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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  1:33:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all!

My husband and I are planning to build our barn in 2016. There's an old dairy barn foundation on our property which we're planning to build on. It's 35' long by 20' wide (approx) and foundation is in wonderful condition for its age (our farmhouse was built in 1905 so it's hard to say how old the foundation is).What I'm wondering about is the layout. It's a blank canvas at this point. The bottom level will be for animals, and the top level will be for hay storage. I've sketched a few ideas but wonder what you all would include regarding stalls, milking area, shelter area, etc. I've looked closely at Mary Jane's ideas in her book and everyone's barn ideas on here as well. I'm thinking possibly 2 nice sized box stalls, a milking area for the head stanchion and side gate, and an area that's open to the outside for animals to come and go as they please for shelter. We have one cow (and calf next year), and a small flock of sheep; only 2 right now but will be growing in the years to come :)



Here's a picture of the foundation. Any and all ideas are appreciated! :) Thanks!

Edited by - Andrea0509 on Dec 15 2015 1:35:43 PM

CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  1:44:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You have a beautiful setting!

So cool to be able to use an existing foundation! Be sure to create space for a birthing stall or a space to have a calf if you need to separate. Or be able to create a temporary space if its needed. In our new barn, I have a very wide middle aisle that I can easily set up additional pens for goat kids (my goats are in there, not cows) or if anyone became ill.

Also make space for equipment and supplies that are out of the way of the animals.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10930 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  1:49:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great suggestions Charlene. I especially like the one about space for equipment and supplies, so that the animals don't get to them, because they will investigate any and everything. I have an old wheel that I wrap a hose around in the winter time hanging in the barn. Nine times out of ten if I let them in the breezeway to get in out of the weather, they will pull the hose down. I need to move it out of there and then there won't be that temptation. Nice to have a foundation in place Andrea. The future prospects are always exciting.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  3:16:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the suggestions Charlene and Janet! Hearing advice from you guys is so helpful as we embark on our planning. I agree with planning in some critter-proof storage areas and a place to separate the calf. Nice idea to have a good aisle way for make shift situations like you mentioned too Charlene. Thank you both :)



Here's a picture from when the barn was standing years ago. The seller of our home had a few pictures stored away and I just love seeing them!

Edited by - Andrea0509 on Dec 15 2015 3:18:47 PM
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  3:37:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How exciting for you Andrea!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  5:40:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
andrea, what about mucking systems? i am planning a shelter for 2016 and then a barn for maybe twenty years later ;> and I am constantly researching mucking systems.

this system of pushing a big wheelbarrow/cart in, putting muck in it, and then pushing out is just archaic and inefficient. so i am looking at perhaps having a middle aisle with carts in it so i can muck straight into carts w/out pushing them around every day... at least for the short-term shelter. then perhaps a ceiling system for the official barn that moves on a track between all stalls... saw something like that online from the good ole days.

anyway, i don't have any good specific suggestions except for you other than consider it now in detail to make sure whatever you do really makes it simple and efficient for you. i love to muck, its relaxing, but don't love pushing carts half way across our property every day to dump the carts ;>

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 15 2015 :  8:25:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One more thought ... don't beat yourself up if you don't think of every single detail. Nothing will be perfect no matter how well thought out it is. That is also why I like the idea of a wide middle aisle to recreate spaces on an as-needed basis. It is similar to what MJ has said about fencing and a farm in general, it is always a process and a person is always making improvements and changes as we learn as we do and gain more experiences.

Cindy, more info on the ceiling system please? We will be pursuing our dairy barn this coming year and I'm always impressed with your ability to "work smart, not more". On our current barn, we put roll-up doors on either end so, if necessary, one could drive all the way through. This past weekend the guys mucked out the duck, chicken, and goat pens. They drove a pickup (has a tilt bed on it) right inside to load it up. Worked well until the tilt bed decided to stay in the upright position. But that's another story... Then my job was to spread out shavings/straw and set the animal pens back up with fresh everything.


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 17 2015 :  12:28:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cindy, thanks for the ideas on mucking systems. This is something that hadn't even occurred to me. Will have to do some reading on that, very interesting.

Thanks for the encouragement Charlene :) I agree that it will be something that is ever changing depending on the current needs and setup of the animals being kept. It's the reason I really want to keep the layout very versatile to suit many purposes over the years. I really like the idea of a wide aisle way and in my sketches I've made sure to include that! Come lambing time I may find a need for that extra space. How big is your aisle way and how big are your stalls?

I've been talking to our builder this week! He builds through the winter and says he can fit us in any time. SO. very. excited. Doesn't seem real :)

Edited by - Andrea0509 on Dec 17 2015 12:52:22 PM
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 17 2015 :  2:23:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andrea, our barn that we just built will eventually be my chicken barn. We made the middle aisle big enough to drive a truck/tractor/trailer through. So it is about 12 feet wide. Our dairy barn will have birthing pens in addition to a big wide middle area. The pens in my current barn are on the smaller side since I just have my chickens, ducks, and goats in them. The pens can also be opened up to each other to make fewer larger pens or I can make more smaller pens. The smaller pens vary but are approximately 10 ft deep and 9 ft wide. Again, our dairy barn will have a large covered inside area for the cows (not all of it will be divided up into stalls).

So exciting that you are already talking to your builder! I still look out and see our first barn and have to pinch myself as I am over the top excited about it still! I'm excited for you as well!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Dec 17 2015 :  7:47:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
charlene, i can't find the photo now but i'll tell you what i came across a few months ago.

when researching mucking systems i found this old vintage photo online that showed a track in the ceiling that went across every stall. hanging on chains from that track was a boat hull shaped thing, and it was just high enough to barely clear the stall sides. and it looked like it was all manual, so you just tugged on a chain on either side to pull it to the stall you wanted it at. then you just stood in that stall and mucked into it, and then went into the adjacent stall and pulled it over and mucked into it. and this was a large barn so the track in the ceiling spanned LOTS of stalls.

there was an open area at the end of the stalls that it looked like it could dump into a tractor or something. i liked it as it was non-electrical, seemed really simple and common sense, and i could muck one stall and then move onto others if i had time, or if i didn't then i could wait until later... no more pushing around muck carts that fill up way too fast.

i'll do more research later, but it was the neatest and simplest thing i have found thus far. or course, it relies on an open ceiling in the structure.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 17 2015 :  9:05:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That sounds like a good system, simple, and love that it is non-electrical.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Dec 17 2015 :  10:13:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Probably invented by the same person who invented those large hay forks (for stacking loose hay into a barn) that were on a pulley system. Cool.

Andrea, I'm vicariously enjoying everyone's barns and barn concepts and now we have yours moving up in time. Not sure I'll ever build one, but then again ...

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 18 2015 :  9:05:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The mucking system you found sounds interesting Cindy. They sure had some great ingenuity in those days and inventions like these had to have made their daily labor a little easier. The lower level of our barn will house the animals, and won't have the open ceiling area that's needed to make this setup work. It's a wonderful concept though and hopefully we will see it being built into your new barn someday! :)

Thanks for the info on your barn Charlene. I love hearing about how others are set up. Just helps to visualize different options. And I'm so happy you're loving your barn so much! Must seem surreal still! In my blueprint sketches, I've tentatively planned for 4 10x9 box stalls. At first I'd thought 10x10 but I really want that wider aisleway. With a small space to work with I have to be a little creative but it's fun figuring out what will work best.

You have a beautiful setup for your animals Mary Jane, but I'm sure a new barn would absolutely be a wonderful addition!

Will keep you posted as plans progress!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 19 2015 :  11:56:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd enjoy seeing your progress as you go along! We, too, were limited on a preset outside dimensions of our chicken barn as posts were put in a few years ago to support some free trusses that were given us. The trusses blew down in a wind storm and set us back a bit. However, we didn't want to redo the posts to save some money ... hence, the preset dimensions. However, it was definitely enough for our needs this first go around.

I love the idea of a two story barn! You don't always see that with new barns ... at least not around here so much.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 20 2015 :  6:34:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charlene; will definitely post updates as they come :) Wow that's nuts that the wind blew down the trusses, but glad it wasn't too much of a setback for you guys. Us farmgirls have to perservere even when the going gets tough! I'm so glad the project turned out so wonderfully!! I'm excited to recreate the 2 story barn on our foundation too. Around Michigan 2 story barns are everywhere, many of which are historic old buildings over 100 years old, that each have a story to tell! I've been in several and I just love walking through them imagining what it was used for and what animals it might have housed all those years ago. They're a piece of history that I'm thankful is still around for us to appreciate.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 20 2015 :  7:15:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a treat to be able to explore old barns and learn their history. Be sure to write down your own barn's history as much as you remember ... maybe even frame a written copy and hang it in your barn once its done!

Are most of the barns in your area built of wood or rock?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 20 2015 :  7:26:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The construction of the old barns here are mostly wood, but the foundation/basement levels are either cement or large stones. They are all different and whenever we drive anywhere on a trip across the state I always enjoy commenting on all the barns we see...not sure my husband appreciates them the same way I do! Haha ;) It's always been a fascination of mine!
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NellieBelle

10930 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  04:40:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love old structures, especially barns Andrea. We have an Iowa Barn Foundation an organization that help folks restore old barns to their original structure. I just received a card and picture of a barn that I was able to watch being restored. My son took a picture of it when we were riding together and it is a magnificent structure. They put on a new wood shingle roof. William Owens Barn. It will be in the tour this coming year. I love touring old barns. So much love and history. Peoples livelihood. Thanks for sharing yours. Will enjoy watching the progress.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  11:06:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Janet, what a cool structure!! That's a great idea that there are tours offered by the foundation. Bet they get a good turnout every year. Just did a quick search and found Michigan has a similar group called the Michigan Barn Preservation Network. I swoon over this sort of thing ;) We won't really be restoring ours to its original however; more of just using the original foundation and building upon it something new. Siding will be the more budget-friendly metal sheeting like you see on pole barn. :)

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  2:56:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm loving my budget-friendly RED metal sheeting ... I had to at least have the old-fashioned red color.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  3:24:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Around here you have to go with metal. My poor old barn that was built probably 70 years ago is riddled with 2 and 3-inch holes drilled clear-through by flickers (we mend it annually with the ends of tin cans). And they pull out and toss any insulation that is in a building all over from here to breakfast and back. Every spring we listen to them destroying any of our structures that are wood. They even try to drill into metal (must cause headaches, right?). Our historic one-room schoolhouse has hundreds of holes. We've hung all kinds of shiny objects and put realistic owls out but the flickers just laugh at us. I finally covered a side of my barn in hardware cloth and chicken wire and they still drill into it. I'm a big fan of metal siding. Love the look of wood but .. it's for the birds.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

10930 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  7:20:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Metal siding here, as to build an all wood barn would be expensive. We have red metal siding on the chicken house, dog kennel and barn and I would imagine the new parlor will be the same. MaryJane, have you tried putting up houses up for your flickers/woodpeckers?

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  7:51:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Glad to hear all of you ladies enjoy your metal siding. It may not be as historic inspired or pretty, but I'm guessing those that came before us would have chosen it in a heartbeat. Easier maintenance and long lasting. Can't beat it. Sorry about those pesky birds Mary Jane! Sounds like you've tried it all. My pest around here is moles. SO destructive!

We are hoping to make a decision soon regarding a start date. I get giddy just thinking about it!

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 21 2015 :  9:39:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, MaryJane, I think a motel for the birds would be just the thing ... you have a B&B for human guests, why not one for the birds? :-) Seriously, if Janet recommends it, I would most definitely try it. She's the wonder with birds.

We laugh when we hear the flickers trying to drill holes through the metal ... they still try on our gutters, chimney cap, and, now, I suppose they'll try on our barn come spring. I get a headache just hearing them drill.

I've seen many pictures of barns made out of stones; but, they are located further east. I suppose that, too, would deter any crazy bird and would last. As a child, I lived in Reading, MA, and I remember my dad building a rock wall from all the rocks that came out of the soil ... such rocky ground. He'd even push me in the wheelbarrow up the street where he'd get the neighbor's rocks and then, of course, I would need to walk back while he pushed the rock-filled wheelbarrow back to our forested yard and build a bit more wall.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Dec 22 2015 :  2:05:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I was reading Milk Cow Kitchen this morning, I stumbled upon a great photo of another majestic barn ... page 236. Pretty cool weather vane, too.

I like what MJ says, "It's no wonder we long for an era when barns were bigger than houses and the size of an outbuilding wasn't about the number of cars it held."


Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10930 Posts


Posted - Dec 22 2015 :  2:56:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I absolutely love barns. Reading the history of different barns. And my grandpa told me that the barn and buildings on the farm were for their livelihood. The barn being of the most importance. I have a book, BARNS by John Michael Vlach, Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design & Engineering, that is full of pictures of different barns from all over. It talks about the history and importance of the barn in farming. Shows diagrams of how they were set up. Old tools too, like hay derricks, etc. Really interesting.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown

Edited by - NellieBelle on Dec 22 2015 3:20:59 PM
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