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Amy Dunnington and David Borkman, Gilbert Stuart Road,
North Kingstown, RI

Small acreage livestock farm

What you will see!

Area 3: Homestead - this page

*Pet waste management - in-ground disposal system (dogs)

*Home made rain barrels - homestead

*Permeable paving alternatives - driveway

View other areas of this farm for livestock best management practices

Area 1: Pasture management - sheep and poultry

Area 2: Livestock yard management and rain barrels

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About this farm: The farm currently raises between 6 to 10 sheep, four sheep dogs (trained as working herd dogs), and 12 layer hens.

The farm contains about one acre of land, with about 1/3 acre available for grazing. The farm also has access to about 4 acres of pasture located one mile away and historically used about 0.5 acre of neighboring land for additional pasture until 2006.

The farm also has a vegetable and flower garden (about 1,400 sq. ft.) which is planted to a winter rye cover crop in the fall and receives chicken and sheep manure and bedding collected during winter months. The home is served by a private drinking water well.

Pet Waste Managment -- sheep dogs (4)
Tip 7 - Pick up after your pets

The sheep dogs occupy a small fenced yard immediately behind the house when they are not in the pastures. The owners would collect the solid dog waste from the fenced yard about once each week and dispose of it in the trash.

Due to the well drained soil conditions on the farm, the owners were willing to try an in-ground dog waste disposal system that works much like a septic tank.

Doggie Dooley in-ground disposal system.

Water and solid waste must be added every day for proper operation. Digester enzymes are added once each week.

This system is not recommended for areas with poor soil drainage and high water tables.

This system is not effective when soil temperatures reach 40 degrees F (winter months). The unit does not need to be removed.

Do not locate near a drinking water well, surface water body, or vegetable garden.

Model 3000 -- for up to 3 medium sized pets, installed June 2003 in the dog yard.

By September 2003, it was determined that the model 3000 alone was not enough to handle the solid waste collected in the dog yard. Too much solid waste began to accumulate.

The owners liked the way the system operated and did not experience odor problems (a claim made by the manufacturer due to the special enzymes used).

The owners located a new large capacity in-ground disposal system (up to 4 dogs) that became available during 2004 and installed the system in spring 2005.

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Home made rain barrels - homestead

During the growing season, the owners typically use 3 to 4 rain barrels linked in series to capture and store roof runoff from the barn. It is used to water the vegetable and flower garden on the farm. View Area 2 for more information.

Newly installed home made rain barrels for homestead:

July 2004. Two old, wooden barrels are linked by a garden hose, storing over 100 gallons of water.

They are filled by a downspout that drains the front half of the house roof. A spigot has been placed at the bottom of the barrels for filling pails or attaching garden hose.

Small holes have been cut into the tops of the barrels for the downspout to drain into. Keeping the holes covered is important for mosquito control. Insect screening or a pool filter basket can be installed for the barrel that is installed at the downspout.

Wood barrels can leak until water saturates and swells the wood. If wood barrels are not full, swishing the water around periodically can help keep the wood wet and sealed.

July 2004. The rain barrels are used to water these border beds in front of the house.

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Permeable Paving Materials - driveway
Tip 5 - reduce runoff
Tip 6 - reduce soil erosion

Driveway paved with crushed stone. Allows for groundwater infiltration and reduces runoff.

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