Update 5/5/2015-  We now have the top center roof and back wall completely done, and we are about to finish the lower sides of the roof.  So we are almost ready for Hay!   

  Work on the replacement barn continues in earnest.  Last year we faced a daunting task, that could not wait any longer.  Our barn was just too small to meet the needs of this growing ranch!  We desperately needed to switch over to picking up and stacking our hay in our barn by machine instead of moving our hay from the field to the barn by hand. The amount of hay required to take our cows through the Winter, and the need for more covered feeding area, pushed us to go ahead and plan and build a new barn.  Our existing barn was not only too small, but it was poorly designed for our needs, and had too low of a ceiling for us to use a bale wagon to stack our hay.  Since our existing barn was in the perfect place for our new barn, and in the only level area that we could use, the first thing we needed to do was take down our existing barn, piece by piece.  Then we would be able to build the new barn on the same site.

   We saved all of the materials we could from the existing barn.  Almost all of the lumber and metal has or will be put into use in the new barn, which has helped reduce the cost significantly.  We have had a lot of help from friends and neighbors with this year long barn raising, and have done all the work ourselves without hiring contractors.  We were also able to get some used 40 foot trusses at a fraction of the cost of new trusses, and we were able to have much of the lumber and large beams milled at our local small saw mill from a few trees from our land.  

    It has been a difficult journey during the year to operate our ranch without a barn.  We put up all our hay in two different neighbors' barns down the road.  Because of this we have had to move the hay two times instead of once.  One time into the neighbors barns, and a 2nd time every time we feed the cows.  So all Winter long, we have had to move hay each day, and feed them in outdoor feeders.  We were blessed with a mild Winter this year, and so it is a relief to finally have made it to Spring, and to finally be putting the roof on the new barn!  We are sure to have the new barn ready in time for haying season, and we look forward to hopefully a much easier time next Winter. 

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