We said "goodbye" this week to our old milking barn, the one my grandfather built it in the early 1960s to replace the original two-cow parlor he used when he first started dairy farming. This barn was enlarged and reconfigured a couple of times over the years, and was ultimately equipped with a double-six herringbone milking system. It served our family well for nearly fifty years, until late 2005 when we moved into our new facility.
I grew up in this barn (as did my father), and I have lots of memories connected to it. I can remember as a little kid trying to swing from the drop-down water hoses like Tarzan on a jungle vine. As I got a little older, I would step up on the "low line" (the milk pipeline mounted two feet off the floor) for that little extra boost I needed to be able to reach a cow's teats with the dip cup. And knowing I would be in the barn at 3am on weekend mornings (or else!) kept me from participating in a lot of late night shenanigans as a teenager.
Despite all the (mostly) happy memories, it was time for the old barn to go. Nostalgia is great until it interferes with progress, and now we can use the space for something more useful than an empty, deteriorating barn.
|The milking parlor was constructed with bricks and blocks that were yellow and textured on one side, glazed and white on the other. Before we began feeding our cows a TMR in the mid-80s, feed was augured into the attic through the ports near the top of the roof and metered down into troughs in the parlor. Our milk tank and equipment controls were in the white block building attached at the far end of the parlor.|
|This is a view from inside the parlor. We stripped out most of the salvageable equipment shortly after moving into our new barn.|
|This is a photo I took of our tank room after we had stripped out most of the controls and wiring.|
|It didn't take this track-hoe long to pull off the roof and knock down the walls.|
|The wood was piled and burned, while the blocks and bricks were used to help stabilize ditch banks.|
|Quite a few blocks to haul!|
|There's nothing left to do but fill in the old pit and build something new.|