I'm sure many of you can relate to picking out the right color carpeting for a home, the colors of paint for the walls, the types of counter tops, and the new light fixtures. Each of these major decisions holds importance in the overall theme of your home and the goals of your family. Are you fun or formal? Are you going to be worried about guests or kids? I bet you believe designing a home is one of the hardest tasks you will do. Now...imagine trying to plan our a barn for a herd of cows!!!!! Sure it looks easy but I would bet that it's even harder than designing a home!
We've been planning our new barn for the past 4 years, and it's taken multiple trips to many different farms, research into new technologies, and lots of paperwork to make this all possible. Our decisions were so much more complicated that picking out the right color paint....well we had to do that as well (trying to match the original red of our 2005 barn). Things we had to decide on....
- What type and style of stalls we would have?
- What type of bedding we would use?
- How would be move and handle manure?
- How would these changes impact overall cow comfort and health?
- Are we able to better handle and care for cows?
- Can we improve cow health and handling?
- Is it safe for the people who care for our cows?
- What's the environmental impact?
- What technologies can we afford to make managing our cows easier?
- What technologies can we afford to make our cows more comfortable?
- What type of lighting will we have...is it energy efficient?
- What type of ventilation will we have? Will it help our cows in July, in the heat?
- Ultimately we asked......How can we make life better for our cows????
In the next few months I hope to blog more & post videos and pics to help explain all that is going into our barn to make it a great place for cows....but for now, here's a sneak peak of a farm we visited in 2009 and 2010...and when we are done, our farm will look very similar!!!!!