We are expanding our flock size with plans to reach a hundred ewes. We need a bigger barn. The first part of planning a barn is how big to build the barn. Based on 25 square feet per ewe, my barn needs to have floor space of 2500 square feet.
Along the outside of the floor area for the sheep, I want to put hay bunkers along the outside walls, allowing us to feed from the outside of the barn. A ewe needs 16 to 20 linear inches to eat at a hay feeder or bunk. I am going with the 20 linear inches of space for each ewe at the hay bunk, as ewes are larger when pregnant. Also, the lambs will eat alongside the ewes even when they have a creep area with hay and creep feed. For 100 ewes I need 167 linear feet of hay bunk.
I worked out a building plan using a drafting program to make house plans. Next is to find the area to build this barn.
My original location is too small for the size of barn I would need for a hundred ewes. The original location would work for a barn to shelter and feed 50 to 60 ewes. I needed to figure out a location with access to electrical and water for the new barn. Electrical is not necessary for a barn used to shelter and feed ewes and ewes with lambs, but there are times I would like to see inside the barn at night.
After several measuring and marking with stakes the size of the barn, I have located the space for the barn.
I took into consideration of moving the sheep from the barn to the pasture. Moving the sheep from the barn to the working chute for hoof trimmings and deworming. The alley ways are planned out and things will work.
Next is to figure out the cost. Lately, the cost of building anything just chokes me, everything is expensive. Now I have the information with a couple of contractors to get estimates on building the barn.
There is the financing for the barn building project. I am meeting with financial people to discuss obtaining a loan to build the barn. I really do not like to get loans. All the questions they ask, I feel my privacy is being exposed and invaded. Similar to going to the doctor, only I still have my cloths on. I do not like either one.
So, depending on how much this barn will cost to be built and if I am able to get the finances. I may have a new barn.
If I do not get a new barn. I will have to limit the number of ewes until I can get a larger shelter for additional ewes.
We have dreams of how we want our farm to grow. Sometimes those dreams are slow to becoming a reality. Do not give up. Gradually with wise financial management, good shepherd skills those dreams will become a reality.
Never stop dreaming and looking forward.