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Barn loft help


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#1 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 11:56 PM

Wasn't sure under what section this thread should go, but here goes....

I have a 36x60 pole barn with 16 ft. walls; I've posted a pic of it in the photos section. This yr. we have gotten such an extreme amount of snow that it has made it very difficult just to get to our horses. So, I'm thinking I want to put four 12x12 stalls inside the barn at the one end of the barn; two stalls on either side separated by a 12 ft. isle. In essence, I want to put a loft that would be 24x36 to store hay.

Giving the horses 10 ft of head room, that gives me about 6 ft of loft ht at the bottoms of the roof trusses. I guestimated that a 12x12 area of hay bales stacked 6 ft high would be about 6,000lbs ??? Yes? No?

If that's a close estimate, what do you think I should use to construct the loft? Any ideas?

Thanks

Edited by CantonHayGuy, 04 March 2010 - 11:59 PM.


#2 darren

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 01:24 AM

I figure 192 bales per 12x12@50lbs.=9600lbs. Using 8x8 uprights spaced 6` with 2x8 runners with 2x4 as floor would be a bit overkill but would never collapse.(6x6 with 2x6 and 1'' floor should be fine.
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#3 Heyhay..eh

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 01:29 PM

I would be inclined to put a lean to on one side which would avoid having the animals in a fully enclosed shelter and dealing with the humidity issue in the winter.

Also it would negate the hassle of lifting or elevating bales into a loft or mezzanine.

Cleaning would be easier as it could be done from the outside with small tractor/skid steer.

Just my thoughts as I find that my cattle do better under shelter than in the barn.

Take care
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#4 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:43 PM

Yep, 8x8 uprights and 2x8's for joists is about what I was thinking. Thanks

#5 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:57 PM

I would be inclined to put a lean to on one side which would avoid having the animals in a fully enclosed shelter and dealing with the humidity issue in the winter.

Also it would negate the hassle of lifting or elevating bales into a loft or mezzanine.

Cleaning would be easier as it could be done from the outside with small tractor/skid steer.

Just my thoughts as I find that my cattle do better under shelter than in the barn.

Take care


Heyhay.... I hear what you're saying about the animals doing better outside; we believe that to be true also. If I was to go this route, it would only be during the worst of the winter storms. The length of the barn runs East/West; I do have room to add another 48 ft to the west end and keep the entire south wall open like you suggest. I've already thought of that too, but the wife doesn't like that idea. :rolleyes:

#6 chief-fan

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 05:24 PM

I bet if you put the $$ pencil to it the lean to on the end would be cheaper, better for the horses, less work building it and less work getting the hay inside. Not to mention the access for cleaning. All the horses need is a place to get in out of the ice and heavy snow storms. The rest of the time mother nature takes good care of them with thier thick waterproof coat.
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#7 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 10:40 AM

I bet if you put the $$ pencil to it the lean to on the end would be cheaper, better for the horses, less work building it and less work getting the hay inside. Not to mention the access for cleaning. All the horses need is a place to get in out of the ice and heavy snow storms. The rest of the time mother nature takes good care of them with thier thick waterproof coat.


That's what I suggested to the wife.

#8 mlappin

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 10:03 AM

I would be inclined to put a lean to on one side which would avoid having the animals in a fully enclosed shelter and dealing with the humidity issue in the winter.


Just my thoughts as I find that my cattle do better under shelter than in the barn.


Agreed on both points. We used to milk cows, the dairy cows left and beef cattle took their place. The beef cattle have access the dry cow alley in the winter, but I found after I ran a strand of high tensile wire several hundred yards into the woods, I have very little if any health problems in the winter now that the cows can get into the woods and outa the wind instead of going in the barn.

But more to the point in your situation, I have a friend that when he got married, the wife insisted on her horses being in the barn all winter. After a few years of that my buddy talked her into letting them use a couple of old lean-to's that the cows used to use. One faces east and the other south so regardless of wind direction they can get inside outa the wind. Has had literally no health problems with them since.
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#9 sedurbin

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:54 AM

Go with the lean-to, if your Wife won't go along with it; get a new Wife ;-)

#10 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:22 PM

I'm still watchin' this thread since it would be a project for later into the summer when I'm able to get to it so... thanks for all the inputs. I'll be watching this thread up 'til the point I decide to build.

#11 Heyhay..eh

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 12:25 AM

In about 3 years she will suggest the lean to. And you will get hell for not suggesting it or not talking her out of the idea in the first place. Been there a few times!

Take care

#12 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:29 PM

In about 3 years she will suggest the lean to. And you will get hell for not suggesting it or not talking her out of the idea in the first place. Been there a few times!


Oh yeah, been there too. LOL I'll be wanting to resolve this before next winter though.... getting too old to fight my way into animal sheds just to feed them. lol

Thanks again, all.

#13 Mike120

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 10:31 AM

Well.....I fully admit that we're not nearly as serious about winter as you guys in SD but as a horse breeder and operator of an equestarian center I know a little about horses. Stalls are for people, not horses. If horses liked them you'd likely find them living in caves in the wild. I have stalls for customer horses. The only time ours go in stalls is when they are showing or giving birth. They are much happier outside....even in bad weather. We just have to walk a little further to get them. I see two issues with your conversion plan: First, Hay above = Dust below. Horses don't do dust well and you are liable to get respiratory infections. Second, a horse puts close to a gallon per hour of humidity into the air of a closed up barn. You need a lot of ventilation or you'll have a mess.

I agree with everyone else that said go for the lean-to with a couple of other suggestions. Make sure it's open on one end (South) they only need to get out of the weather. Don't build stalls. Get some show stalls. They knock down, cost about the same, and you can use the lean-to for something else the rest of the year. Also keep in mind that a horse in a stall produces 35-50 lbs of manure per day. You need bedding (shavings/pellets/straw) as well and have to pick out the stalls a couple of times a day. In a short period of time, you'll have a small mountain to deal with. Now you need a manure spreader.......it goes on and on and on. Good Luck!
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#14 CantonHayGuy

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:15 PM

Good info, Mike. Thanks




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