


A rabbitry is a structure used for housing rabbits. There are two types of rabbit houses. These are the morant cage and the hutch.Structural requirements of a good rabbit hutch:- a. Should be spacious b. Well ventilated c. Leak proof roof d. Well drained floor, which should be raised above the ground

Green houses

Green houses are structures made of glass or translucent walls and roofs and are used for growing crops. The size of green house constructed by the farmer depends on: 1.The type of crop to be grown 2.Scale of production of the farmer 3.Availability of capital 4.Availability of construction materials.

Importance of green houses

The use of green houses in crop production is increasingly becoming popular in Kenya. They protect the crops against, excess sunlight, cold weather, pests and diseases.Green houses create some kind of micro-climate effects which facilitate the production of certain crops out of season.

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