A barn is a large building that is designed to have animals inside. Often the farmer or rancher doesn’t actually keep the animals inside of it. The animals will be brought in only when necessary and will spend most of their time outside in the corrals or in the pasture.
Emma has a milk cow, so she brings the cow into the barn at milking time. Other reasons to have animals inside of the barn include having mother animals inside when they are ready to give birth, or having all the animals inside during especially bad weather. Animals are usually happiest when they can be outside—and humans are happy when they can be outside, too. There’s less cleaning and mucking out stalls that way!
Different barns have different features, based on the needs of the humans using them. George’s barn has a milking stanchion in the stall near the back door. The milk cow, Rosie, is free to graze in the pasture with the sheep during the day. Emma brings her into the corral at the end of the day for the evening milking, and Rosie stays in the corral overnight. Emma turns her back into the pasture after the morning milking.
George’s barn has a loft where hay used to be stored. Many older barns have a loft door located above the regular barn door. A load of loose hay or small hay bales could be hauled to the front of the barn and pulleys and ropes then used to lift the hay into the loft through the loft door. It was a good storage place for the hay over the winter, and once the hay was in the loft it was easy to toss down to the animals in the stalls below.
These days, even if a barn has a loft, it’s not likely to have much hay in it. Most farmers and ranchers now use big bales of hay that wouldn’t fit easily into the loft. George’s loft has a few small hay bales, but Ted and Emma use it mostly for storage of old farm items. The local rodents also use it for their hideout.
George’s barn also has a feed room. This is a place for the farmer or rancher to store grain or other products for his animals. My grandfather’s barn had large bins built into the feed room with doors that opened to the outside of the barn. He could scoop grain from his trailer right into the bins. Often a feed room will have shelves for other items, too.
Some barns have a tack room where saddles and other horse items are kept. Emma and Ted don’t have horses, so their barn doesn’t need a tack room. Some barns also have places where machinery can be stored. Ted has a machine shed, so he doesn’t store his equipment in the barn.