[Tagging] How to tag an industrial breeding facility?

Bert -Araali- Van Opstal bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Fri May 28 16:03:56 UTC 2021

We do have good tagging for this Paul.

See the wiki pages for landuse=farmyard 
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Dfarmyard>) and 
farmyard=* (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:farmyard 

So should be tagged as landuse=farmyard, farmyard=feedlot or 
farmyard=stockyard. They mostly have individual pens, so a mapper who 
wants to provide more detail can use barrier=*.
So sorry for the confusion before, I should read our wiki more 
carefully, man_made=feedlot is wrong, should be farmyard=feedlot.

Although barrier=pen is used 41 times, the barrier tag doesn't seem 
suitable to me. Providing detail for the individual pens with just 
barrier=* tags limits the possibilities as it should be used for the 
type of fence for the pen.
Most of these pens have specific other provisions or characteristics, 
like soil type or bedding, drinking and feeding provisions, 
significantly different from a fenced meadow or pasture. So I would 
favourite a new tag for the pens like an area with man_made=pen, 
suitable to add surface=* tags but also species:en=cow etc... . This 
would allow to tag feedlots and stockyards who have a mix of pens for 
different animals.

For António, the wiki says farmyard=poultry should be used for a 
farmyard area used for raising poultry, usually chickens, for meat or 
eggs, farmyard=fur ... .
The issue I still see here is that it doesn't give a tag for the 
buildings and it doesn't differentiate between the factory farm or 
confinement concept and more animal friendly solutions like poultry or 
egg producing farms where the animals have a large or free roaming 
options outside the confinement. Neither does it provide options for 
different animals like pigs, cows, goats, sheep etc...
In these cases, farmyard is used to describe the product or produce, in 
other just the "type of operation" as in feedlot and stockyard. I do 
know of farmyards that provide different life animals like poultry and 
pigs, pigs and diary products etc... however all based on the "factory" 
concept with permanent confinement of the animals, intensive or highly 
They also do have other provisions for manure storage and processing, 
some produce their own silage but might combine with human crops..., 
which would be tagged with multiple ; separated values however you get a 
mix then with both produce and type of operation in one key.

So for farmyard I would suggest to introduce some new values, 
farmyard=permanent_confinement, farmyard=roaming_confinement, 
farmyard=outdoor_roaming_confinement, farmyard=free_roaming besides the 
existing values feedlot and stockyard which refer to operations without 
animals confined in buildings.
This still lacks some information to differ different operations in the 
lifecycle of the animal, like breeding, feeding and slaughter. Some 
facilities both breed and feed, others only breed, others only feed, 
others might also slaughter like for the fur producing factories and 
dispose the carcasses... .
I would prefer to use a farmyard subkey for this, gives the most 
flexibility and less different values in farmyard=*. So we could use 
something like farmyard:operation=breed and/or feed and/or slaughter 
(and others operations as they emerge), multiple operations separated by ;.
A farmyard value already in use but not listed in the wiki is 
farmyard=dairy, which makes much sense and is a keeper.

I didn't include "livestock" in the value, because, more and more the 
facilities that breed insects for protein and consumption, either by 
humans or animals are emerging, in my English insects are not livestock. 
They would be suitable to be described with the same farmyard value if 
we avoid "livestock". As an alternative one could introduce another 

The final product or produce should really go in a separate key. Like 
produce=eggs, produce=meat and I still prefer species:en=* to refer to 
the specific animals, as the eggs might be different coming from 
different breads, the meat might be different as coming from different 
breeds. Beef can be form different breeds of cattle, buffalo etc... 
different type of pigs, all tasting different even have different 
texture and appearance.

This should deprecate farmyard=poultry (529) and farmyard=fur (79).

Farmyard as such has 2792 use cases. This indicates that it never 
received much popularity as in describing the operations taking place on 
the landuse=farmyard (more the 1 000 000 uses) tag. Some did however 
attempt to describe the farm factories with a large number of different 
values all in very low usage numbers, some of the most interesting 
"stables" and "livestock" in the farmyard key.

This brings me to Martin's argument, why don't we use the existing tags 
for the different kind of animal housings like sty, stable, chickencoop 
etc... .
There are different issues with this tagging scheme:
1. There is no simple query to extract all types of animal housings form 
OSM. One needs to do a lot of research for all the different values for 
buildings, many of them not documented. A single building=animal_housing 
tag with animal_housing=sty / stable / chickencoop etc.. would easily 
resolve this and allow for easy re-tagging, no matter of it's industrial 
use or not.
2. The existing scheme refers to slight differences in the construction 
or appearance aimed at specific animal breeds. It does imply that the 
building is used for a specific animal breed however this might change 
and often be not the case. Small scale or traditional farmers might keep 
chickens in the pigsty, cows in the horse stable etc...
3. As for most of these tags, they are advised to be used on the 
traditional animal housings, either on a farmyard or even residential or 
other landuse.  Implicetely, the wiki says don't use them on large 
industrial or factory like facilities as they have different names.
4. In English semantics most animal confinements have a specific word 
for it, depending on the type of animal being kept in the confinement. 
This is justified because different animals mostly require different 
provisions and have different requirements to ventilation, size of the 
stall, individual or group pens or , nesting, humidity, temperature 
etc... which result in different indoor and/or outdoor layout, utilities 
and provisions. This is applicable both for the traditional animal 
confinements as the industrial ones.
In other languages this is often not the case.  The different types of 
animal confinement are distinguished by combining the animal common 
species name with a general term for animal confinement, like stable or 
pen. So a common mapper needs to be having a broad English vocabulary, 
dictionary aside, or a specialist farmer to know all these terms.  Not 
accessible or usable for a common mapper in a top-level key and in my 
opinion has led to the large diversity in values currently in use, 
leading to another OSM mess. Time to clean it up and make it more usable 
and structured.
5. Values and correct specialised terms for the more factory or 
intensive like facilities are hardly or not used, like piggery, battery 
(for eggs). You see other variants like stables, hall, etc...
6. The current situation is a mess and does not provide any clear 
guidance or structure for tagging the factory farms. The wiki pages 
exist since 2014, latest similar discussion (also initiated by António?) 
august 2020. So even if we discussed it before, the issues have never 
been addressed and the mess is just growing. Better to start reasoning 
from zero, try to keep existing tagging as much as possible but 
deprecate or discourage further extension of the old mess.

So I would stick to my previous arguments: building=animal_housing. 
Combine it as you wish with animal_housing=sty / stable / cowshed... and 
a new value or values for the industrial ones. Some of the industrial 
ones have specific terms like piggery, battery... .to describe it's type 
of construction (mostly indoors) for a specific animal breed. A sty is 
not a piggery though. A piggery is not necessarily an industrial or 
factory like facility where the animal never sees daylight or can't move 
around. So I would prefer a more general term like 
animal_housing=strict_confinement OR roaming_confinement OR 
daylight_confinement. Provide more details about the animals housing 
conditions in additional attribute key confinement=*.

Some examples:
A mapper sees some buildings on a farmyard.
Minimal tagging: landuse=farmyard, building=yes because he can't 
determine if it's a barn, an animal housing, or even the house of the 
farmer, the farmhouse.

The mapper is able to distinguish an individual animal house:
landuse=farmyard, building=animal_house.

The mapper can determine that the animal housing is for chickens, kept 
in a small scale operation or traditional.
landuse=farmyard, building=chickencoop.

The mapper sees not only chickens in the chicken coop but also some 
rabbits and even a small pig:
landuse=farmyard, building=chickencoop, species:en=chicken;rabbit;pig

All the above have no farmyard=* value, meaning they are not large scale 
or industrial like operations.

The mapper sees a farmyard and can distinguish an industrial like animal 
housing, no outdoor facilities for the animals, without knowing what 
animals are actually kept there:
landuse:farmyard, farmyard=permanent_confinement, 
building=animal_housing, confinement=strict_confinement.

The mapper sees a farmyard and can distinguish an industrial like animal 
housing, no outdoor facilities for the animals, the building is just a 
roof or semi-open and he can see they keep pigs inside:
landuse:farmyard, farmyard=permanent_confinement, 
building=animal_housing, confinement=daylight_confinement, 
species:en=domestic pig.

The mapper sees a farmyard and can distinguish an industrial like animal 
housing, the animals can exit the building to small pens aside the 
building but under the same roof. Like a cowshed.  Due to it's size and 
capacity he considers it as a large scale intensive farm.
landuse:farmyard, farmyard=roaming_confinement, building=animal_housing, 
confinement=daylight_confinement, species:en=cow.

The mapper sees a farmyard and can distinguish an industrial like animal 
housing, the animals can exit the building to small pens aside the 
building but the pens don't have a roof. Like a cowshed with outer 
pens.  Due to it's size and capacity he considers it as a large scale 
intensive farm.
landuse:farmyard, farmyard=outdoor_roaming_confinement, 
building=animal_housing, confinement=strict_confinement, he maps the 
pens separately and tags them man_made=pen, species:en=cow.

I hope this helps, if there is some common ground for this growing 
revamped tagging scheme, I would be very pleased to craft it in a well 
defined proposal with the help of some others (Antonio ?) and additions 
and changes to the existing wiki pages.
Of course any constructive comments, objections or additions are welcome.

Greetings, Bert Araali

On 27/05/2021 21:16, Paul Allen wrote:
> On Thu, 27 May 2021 at 17:35, Bert -Araali- Van Opstal 
> <bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com 
> <mailto:bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     The feedlots as referred to by Paul are just a collection of the
>     pens I mentioned before.
> Yes and no.  The differences between a collection of pens and a 
> feedlot are
> the concentration of animals and the percentage of their life spent in 
> those
> pens.  Feedlots confine the animals for life so they don't spend energy
> wandering around to graze.
>     A suggestion to map these could be man_made=pen on a closed area
>     and man_made=feedlot on the collection of pens.
> Cattle markets have collections of pens in which animals are briefly
> kept (but probably not fed).  The collection isn't a feedlot.
> -- 
> Paul
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