Steeled for Winter—10 Reasons Why Metal Buildings Are Great for Wintering Livestock!
As a farmer, it’s hard to tell which is worse in the winter–the cold temps, the icy wind, or slogging through the precipitation. And when you’re raising livestock, everything can become twice as hard! Animals need access to a dry, windbreak shelter, but they also need regular fresh air to maintain health. Fully-enclosed shelters run a constant risk of either dust, mold and mildew with heavy use through the winter, or pneumonia from lack of air flow, moisture, and drafty conditions. You’ve got to find a place to store hay and feed, nurse sick animals, and welcome the next four-legged generation—all out of the wind and snow!
Arch-style steel buildings make great winter shelters to address all of these needs.
1. Staying dry.
Metal farm buildings are designed to shed water evenly with no need for gutters or water collection. Overlapping construction prevents leaks on the inside while the galvanized material resists rust. With proper construction, there’s simply no where for the water to come in—meaning your animals stay snug and dry.
2. Allowing air flow.
Arched pre-fabricated steel buildings can be configured with doors and ventilation to ensure proper air flow without drafts, or as open-ended run-in shelters for weather-hardy animals. They can also be designed with one open end and one closed end to maintain airflow while providing good airflow.
3. Allowing access to sunshine and the outdoors.
Livestock shelters can be designed to the farmer’s specifications for access with a variety of open, roll-top, sliding, and walk-thru door options to provide as much or as little outdoor access as desired. Openings can be provided at both ends of the structure to allow maximum control of animal patterns. By dividing the building in the middle and having doors on both ends, one building can serve multiple pastures or paddocks.
4. Easy cleaning.
Hut or hanger-style buildings are designed to be self-supporting, so there are no rafters, studs, cross-braces, beams or other structures within the shelter to inhibit bedding or cleaning activities. Nothing to clean around! The height is also customizable, so they can be designed to be cleaned by hand, or using a skid-steer or farm tractor.
5. Always storm-ready.
There’s nothing more stressful than knowing bad weather is coming and you’ve got to run around battening down the hatches across the farm. The beauty of metal farm buildings is that once they’re property installed, they are always storm-ready. They’re rated for high-wind, heavy precipitation storm events–up to and including hurricanes!—without the farmer having to do any last minute prep work. Rain, hail, sleet, or snow, once it’s up, you’re set! The durable metal exterior holds up well and will protect livestock from reasonable storm damage and usually requires almost no repairs to continue functioning after an event.
Prefab metal buildings also offer the farmer a host of other livestock benefits for large or small operations. While great for all weather, these tend to be particularly appreciated in winter—when it’s cold, and wet, and you don’t want to be out there any more than you have to!
6. Customizable sizing.
Whether you’re bedding down dairy cows or milk goats, or snuggling up your free-range layers for the winter, you design a building for whatever size you need—based on the size of your animals, the size of your fields, or the size of your tractor!
7. Choice of flooring/foundations/bedding.
Depending on the size of your structure, the company you buy from can help you determine your foundation and flooring options. Once it’s in place, you can easily use your choice of bedding—from packed dirt and straw, to concrete with shavings. As mentioned above, clean out is easy! (Well, as easy as any farm work can be!) With a proper base material, metal buildings can also utilize deep bedding methods to simplify clean out and produce valuable compost at the end of winter.
8. Virtually maintenance free.
Once installed, the buildings don’t have to be painted. Rotten boards don’t have to be replaced. They don’t suffer from termite damage. There are no rafters or cross-beams to host unwanted winged visitors. As long as their still standing, their usually in working order!
9. A comfortable workspace with endless internal configurations.
Metal farm buildings are affordable options to traditional construction—so you can get more height for your money. Anyone that’s had to bed down a goat shed on your hands and knees knows how valuable that head-room is! Even smaller buildings are easily designed to allow the farmer to move comfortably at work in the space, as well as being able to accommodate work equipment.
Additionally, with the open floor plan, there’s no end to the possibilities for installing lambing jugs, sorting chutes, milking stands, feed storage, or sectioning off some space for equipment in really bad weather.
10. Easy DIY set up.
Let’s face it, long before people started crashing bathrooms and installing wine bars on patios, farmers were DIYers. From multi-story barns to catfish ponds, a farmer knows his way around a toolbox. Assembling pre-fab steel buildings is easy. They come in a kit with everything you need except for hand tools and the hands to use them. They go up in a few hours to a few days, depending on size, and completely on your own schedule. Just what a busy farmer needs!
For more great information visit our Building Features page or contact us today!