Post by mommasquilts on Jan 27, 2019 20:17:37 GMT -5
This summer (probably June or July) we will be putting up a Quonset barn for my future dairy cows. DH thinks I need something much bigger than I think I need, so I guess my question is: if you were building your dream barn for 2-3 ( ok, CALP might be an issue) dairy cows, their calves, their hay and other feed, free stalls, etc with room to drive a big tractor down the middle) how big would you make it?
My girls and the hay are in part of a 50×70 barn and there's enough space left over (which happens to be filled with detritus bit that will eventually go away) that I can eyeball another cow/calf pair into the space and still have lots of room left over.....so I actually have plans to move them into a 30×50 barn which I have played the floor plan out in my head to include hay storage, a one-at-a-time milking stall, sleeping, eating and big calf stall.
The bigger the better for the barn but I will suggest you make it a regular a roof top barn rather than a quonset. I have a lovely 40x40 quonset barn. It is very cold in there in the winter and an oven in the summer. Plus the curved walls made it hard to fit premade stall panels in it. Right now I have 3 10x10 stalls on each side. Then I have a 10x14 stall in a corner. I use the rest of that end of the barn 26x10 as a run in for my cows. I'm to time crunched to clean stalls so my horses use the middle of the barn as their run in. A few years ago I did have a bunch of foals born in March. Then we had a late winter storm and really cold wet weather for a couple of weeks. I used all the stalls for the mares and foals and my old horses. I was glad to have the stalls to use. I do often store hay in the stalls too but the curved roof makes stacking very high a pain.
My cows spend not much time in the barn, even in winter. In summer, unless is scorching hot, they're out in pasture. In winter, unless it's bad, like it is right now, I bed outside and they do great out there. I used to want them in the barn more, Because they must be "cold" but they've proven to me that they aren't most of the time. (I leave the door open to go in the barn and I consistently find them outside on the bedding as opposed to inside on the bedding pack)
Now, for feed storage, milking, etc yes, a good barn is wonderful. Our barn isn't real big. Small barn with a small room, which is my feed storage room. A few pens, a small spot for milking 2 cows and then the mow is for hay. Now that we re - roofed it and can use the WHOLE mow, there's LOTS of hay storage up there in a relatively small area. While it's nice to have alot of room, it's also more up keep and more expensive. If money isn't an issue, go for bigger. But if I can save myself a few thousand by building just what is NEEDED, I'll definitely do that instead.
Our barn is 24x24 (inside, hay, straw, and grain) plus 24x24 (covered area for 3 freestalls, one box stall, water trough, hay feeder and shavings bin). So, 24x48 in total.
It's doable, but that means our car can't be parked inside (as the covered area is really a garage). And it's just barely enough room for winter feed. And no room for a tractor. So definitely more space would be nice!
Edited because I had my numbers off, it's 24' deep, not 12'...big difference. lol
Last Edit: Jan 28, 2019 23:21:06 GMT -5 by rosalind
spiritedrose.wordpress.com Jersey cow family: Delegate Rosebud (age 14), Samson's Rosita (age 2), Virtuoso Briar Rose (age 1) Akita: Kit & Cats: Flurry, Molly, and Nell - Border Leicester sheep - 65 hens & one rooster
My barn was constructed in stages and ended up 42 by 38 into a hill so I have two stories- it's more efficient to build up than out. It developed in accordance with the contours of the land and the increasing herd. I too believe a pole barn would be preferable. A cement pad is also essential (sometimes pole barn builders elect to do this later on). Think of the use of space carefully, and rethink the need to drive a big tractor through it. A covered (roofed in but not sided) area along one side to drive the tractor with good reach might be a better economic option. make sure hay storage area has a wide opening to accommodate large square and round bales for that option with more cows. local a milk room- if you plan for one- in a protected interior area apart from the cows but within easy carrying distance. Interior so it and its water pipes are protected from the weather.
Last Edit: Jan 28, 2019 8:22:53 GMT -5 by brigitte
I’m sure he would be pleased to give him a call, not that it would do much good, but at least they could talk about cow crazy wives.
I have a modest beef herd right now. Other than the potential for cheese and the “make the wife happy” part, he just shakes his head about getting Jersey cows and the work it will create for him, why I want more cows than I already have. He is a good sport!!
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?'