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Polyface Designs – A Review

Have you ever wanted to replicate one of Joel Salatin’s genius livestock housing designs but couldn’t find enough details to figure it out?


Or maybe you gave it a shot and the result was less than spectacular…

You are in luck! 

Presenting Polyface Designs by Joel Salatin and Chris Slattery.

polyface designs

Polyface does it again!

Joel Salatin, along with engineer and former Polyface apprentice Chris Slattery, has finally compiled all the various designs into one book, Polyface Designs – A Comprehensive Construction Guide for Scalable Farming Infrastructure. This book expertly combines Joel’s decades of experience with Chris’s engineering background to provide a book tailored to the novice builder.  The highly detailed drawings and materials lists make the projects easy to follow. Each design is fronted by Joel’s insights into why the design works, why certain materials are chosen, and other tidbits. This book is so thorough; it is almost 600 pages!

 polyface designs

The book is full color with photos of hardware and materials that are to-scale when possible. It is divided into 8 color-coded sections including chickens, cows, pigs, rabbits, and more.  Included are some of Polyface’s most well-known designs from the broiler shelter and Millenium Feathernet to standing nesting boxes and harepens.  Each plan includes detailed commentary about the evolution of the structure as well as tidbits like how to train chickens to their new home, what time of day is best to move your harepen and so much more.


If you haven’t already guessed, I am in LOVE with this book. It is well organized and the technical drawings, while a bit overwhelming at first, really break the building process down into numbered steps that are simple and straightforward without feeling “dumbed down.”

My First Project from Polyface Designs

I had seen videos of Polyface Farms that included the Raken House; a concept of combining rabbits and chickens into one house. I loved the idea; seemingly simple in execution but very complex in the outcomes: stacking functions of rabbits and chickens; solving multiple problems of rabbit waste and respiratory issues with the natural scratching of chickens in the same space while getting products of rabbit meat, eggs, and incredible compost at the same time. When I showed my husband, he was totally on board. 

With the detailed instructions in this book, we plan to start a small rabbitry with 2-3 does and 1 buck along with a flock of laying hens in a divided hoop house. We will rotate the livestock through sections of the hoop house while planting in the other portion.

Just Buy It!

polyface designs reviewDo not be put off by the $90 price tag. This is a HUGE book with incredible detail and printed in full color.  Completing just one of the building projects will pay for the book.

The first printing sold out in 10 days; unfortunately, this means there is a bit of a wait while another run is being printed, but you can buy the book directly from Polyface Farm.

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