At first glance this may look like a mowed patch in this field but look closer! See the stakes? To me – this is about to become a new barn. I’ve seen the plans my son drew up, his idea of feeding cows in the dry without having to muck a barn, a sheltered milking area, some stalls…do you hear the angels singing?
When we purchased this farm in 1998, there were two barns on it. One barn, closer to the house, is a bit odd in design. It has an open milking parlor where the cows go up a ramp and then have to back down it again. When you milk…you are standing up but you have to hunch over to reach the udder. It has a huge loft for storing square bales of hay. That loft sits over a multitude of stalls & on the back there is a long “hallway” too short for our tractor to fit in. It was great to store hay in when we square baled & we did milk in it for years but it was so cold during the winter and always very dark. You can see this barn (we all it the red barn) in the picture beyond my greenhouse. The opening is the long hallway that runs the length of the barn
Our lower barn sits at the bottom of the hill & is always damp to wet because so much water runs down that hill when it rains (what were they thinking?) The barn is rotting all along the bottom. That barn will be taken down (unless it falls down before we get to it!) and the lumber repurposed. Can you tell it is right at the bottom of a very steep hill?
Our new pole barn will be small but very efficient! It only has a couple of stalls in it, because our herd is small. We have the option of taking two larger open areas and creating two more stalls if we ever had the need. It will have a milking area in it with a cement pad and the wind shouldn’t whistle through it! There will be a head gate that will serve a dual purpose – milking, first aid, vet checks for treating injuries/illness etc. (Joy!). My son designed a hay feeding system that I think is pure genius! Hay is always fed in the dry and cows are fed through a slant panel feeder while remaining outside – no more hay waste and no more mucking the barn!!!
My son that designed this barn has his own construction company. He and one of his brothers are building it together! I’m very excited – you’ll be able to follow along on my blog & on instagram (yes I’m attempting to do a better job at instagram). If weather cooperates (which it is NOT at the moment!) This barn should be done in about a month!
Stay tuned for more!