Every homestead needs to have a good homestead barn. And every farmer has its own vision of what it should look like. However, you have to stay practical and think about the animals and things you plan to keep in the barn. Plan it carefully, combine your dreams with reality and the results will be beyond perfect.
What Makes For a Truly Great Homestead Barn
One of the most common mistakes people make is to build their homestead barn far away from home. Consider how often you will be walking to it carrying heavy things. If you plan to keep animals in the barn, then don’t forget that they need to be fed and taken care of every single day. It is much more convenient to have the barn closer to the house so you can finish all those tasks in no time and without getting exhausted.
Many farmers will choose concrete for their homestead barn, but that is the most expensive solution. It is not the best one for all purposes. You can choose it if you mean to store tools inside the barn. But if you intend to keep livestock in there, concrete may be hard for their feet and won’t soak up the fluids as well as the ground does. There are several materials you should consider for the barn floor: dirt, soil, sand, clay, wood and many more.
Space for changes
Never forget that your barn’s purpose may change in the future or that you will eventually need more space than you initially planned. That’s why you should build a bigger homestead barn. In case you decide to store more things in the barn, don’t create bulks with boxes and old baskets on the floor. Instead, you can put all of these on adaptable pallet racking, which will keep your barn tidy and free more space for your tractor or a car. That way, you won’t stumble over things and will be able to get the tools that you need in no time.
Bring in the essentials
Working on the land can be exhausting and that’s why you should make some jobs on your farm a bit easier. Having water in the homestead barn will save you from the hard task of carrying buckets and buckets of water to your livestock. Another essential thing to have in the barn is electricity and not only because of the lightning. You will be able to use the necessary machines, have proper ventilation and water heaters and that doesn’t sound bad at all, don’t you think?
Livestock species have their own needs and they can vary greatly. If you are not sure what kind of livestock you are going to keep inside the homestead barn, then don’t put any kind of fence or walls between the stalls. Once you buy the livestock, adjust the barn space to their needs. If you are keeping horses, then build separate stalls. In case you’re going to keep goats, you should separate them only with sturdy see-through panels. Avoid wire fence because goats can get hurt by it. If you plan to milk the livestock in the barn, then check the regulations of your country on how you should handle the milk so you can sell it.
Feed for the livestock
If you keep hay or any other livestock feed close to your animals, chances are that they will eat enormous quantities of it in a short time. It would be much wiser if you would store the feed in a separate room. If you don’t have enough space or money to make a separate room, then at least make an earthen mound on which you can keep hay, grain, and other feed. You can also keep the provisions in big containers and whenever you need to feed the livestock, just pick up the lid and take some grains!
Barns get dirty so quickly because of livestock manure and that’s why it is crucial that you build a homestead barn on a location from where you will be able to clean out all the dirt without choking from that horrible smell. If your barn is located on a small hill then even the awful task of cleaning animal’s droppings will be finished faster than you could have ever imagined!
If you follow all these steps, you will get yourself a barn that will serve you as long as you need it. A homestead barn is the heart of every homestead and that’s why you have to handle its building with the utmost care. It will all be worth it at the end of the day.