When Yeoldfurt and I moved up here nearly 8 years ago, we both agreed the only thing this place lacked for our needs was a barn. There were run-in sheds in the pasture, storage sheds in the yard and a three car garage …but no barn. So for nearly 8 years now, the horses and the tractor have lived outside in the elements …all day, everyday. The horses have handled it better than the tractor, I must say. They were fat and sassy when we moved here and are still fat and sassy today. But the tractor is rustier and harder to start than ever, definitely showing it’s age. So I decided it’s time to build a barn.
My first thoughts were grandiose. I envisioned a structure big enough to provide shelter for the livestock, covered storage space for equipment and extra hay, an enclosed feed room and some kind of covered work space for when the vet or farrier ..a veritable mega-barn. At first glance, having everything under one roof might sound convenient, even efficient. But the concept is problematic when the functions are that many and that different. I knew I needed to scale back my plans but everything seems necessary so what to cut?
Yeoldfurt never liked the idea of storing hay in a livestock barn because hay because of the risk of fire so that was the first thing crossed off the list. I almost resigned myself to NOT storing extra bales …just buying hay on an as-need basis, one or two bales at a time. That’s how I do it now but it’s more expensive and if we have another prolonged drought, it becomes nearly impossible to find hay exactly when you need it. Everyone’s heard the old saying ‘make hay while the sun shines.’ Well a good companion philosophy in my opinion is ‘BUY hay when it’s available.’ But then it dawned on me, I could build two separate structures. One will be a 20×20 hay barn which will store up to four round bales and the tractor. The other will be a 20×30 stall barn that will provide shade and shelter for the livestock and feed and space to work out of the weather. Both will be ‘open air’ for now, no walls …just a roof. I will add walls one at a time as I can pay for them and I’ll use tarps on the north and west walls in the meantime for shade and windbreak.
The hay barn will be in the turnaround at the bottom of the driveway which is where the hay is generally delivered anyway. From there I have easy access to any of the pasture areas where I would put out a round bale. It is also easy access to the shop where I have the tools necessary to work on the tractor if that becomes necessary. The stall barn will be in the front paddock which is close to the house and driveway …easy access in and out access to unload feed or load up livestock. It’s also close to the house so twice daily feeding chores are more efficient.
I already have a bid from a reliable contractor who has done work for me before. He will be back the last weekend this month to stake the two building sites and said he should be able to finish both in under two weeks. Pictures when they’re done.