What's it like living next to a dairy farm? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are thinking of buying a great house, and the next door neighbor is a small family dairy farm. Maybe a 100 or so cows.

I have always lived in small city and am excited and nervous about moving out to the country. Actually its less than 20min from my current house, but seems like country to me.

So what will it be like? Noisy? Smelly? I am more concerned with the smelly part. Mostly because I dont know what to expect. Our house would be on 2 acres, and the cow stables are about an acre away. It looks like a basic farm. Equipment, stables, mud, and a bunch or cute cows.

I didnt smell anything much at the house today. Except for when we were leaving and drove past the dairy and down the street. It seems like the wind was in our favor today.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#2 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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Yes, it will be smelly. But you get used to it, and after awhile you will begin to associate that scent with home.
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#3 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. So how smelly is smelly? Like if the house windows were open would it be farm smell every now and then, like comming in on a breeze?

Or the house windows are open and every room in my house smells like farm/cow poop?

I think your right, I'll get used to it, but I would feel funny if friends come over and my house and furniture smell like farm animals!

Thanks!

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#4 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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I live LESS than an acre from that many cows, and horses and sheep...lets just say alot'a animals!! It's NOT at ALL smelly!! Not that there's NEVER a smell...but very rarely & very faintly. Maybe it has to do with how well the barn is cleaned, etc?? I really dunno - but had to chime in w/ our happy experiance living in the boonies!!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#5 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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It totally depends on the farm. Most dairies are VERY smelly! B/C the cows spend so much time in the barn, and the smell accumulates. THere are two dairies on the road I take to drop DS off with his dad, and many days it is hard to breath just driving past, even with the vents and windows of the car closed. The smell is overpowering, and burns.

But, growing up I lived near cattle farms, and never noticed much of a smell. These animals spent all or nearly all their time in the filed, so the manure was not concentrated in one place, and there was air to dilute the smell.

I would go to the property a couple different times, in different weather, and see how it is.
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#6 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 07:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liawbh
It totally depends on the farm. Most dairies are VERY smelly! B/C the cows spend so much time in the barn, and the smell accumulates. THere are two dairies on the road I take to drop DS off with his dad, and many days it is hard to breath just driving past, even with the vents and windows of the car closed. The smell is overpowering, and burns.

But, growing up I lived near cattle farms, and never noticed much of a smell. These animals spent all or nearly all their time in the filed, so the manure was not concentrated in one place, and there was air to dilute the smell.

I would go to the property a couple different times, in different weather, and see how it is.
This is totally true. The amount of smell will depend on how much time the animals spend outside. I don't think it would ever be so bad that you couldn't have friends over.
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#7 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much! This is very helpfull. We will be sure to visit a few more times.

I was also thinking of stoping by the farm and talking to them as well. Maybe I could find a neighbor across the street and see if they will give me their oppinion.

Thanks again!

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#8 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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It shouldn't be all that bad except the days they spread the manure. Otherwise it just smells like cows. I have a dairy at the end of the street with about 30 cows, another one downwind about .25 miles away with 100+ and, of course, the 3 cows in my backyard.

A confinement dairy will smell a bit stronger and when they spread or spray the manure pits on the fields it can be pretty bad. Grazing dairy isn't as smelly except when they spread the winter's accumulated bedding and manure.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-20-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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We live in the country. There is a dairy several miles away and on a bad day we can smell it all the way at our home. It *always* smells when we drive past. Horrible, a sickening smell. The flies are unbelievable.
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#10 of 14 Old 11-21-2005, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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O.k., so find out if they are a confinement dairy or a grazing dairy? When we were there on saturday We could see two rows of cows eating. They looked like they were outside, but covered by a roof that extended off two barns.

I did notice a big area near the cows, outside, with a low fence that was half filled with mud like stuff. I wondered if this was manure.

I hate to admit it, but this city girl is getting nervous that this dairy is going to kill the deal. Maybe my first country move shouldnt be quite SO country.

As I mentioned before, it did smell stinky on the other side of the dairy. Is there any chance that this would stay true most of the time? Like the air currents usually move in the same directions. Could you say the dairy is downwind and it would stay that way most of the time?

Time for me to look up local weather patterns!

Thanks again!

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#11 of 14 Old 11-21-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Right now most dairies- even grazing- have the cows in because the grass is done for the year in most parts of the country. A grazing dairy would have a lot of fencing. Probably a perimeter fence of woven wire and then sub fencing of electric, as little as 1 strand of wire on a very short little post. A manure pit is just that, an actual concrete pit.

Ask the neighbors how it smells if you are in love with the house. Depending on the prevailing wind direction you may rarely smell it.
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#12 of 14 Old 11-23-2005, 06:41 PM
 
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#1- in November you are pretty much past fly season... you may have a deal with flies that you never anticipated come spring and summer- you will probably need lots of screened windows and doors if you don't do AC.

#2- The smell of the dairy is not the manure so much as the manure management. The cows come in the barn 2x a day to be milked and will poop sloppy poop all throughout the milk parlor- this needs to be cleaned out and put somewhere. Ofterntimes dairy farmers have a "lagoon" or a giant pool of wet poo- it puts off tremendous amounts of methane and can actually be harnessed to produce electricity. Also all dairy farms require that there be a concrete pad outside the milk parlor and the cows will hang out there waiting to be milked- that makes a lot of sloppy wet stink too.

100 cows is really a pretty big operation to live an acre away from. I mean, if I was a dairy farmer I'm not sure I'd want my own house that close to the barn. (My DH was a dairy farmer)

Try a search for something like "dairy" "manure" "managment" and see what you can learn about it and then you can understand what system your neighbor would employ.
example:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/DS096
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#13 of 14 Old 11-29-2005, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great info. After much thought It seems we are not going to buy the house. I hate to admit it but I think the dairy farm was the killer. I also learned that they get goat manure trucked in and make/sell manure compost. Maybe this means they are very efficient with manuer managment and the smell will be minimal. Or maybe not.

The home needs a major remodeling in order to make it a home. Roof, heating system, kitchen and baths. Walls and ceilings are caved in. Floors are rotted. Plumbing is missing. This is what we are looking for. We want to get a house we can renovate. The problem is justifying the time, energy and money to fix up a house I might hate living in come spring when I find out what it's realy like next to the farm.

Thanks again for all the replys and great info. I have learned a lot and that will be very helpfull as we contiue to look for a home in the country.

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#14 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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We bought a home 31 years ago near a Dairy Farm .The farm houses about 100 head of cows and the flies are awful. Flies are attracted to the color white and the two homes on our property are sided in white along with a separate 2 car garage. Some farms use things like dusting the animals and a food additive flies will not lay eggs in the manure .Go talk to the farmer and see if he uses fly control, if not. Find another home not near a Farm ,trust me!

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