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More About Barns

Did you know not all barns are created equal? Barns are each made for a specific use. You wouldn't want to use a hay barn as a place for livestock to stay out of the rain. At the same time using a livestock barn may not be the best for storing hay. What are barns? Barns are buildings used as storage spaces for agricultural purposes. They can store anything from hay, livestock feed, tools, equipment, and livestock itself. Some barns are simple sheds while others are full of equipment that is used to keep livestock happy and healthy. When most people hear the word barn they think of an old red barn, best known as a historic barn. These older barns are not always utilized because of the new types of modern farming. They are sometimes remade into venues (like our white barn at Acres of Grace Farms) or agritourism centers. Most of these barns are seen as a historical memorial to the old ways of farming, a large about of them are so old that they could be a safety issue if they are not fixed. The cost of a historic barn being fixed could be close to the same as building a new barn. Hay barns are usually placed in the middle of the farm so that hay could be easily moved from the barn to different fields to be used as feed. Usually, barns are rectangular in shape with the entire front of the barn being open so hay could be moved by tractor with ease. Some ag complexes have a shed added on for hay storage or a loft for square bales storage. An ag complex, otherwise known as a multi-function barn, is a set of multiple barns/buildings placed close together. They are designed to accomplish one or more functions: animal shelter and production like milking, crop storage and feeding, vehicle and implement shelter and repair, or any combination of these functions. Dairy barns are used to house dairy cows. They also contain milking stations called parlors. Milking stations can have numerous stalls or just a single robotic milker. Modern dairy barns are built to be more comfortable for the cattle than old-style dairy barns. They have many systems set up to keep the cattle happy and healthy. Once dairy barns had stalls where cattle were tied to a stall at night, most modern dairy barns have a free stall system. Dairy cows in modern dairy barns are allowed sleep or lay down anywhere in the free stall system. The most common of these barns is machine storage sheds and insulated workshops. Machine storage barns usually are large buildings with garage doors or sliding doors to move various types of equipment in and out. They are used to store farm machinery and equipment. These sheds can be added onto barns or built separately. Insulated workshops are used by farmers to store tools and equipment. These workshops also give them space to work on machinery, repair broken parts or replace filters/change oil/etc. Livestock farmers usually have livestock barns or sheds for their animals to stay under in bad weather. Some livestock barns are used as feeding areas for animals. A silo is a structure used for storing bulk feed materials. Silos are used in agriculture to store grain or fermented feed known as silage. Silos are more commonly used for bulk storage of grain, and animal feeds. There are different types of grain barns. To name a few tower silos, bunker silos, bag silos, and silage piles. Tobacco barns nowadays have been turned into livestock barns or machine sheds. Tobacco was a prominent crop in the United States for hundreds of years. As you travel across the country a tall black distinct tobacco barn can be seen in most rural areas.

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