Farming forum: My barn project

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Dec 29, 2011 8:32 PM CST

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This is something that we've been wanting to do for almost three years now. Life and priorities has gotten in the way, but we're finally building a barn.

For the last year I read everything I could about barns and went and forth on where the barn will be located, how big it'll be, what design it will be, and what kind of floor plan I want.

All of that is finally resolved and we have started work.

December 17th, my dirt man is out starting leveling the site:

Thumb of 2011-12-30/dave/1a0662

December 21st we started putting up some of the center posts. Those are 6x6x20 posts and will form the center of the barn.

Thumb of 2011-12-30/dave/d8089d

Here's a photo from last night:

Thumb of 2011-12-30/dave/c6d8f7

As you can see, all the rest of the posts are up and it's starting to look pretty good.

Today I put all the plumbing lines and power conduit in, and my concrete crew has put all the rebar down. We're now waiting for Monday morning when we pour the concrete!

This will be a 36x36 barn in the "Monitor Barn" style. The two sides will be lower than the center area, which will contain a large open area and a second story loft running as a second floor above the center aisle.

To say I'm looking forward to milking our cow in the barn is an understatement! I'm also really looking forward to having a good loft for my square bales of hay, as well as other storage. We're also going to put a small kitchen in this barn, so I can keep milk, cream and cheese out there.

We will also keep rabbits in the barn, and pigs in the yard out the west side. The pigs will have stalls to go into to get out of the rain. We will use a stall to raise some meat chickens from time to time, too.

I'll post pics to this thread as the project continues.
[Last edited by dave - Jan 12, 2012 9:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Dec 29, 2011 9:13 PM CST
Wow! I haven't seen a barn raising in a long time.
It will be great to watch this one. I'm so glad you and the animals are getting what you need.
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Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! The WITWIT Badge Raises cows Region: New York Farmer
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Kathleen
Dec 30, 2011 3:33 PM CST
Neat, Dave. This is what I'll say, though, while it is a nice looking barn, you're losing a lot of usable space by not putting a loft over the whole barn. This is what Stan tells all the Amishmen around here when they build Monitor barns, and it is true. I do like they way they look. Will you be using board siding or metal?

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Dec 30, 2011 4:51 PM CST

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We'll be covering it with metal.

I hear what you are saying about the loft space being much more limited on a monitor barn, and for me the trade off is something that I considered for a long time before deciding that a monitor barn is indeed what we want.

This barn is very visible from the front. We can see it from almost everywhere and it was important to us that it looks good and is pleasing to the eye from all angles. Trish loves the monitor barn look.

I might have been happy with a full rounded-top type barn like I knew when I was a child in Wisconsin, but the monitor barn is more common out west for some reason and it's the look that Trish likes.

Also, the loft is 12' wide by 36' long which is 432 square feet, with about 7 feet of head room. I figure I can store as much hay as we're going to need up there.

Lastly, we're putting some windows up there on the side walls in the loft, and that'll let in a lot of natural light.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Dec 30, 2011 5:07 PM CST
Were you able to get more progress pictures today?
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Dec 30, 2011 8:04 PM CST

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No more progress yet. Nothing happens until we pour the concrete on Monday morning, bright and early! Then on Tuesday we hit the ground running with putting up the rest of the barn!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Dec 30, 2011 8:09 PM CST
I'll bet everybody is excited.
When I was little I loved the hayloft, loved the metal roof too.
And the scent of it.
Your children will love it, right along with Daisy. (Is that right?? Daisy the Cow?)
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Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
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Kathleen
Dec 31, 2011 6:47 AM CST
I hear you on the looks. I love the old hipped roofed barns up here, ours was built in 1945 after a fire wiped out the cattle barn and sheep barn. They had to build it the old fashioned way with pegged post and beam due to the wartime lack of nails. It is as pretty inside as out when you consider the structure. The new part that Stan put on doesn't have any loft space at all and the walls are curtained to catch the west wind.

It is going to be nice for you to have a milking stall - cows become quite attached to their places in the barn.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Dec 31, 2011 8:07 AM CST

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Daisy is the cow and her heifer calf is Elsie, who we are keeping and raising to be a second milk cow.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jan 2, 2012 2:56 PM CST

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Concrete pour today. They are now finished with the pour and tomorrow we will continue the framing.

Thumb of 2012-01-02/dave/3f9acc

In case you were wondering about the yellow tape, it's protecting my septic tank.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jan 2, 2012 3:41 PM CST
Shirt sleeves. Oh boy! It must be warm there.
I just came in from 30 sunny but terribly windy degrees.

Progress on the barn!
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jan 2, 2012 4:26 PM CST

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50 degrees today, which is 10 less than yesterday, so it feels chilly.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Jan 2, 2012 5:12 PM CST

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Kathleen,

One good thing about the monitor barns for us that Dave didn't mention is that it give the heat a place to easily escape. For you Northerners, you want as much hay space and warmth as you can squeeze in, but we're trying to get that hot air out as fast as we can! Hilarious! We also don't need nearly the hay as our Northern friends do, so that helps heaps.
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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
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fiwit
Jan 2, 2012 6:22 PM CST
Trish said:Kathleen,

One good thing about the monitor barns for us that Dave didn't mention is that it give the heat a place to easily escape. For you Northerners, you want as much hay space and warmth as you can squeeze in, but we're trying to get that hot air out as fast as we can! Hilarious! We also don't need nearly the hay as our Northern friends do, so that helps heaps.


I'm sorry... are you really trying to tell us it gets HOT in Texas? Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Jan 2, 2012 6:29 PM CST
Good for you all. I'm going to watch the barn go up too!! How exciting.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Jan 2, 2012 8:19 PM CST

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Hot? Here??

Why, I'd never say such a thing! Whistling
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Jan 2, 2012 8:33 PM CST
Certainly not in front of present company who is currently wrapped in fuzzy socks, flannel gown and an electric blanket.

And I don't suppose there will be any need for heat in the barn, not even in the kitchen.
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Jan 2, 2012 8:46 PM CST
That's so cool! Love watching the progress. One question? Do those guys know you're going to pay them with acorns? Whistling
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jan 2, 2012 11:15 PM CST
Bubbles, I love it!
Porkpal
Name: Kathleen Tenpas
Wickwire Corners NY (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! The WITWIT Badge Raises cows Region: New York Farmer
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Kathleen
Jan 3, 2012 6:37 AM CST
Oh, I get that, Trish. Not too jealous, winter is a part of me (the frozen, frostbit part). They are neat looking barns.

I do have one suggestion (yeah, I know, but my advice is worth every penny you pay for it!), you might want to invest in cow mats for Daisie's and Elsie's stalls. Cows have very tender hocks that bark easily on new cement. When we built the new part of the barn we decided that we couldn't afford the mattresses we planned to put down until the next year. We were milking 40 cows then and before the year was up, we had lost 10 to what's known as new cement disease. They would bark their hocks, develop an infection that in a very short time went to their hearts. It was a hard earned lesson. Cow mats will prevent that and make Daisie and Elsie happy campers.

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