Created by: Mitch Lawson
Home Page, About Page

Round barns were created to make farm life more efficient for the farmers. They were livestock barns and the round shape made caring for the animals easier. When feeding was done with pitchforks and shovels, the circular shape meant that no one animal was farther away at feeding time than any others. This made feeding easier and faster for the farmer.

"One of the most interesting explanations of the efficiency of the round barn was offered by Jackie Dougan Jackson in her book, Stories from the Round Barn. She states that an aerial view of the cow shows it to be wedge-shaped, and therefore, arranging these wedges around a circle with the heads closest to the
center silo and the wide "business end" at the outer circumference of the barn represents the most efficient of space." (Added by Michele Linn)cow2.jpg

One way that the round barns made caring for the
animals easier was the rail in the hayloft. The rail, shown in
the picture to the right, allowed the farmer to lift a bail of hay,
swing it around the rail, and drop it directly into Barns011.JPGthe stall of any animal.
This rail also made it easier to move the hay around in the loft for
storage with less effort and fewer workers.

Another feature of round barns was the location of the feed grinder. This grinder was, as seen in the picture below, located near the center of the barn. This location helped the farmer in two ways. One was in the loading of the grinder. Since it was in the center, whatever was being shoveled into the grinder to be ground up for the livestock didn't have to be carried very far. This is also the second way it helped. The ground up feed didn't have to be carried very far to make it to the bins for the livestock.