The Barn Job


Something is afoot.
The stall addition to the side of the original part of the barn is getting a facelift.
I’ve been a bit frustrated with the three stalls to the left of the alleyway ever since I moved in. Dampness has been a huge problem, which I’ve worked on in various ways–it has poor drainage and was built lower than the rest of the barn. Back in the 1890s when the original part of the barn was built, they were smarter than they were in the 1980s or so when the stall addition was made. The stalls haven’t been very useful for me. I’ve built shelters and other structures that take care of most of the animals elsewhere. I wanted to use this section of the barn for the cows, but it just wasn’t set up right. I discussed my needs with my hired men and we developed a plan.

This photo, below, is standing in the doorway of the alleyway into the barn. To the left are the three stalls. Stall 1 will be opened in the back with a gate, to be used as a stall if needed or for storage. The gate will keep the cows out of it. Stall 2 is where the cows will be able to enter the barn (but not get into the alleyway). From Stall 2, they will be able to access Stall 3 ONLY for feeding. Stall 3 will hold round bales.
Looking at another photo, inside Stall 2, A is where the opening was to be cut out for the cows to enter. B is where the wall was to be partially taken down between Stall 2 and Stall 3 for the cows to eat from round bales (without being able to enter Stall 3).
In this outside shot, you can see A, which is the outside of Stall 2, where the cutout was to be made. C is the cutout that will be made for round bales to be moved into Stall 3 with the tractor.
And if that was difficult to follow, now you can see it in action!

Here you can see how Stall 2 was opened for the cows to access for shelter and feeding. (Noted as Wall A above.)
The cows can access the round bales from the partial openings in the wall between Stall 2 and Stall 3.
Happy cows, munching hay inside Stall 2.
They can munch on the bales, but they can’t get to them to wallow around on them and be wasteful.
A gate protects the round bales from the opening at the back of the barn to Stall 3.
We all love this new arrangement!
I also divided the back barnyard with a fence and a gate.
This gives me more options for separating the cows when I’m milking Glory Bee. There is an outdoor access stall on the other side of the barn where Glory Bee can be fed when she’s separated, leaving Dumplin and Moon Pie in the new divided area.
Not that anybody wants to be separated!!!!

P.S. Work on Stall 1 hasn’t been completed yet, so that’s not shown in the pictures.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 3, 2014  

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5 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-3

    It is never-ending, is it? My husband keeps saying “Why can’t you make up your mind?” The real question should be “Why can’t we get this right?”

    And they say happy cows are in California. WV too I say!

  2. 12-3

    I know… I keep thinking, I’m finally getting it right! Then there’s always another idea!

  3. 12-3

    Good modification Cousin…….. You need to fix gutter on the shed roof to prevent water from splashing on the end wall and rotting out the barn side……. Come spring you need to paint shed end wall to protect siding from splash. You could downspout rain water into barrels at ends of the roofs for a source of water in emergency.

    Cows asked for stereo system with mooooooooooood music in cd changer.

  4. 12-4

    It sounds like you are getting your farm to where you want it, everthing thing takes time and I say you are doing very well for the amount of time you have been there. Good for you Suzanne.

  5. 12-17

    does your county/state offer rain barrels of differing sizes (some with spigots) as part of their eco/conservation outreach? Some kits even include gutters and flexible downspouts for easy installation.

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