What are Farm Buildings and Why are They Important?
Farm buildings are any of the structures used in farming operations, which may include buildings to house families and workers, as well as livestock, machinery, and crops. The basic unit of commercial agricultural operation, throughout history and worldwide, is the farm. Because farming systems differ widely, there are important variations in the nature and arrangements of farm facilities.
The buildings on a farm generally consist of the farm familyâs house, the dwellings of any resident hired workers, and the various structures and facilities for farming operations. This article will focus on the service buildings that can be classified as follows: livestock barns and shelters; machinery- and supply-storage buildings; buildings and facilities for crop storage, including fodder; and special-purpose structures.
Livestock Barns and Shelters
Livestock barns and shelters are buildings designed to house and protect animals from the weather, predators, and diseases. They also provide a comfortable environment for the animals to feed, rest, and reproduce. Livestock barns and shelters may vary in size, shape, and materials depending on the type and number of animals, the climate, and the available resources.
Some common types of livestock barns and shelters are:
- Cowshed: A building where cows are kept and milked. It may have stalls for individual cows or a common area for a herd. It may also have a milking parlor where cows are brought for milking by machines or by hand.
- Hog house: A building where pigs are raised for meat. It may have pens for individual pigs or a common area for a group. It may also have a feeding trough, a water supply, and a ventilation system.
- Laying house: A building where chickens are kept for egg production. It may have cages for individual chickens or a common area for a flock. It may also have a nesting box, a perch, a feeder, a waterer, and a lighting system.
- Barn: A general term for a large building that can be used for various purposes, such as storing hay, grain, or equipment; housing horses, cattle, or sheep; or providing shelter for farm workers.
- Silo: A tall cylindrical structure that is used to store silage, which is fermented fodder made from grass or other crops. Silage is fed to livestock during winter or drought periods when fresh fodder is scarce.
Machinery- and Supply-Storage Buildings
Machinery- and supply-storage buildings are buildings that are used to store farm equipment, tools, supplies, and vehicles. They protect them from theft, vandalism, weather damage, and rust. They also provide a convenient place to perform maintenance and repairs on the machinery.
Some common types of machinery- and supply-storage buildings are:
- Shed: A simple structure with a roof and one or more walls that is used to store small items such as tools, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
- Garage: A structure with a roof and four walls that is used to store vehicles such as cars, trucks, tractors, etc. It may have a door that can be opened and closed to allow access.
- Workshop: A structure with a roof and four walls that is used to perform work on machinery or other items. It may have a workbench, tools, power outlets, lighting, etc.
- Warehouse: A large structure with a roof and four walls that is used to store large quantities of items such as grain, hay, equipment, etc. It may have shelves, racks, bins, etc. to organize the items.
Buildings and Facilities for Crop Storage
Buildings and facilities for crop storage are structures that are used to store harvested crops until they are sold or consumed. They protect them from pests, rodents, birds,