New Barn Questions

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farmerjan
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby farmerjan » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:08 am

Thank you and your wife for your service. Yes, it sounds like overkill to the average farmer, but the reasoning you have sounds like it is something you have thought out, so good luck. I would think that you will not need to worry so much about the beefalo animals in the weather if they have decent places to get out of the wind. Cattle and even more so buffalo are able to take some pretty cold temps if they can get out of the wind. Having pastures that have good thickets of cedars or other windbreaks will be a big plus, even manmade wind breaks. I am thinking that the barn would be more to house the younger animals during bad weather. If you time your calving for the later spring months, then the housing will not be as critical. Still, I am like you, I would rather they have a place to go in and decide they don't want to, than to have them huddled out in the bad weather and not have anywhere to go.

The coating that you are looking at might be good for high traffic areas or heavy use, but will it be good with the kind of acidity that you will be dealing with from cattle manure and urine? If it didn't hold up, there are companies that do grooving in concrete. Most dairies have had walkways and areas of cattle traffic grooved over the years to keep cattle from slipping and splitting from slick concrete. Concrete is hard on the animals joints as well as people. Most confinement dairies have shorter lifespans in their cattle than those that are off concrete.

i don't think heated floors for cattle are necessary, or even good. Good deep bedding would make the transition from inside to outside weather easier. If they are kept too "comfortable" then they will be less hardy when they do go outside in the wintertime. An area with a heated floor will make it easier on the humans, and for say baby pigs and such, a help in the winter months but you don't want to lose the inherent hardiness of the livestock.

Concrete buildings tend to be damp. Have worked in some hog barns that were all concrete/cinder block, except for the roof and they were cold in the winter. What about the animals respiration and all the moisture that cattle create through breathing/ exhaling/chewing their cuds etc.? Damp conditions will kill quicker than the cold.

Air flow will be critical in a concrete barn so that the animals do not get sick. Ventilation is very important to also keep any respiratory problems in hand.

Not trying to be critical, just some thoughts. Concrete does make it easier to clean the floors and to sanitize, but doesn't lend itsself to easy drying out if the whole thing is concrete, without real good air flow.
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby Franke » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:42 pm

Make sure there is airflow to all parts. Like Farmerjan said that wet moist air can kill.
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby BigBear » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:40 pm

sstterry wrote:
JBowen wrote:Jordan Run very near Greenland Gap

And sim I sell my cattle for a nice profit, I own a gun shop and work as a gunsmith, and never had an attorney. No jobs in my area and good help is easy to find and want to put as many people especially veterans to work as I can. I am selling my home and vacation property (I was forced to go to by family) to build this place. My daughter is in college and I can do stuff for me now. I never said I get a payment for being disabled. I said I am disabled. I make stuff so I can do it with my handicap, I am sorry if that offends you. I hope you never have a disability and if you do I hope no one just assumes you just "had a good attorney". Our disability came while serving in the military. My wife and I were both in the US Military and met the first time in Iraq. I am glad you are appreciative of your freedom.


I thank both you and your wife for your service. While your question is a little different from a farming perspective, you do not deserve the ridicule that you have received from at least one member. Some people have never had to face and/or live with adversity. You should be applauded.


I agree on both ends. Thank you and your wife for your service to our country. I think some people forget this is the Beginners Board
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JBowen
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby JBowen » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:57 pm

Farmer Jan you are 100% correct about the ventilation I am trying to figure out the best way to keep it dry. I thought if I kept all concrete with good drainage it might help with keeping moisture down, but do you think exhaust fans like in a chicken house would help and use air from furnace room (very dry air) for the intake? Is it better to exhaust the air up high to keep the air from moving around the livestock, or have the exhaust low and intake high? The Barn is 100' by 90' by 20' tall with a hay loft running along the outside wall extending 12' from the wall and 12' from the floor. What do you suggest for Ventilation? If you do not mind me asking.

I like your idea on making the cattle less hardy so what if I could warm the floor in sections where it is needed and leave it alone when it is not needed might take care of that, maybe? If I use cattle mattress should that be enough for the cattle? If the coating does not hold up could they groove the floor after it was installed?

I want to know where my food comes from. I also want to protect my animals. I have lost Beefalo, Goats, and chickens to hunters mostly in early morning and late in the evening. I have also lost animals to many predators such as Black Bear, Large cats, coyotes, and dogs. My father works for a concrete company so I get employee prices on concrete. I have also found that although it is more expensive when first installed it lasts a long time and is pest proof. It is also cheaper to heat and cool and way cheaper to insure.

Thank you all for your respect for service members. We appreciate it. I always feel it was my choice and make my way with what I can do instead of worrying about what I can't. I am also sorry for being defensive on here that was uncalled for everyone is entitled to their opinion I just did not want people thinking my family were mooches.
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Nesikep
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby Nesikep » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:43 pm

damp air is lighter than dry air, so I'd put the exhaust up high at the gable.
We have lots of predators as well, never lost any to them... well, we did lose a young calf to a 2 legged one about 27 years ago
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby boondocks » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:31 pm

JBowen, I have seen black bears very close up and personal where you're at! Closer than hiking in Glacier Natl Park and the Canadian Rockies for 2 decades. We get one through here once in a blue moon.
I am fairly new to cows but also second the idea of not babying them "too" much with barn. We raise Angus and got our starter mamas from a guy that raised them in a humane but Darwinian way (outside with pine tree windbreaks). As a result, we have an extremely weather-hardy herd.
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby wbvs58 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:35 am

I don't have much experience with barns for housing cattle but have had a fair bit of experience with stables for housing race horses and my daughters eventing horses. I have always preferred the floor to be bricks, concrete or clay bricks laid without any morter on top of crusher dust laid over some good draining substrate like cinders with ag pipe laid out. With bedding over that surface the urine and moisture drains down through the bricks and leaves much drier bedding yet if properly laid will stand up to hosing out with a pressure washer when required. The bricks or pavers when laid inside concrete walls lock in very tight and are very durable.

Ken
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Rafter S
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby Rafter S » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:40 am

You asked about adding texture to concrete at a later date. Yes, that's certainly possible. There are machines that will cut shallow grooves in it.
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby muleskinner » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:02 am

JBowen Go see your County Extension agent if I remember right it is Brad Smith he is a long time sheep and cattle farmer.
He can offer some good advice.
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby ChrisB » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:52 am

For health reasons for the cattle and I suspect goats and the adult hogs, have you considered more of a monoslope type building that is open on the south with a concrete pen outside? You could still have a heated area for milking the goats for your own comfort and for the birds if they need it. I still don't really understand how you are going to handle manure - bobcat or something? Barns have their uses, but for beef cows I think they just create more work and health problems than any added benefits you might get in return.

As for the fodder, it is feed mostly to improve health I believe. I don't think it would make sense for beef cattle, but maybe you could bump up the milk production for the goats if you were looking to do that.

Cattle and goats can eat pretty much anything you are growing in your garden. Not sure if there is anything consumed by humans that is harmful to them.
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:15 pm

Groove the concrete floor when pouring cement, slope the floor to the direction you want for flushing.
Leave the roof cap off for ventilation, chicken wire to help control birds, you could offset roof if you don't like
seeing the sky, but not needed. Surprisingly little rain or snow enters with an open roof cap.

Cattle throw a lot of heat.
Use top 1/2 crank up wall curtains on both sidewalls for cross ventilation, chicken wire so they are still fully confined.
Curtains lowered all the way down in the summer to catch the breeze and fresh air, while you still have full wall
containment because the top 1/2 in front of the curtain is permanent chicken wire as containment, prevents cattle
from chewing on the curtains and prevents birds from flying in.
Crank the curtains 1/2 way up in pleasant winter weather (3/4 closed sidewall with top 1/4 of the wall still open)
and all the way up on bitter nights or stormy weather for a full wall.
A curtain system allows you to have control over the ventilation and temperature in the building as needed.
Curtain systems come with either automated controls or manual crank.
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pricefarm
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby pricefarm » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:21 am

Sure would like to see pics of this barn when you get it built. It does seem alittle over kill with heated floors.
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haase
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby haase » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:38 am

jBowen, I have a picture of the type building that son of butch is talking about on my website, there called a freestall barn, we have built them for goats and cows, you will want to grove the concrete, not sure I would heat it, in these type of buildings you would be surprised how warm they are in the winter, the picture of the one in the website also has an open ridge, we put a 2' piece of cap on top to only cover the trusses, go to Haase Builders .com and check it out, hope this helps.
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redcowsrule33
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby redcowsrule33 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:52 am

Ventilation is key here. To me heated floors spell a breeding ground for bacteria. If you are really set on your plans spend the money on a qualified ventilation specialist to look over your plans and make sure you don't end up with a hothouse sauna that will cause pneumonia. Make sure they take into account the BTU's that the animals will generate; it sounds like a given but I know of one high-dollar outfit that built a new enclosed facility where the engineers overlooked it. If this is improperly ventilated it will be a disaster. :2cents:
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farmerjan
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Re: New Barn Questions

Postby farmerjan » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:17 am

It seems you are getting alot of good information and help. Yes they do groove the concrete after it is done, most dairies have have a "groover" come in to do walkways and such in barns where it gets slick. I am sure that you can do it when it is being poured also but I am no expert on that.
Fans are better up high, animals can use air flow but not to be in the direct air in the winter. In the summer, it will exhaust any heat out and draw in the cooler air from the ground temps.
I am going to look at the building that the previous posted listed but think it is like many I have seen on the dairies that I milk test for. They are more and more common now and are used for sacrifice lots if the pastures are muddy also. One thing, there is alot of problems with the moisture in the bedding, even with the curtains that open. These are made to use a rototiller to frequently turn the bedding to keep it drier. Mastitis tends to be a problem in them also if they are not kept dry and most have someone that goes through and "picks the pack" so to speak; physically removing the manure patties so that the bedding is not as soiled. Cattle produce alot of manure and urine. I am not sure that you realize just how much wet waste you will be dealing with.

You are going to have to have a good number of windows/openings as the animals will be overcome with the damp air and the ammonia smells from the damp bedding. Using heated dry air from a furnace area will not help the animals to be adapted to the cold weather when they do go out. The older poultry houses that were closed in would nearly knock you out with the smell when you first went in even with the big fans running to exhaust the stale air.

The cow cushions or mattresses are good, but they still need bedding on top of them; and if the barn is a freestall type they won't work because their hooves will puncture or break the mattresses. They are designed more for individual free stalls where the cows do not do so much walking on them except to enter and then back out of the stall. It cushions their bodies from the hard concrete as they are laying down.

I think that heating the floor only in a nursery area and where you might be milking would be the way to go. Have a friend that has heat in his shop floor and it is a joy to go in there on a cold day to work. It's not hot in there but the heat from the floor does make the air comfortable.
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