On most farms or ranches you see several out buildings. Some are for the hay and feed storage and some are for equipment and repairs. Others may be for livestock, whether it is for just the purpose of feeding or for holding them in stalls.
Most farmers/ranchers I know and have talked to have a barn for their cattle and livestock. Most of them are used to feed, not to contain them. We rarely contain our cattle in the barn unless we are vaccinating, sorting or working them for some reason. Cattle do well out in the open but, they do need shelter from the weather. In the summer, it is good to have a place to get out of the heat and away from the flies. In the winter, it is good to have a place to get out of the wind, cold and wet weather. They will withstand most all weather but do like to have a comfortable break from the worst of it just like we do.
Our Longhorns roam the pasture year around but we have a specific area where they are fed and they have one side of the hay barn for shelter to get them out of the weather. If the barn is too far away when a storm hits or it is too hot, we will find them down in the valley in the trees down by the creek. They are pretty smart animals.
Another reason to have a barn for your cattle is so that you can work your cattle safely. It is not always necessary that you personally have to have one but, at least, have use of one available to you.
So, no, a barn is not necessary but shelter is. It can be considered as a part of your lifestock or farm supplies. Make sure they have some kind of protection and they will be happy.
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I was looking through the December issue of “Cowboys and Indians” the other day and came across an article that just surprised me. It was about a steam cleaner for hay bales. Have you heard of this? Is this considered a farm accessory or is it farm equipment?
It is called the Haygain Steamer made by Jiffy Steamer Equine along with British partners at Propress, Ltd. I had never heard of such a machine. When I first saw the photo, I thought I was looking at a way to haul bales in your vehicle, such as a car, without the mess. Was I surprised when I read what it really was.
I, also, did not realize that one in six horses have allergies to the dust and fungi in hay. I guess that is something that is well over looked where animals are concerned. Even though I have a Jack Russell (dog) that suffers every Spring with allergies and has t0 have an allergy shot, I still did not consider the larger animals as being susceptible to allergies but, it is not so uncommon.
According to the article, the Haygain has found a way to eliminate the millions of spores found in hay and purifies it with steam. This machines improves the hygiene quality without leaching the nutritive content and creating a sweet – smelling feed that the animals really enjoy. Quite a breakthrough.
If you would like to read more and see a photo of this new product, check out the December issue of “Cowboys and Indians” now available.