Post by suburbanfarmer on Sept 13, 2010 8:19:26 GMT -5
Hi! This is my first post here, but you all have helped me learn so much already. I have recently purhased 3 Jersey heiffer calves. Two are 4 months and one is 3 months. I intend on having them for milk cows in the future and are planning to build our ideal barn. I have 5 acres and the county codes will only permit a 16x20 structure. With that space, do you all have some advice as to how to proceed? Concrete floors? milking space? slant to the floor? What does your expirience tell you? We will be purchasing a milking maciene for TAD milking also. Any suggestions for that as well? Your help is much appreciated.
Well, I'm not a voice of experience since I've only been milking a cow since the end of July. However, we are building a barn too and last month I asked the same question here!
I definitely want a concrete floor (brushed, or texturized, to make it non-slip) with a drain and a warm water hose nearby.
We have horses and goats that we show sometimes, which means bathing them. I saw an idea in a horse book about a "wash bay," basically a 3-sided room (front is open to the barn aisle) with a brushed concrete floor and a drain. It has a hose which swings around from the ceiling (like they do at a car wash) and heat lamps above. I liked this idea so we're incorporating this and I plan to milk in the wash bay. It will also come in handy for washing animals, washing yucky buckets, etc.
An idea someone here gave was to have a fenced paddock attached to one of the stalls for calving, etc. We are definitely incorporating that idea.
We're also putting in a heated room for horse tack and it will have a fridge and maybe a sink. We can't decide whether to put the sink in the wash bay or in the tack room...or maybe both! Being able to wash up the milking equipment out in the barn will be so nice.
If you put in any stalls, we've really had good luck with rubber mats. They're so much easier to clean than just a dirt floor. We've been able to get them for really cheap off craigslist. But I haven't enjoyed milking on rubber mats--they get too slippery. In a stall there's lots of bedding which seems to cut the slipperiness.
A shed roof off one side of the barn is nice--a place for them to come in from the rain without necessarily being inside the barn.
That's all I can think of for now. I'm pretty new here too--isn't this a great place?
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2010 17:28:42 GMT -5 by hyacinth
Post by Dianne Ader on Sept 14, 2010 19:04:55 GMT -5
When we started building our house, we were told in order to keep it in open space we needed farm annimals so got them. I made a make shift shelter for my wife to milk in, it is 8x16, long story short 8x10 of it is for milking it holds 2 goat stantions an 1 hanging cow milking stantion. The quarters seem small if every one is in it at once but my wife rotates them in cow first then the 2 goats. this works for now, we are planning a new barn too 24x36 the first 24x24 is for my shop and the last 12x24 is for milking and tack. I love all the idea's so will think on them too.
Hope this helps, and a 16x20 is a good size barn have fun planning:)
Look at the library for a book on small barn plans.
5th generation farmer on our families land.
Larry & Dianne Ader
The cow part of my barn will be 12' X 20'. That'll hold the feeder, the water tank and the stanchion. Our barn is insulated because it was someone's old shop and the walls came assembled, but we're putting a big fan in one of the windows to blow the humid air out. I have Highlands so they don't need to be inside all the time, but I will be locking expectant mothers inside at night since Bonnie had her first calf in the middle of a blizzard, away from the shed. I felt so sorry for him! I don't think I am getting hot water in my barn but I am getting a concrete floor, brushed. If you can afford it and you think you might need it... add it. ;D I've never heard anyone complain because their barn was too big or had too many conveniences.
Future wife to a husband
Future mother of some children
Arctic farming at it's finest:
Bonnie- Highland/Shorthorn cow
Fiona her 2015 heifer calf
Sweet Pea-Dexsey heifer
Shrimp her 2013 bull calf
Buncha' chickens and turkeys
Dogs, cat, parakeets and fish
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'