May 4, 2018

Hay Loft!


+ beautiful weather

+ first cutting of hay drying

= motivation. Dan got the hay loft floor down in two days time.

Then it was time for our first small harvest of hay. How'd we get it up there? Awkwardly!

We had a forecast for deluge right around the corner, so we managed the best we could.

Dan plans to put an easier system in place eventually, but for now, this got the job done.

Besides railing for the hay chute we need to put a door on the loft. Because of the forecast, we used a tarp to keep rain out.

What do the goats think about the progress?


They do love our homegrown hay, though, and prefer it to the supplemental hay we buy. Our goal is to eventually grow all our own hay and hopefully this year we'll make good progress on that goal.

Hay Loft! © May 2018 by Leigh at  


  1. What a handsome barn, and already functional! Three cheers for you and Dan!

  2. Sweet! I just had an idea of Dan travelling around your area assembling bespoke barns for people who want quality. But I imagine he has plenty to do at home.

  3. Such a perfect, small scale solution. No need for fancy baling equipment, because it's more economical just to stack it, in the hay loft. Such a long time coming though, for this wonderful convenience. Well earned. :)

  4. Thanks Michelle! We're really happy with it, especially considering how long we've been trying to get it built. For a long time we didn't think it would ever happen. :)

    Tpals, ha! On one level that sounds like a good idea, but right now Dan just wants to get it done so he can move on to other projects. :)

    Chris, exactly! We have wondered about getting a small used square baler for our tractor, but since we can do it the "old-fashioned" way that isn't very high on our spending priority list.

  5. My heart does a little pitter pat every time I see a picture of all those wooden beams fitting so nicely together.

    Are you going to get a hayfork system in your future? There were probably a dozen of them within a mile radius of where I grew up and now all those barns are gone. I wonder what became of all those hookforks?

  6. You must be so very proud to have built such a beautiful barn from scratch. Dan has done a magnificent job. And kudos to you for cheering him on and getting those beautiful goats milked. Keep up the great work!

  7. Kristina, thanks!

    Ed, a hayfork system is a good idea, although we have a harder time finding good used farm equipment around here. Occasionally it comes up, but a lot of times it's sold as "yard art" with a hefty price tag. Still, we may find something like that.

    Jean Ellen, very much so! And he keeps telling me it's my barn (not really, LOL). He gets the "old" goat barn for a workshop once we move the goats though, so he's looking forward to that.

  8. Ed, they probably went for "a dime a dozen" at estate sales, or ended up in the scrap metal bin. :-(

  9. Ha ha ha..."meh"...great caption! The hay loft looks great!


    The above link is interesting, it is a box baler in use. Since I think [after following your blog] Dan can build anything, would it be good for you?
    I just love the work in your barn, it’s beautiful and functional and built with love.

  11. The first batch of hay in the new hay loft. Now THAT must be a great feeling!

  12. I'm in love with your hay loft and barn. It's nice to see people bringing back the ole ways, cheaper ways of doing things, and just the pure fun I can remember as a child....

  13. I'm guessing for loose hay, Dan should be able to make some out of some oak fairly easy. Pulley's are easy to find but the track might be tougher and if you went with a carriage assembly like in the video I'm linking, that is probably almost impossible to find for a decent price. But I think one could make a less fancy version pretty easy with just pulleys and the track.

    By the way, I live just down the road from where those were made and have been in that barn many times.

  14. You've made so much progress, I'm guessing hubby's hand is feeling much better?

  15. Love it! Don't let those goats fool you; they love it too! Cat's have just trained them to display the royal mix of entitled indifference :)

  16. Your barn is looking so good! A block and tackle on that roof beam will help immensely when he gets to it, I'm sure. But please, please, please do not let him fall getting it on there! Love the new background pic as well; what are those, dogwood?

  17. Glad to see Dan has just jumped back into getting things done. The barn looks great!

  18. The barn looks great! Thanks for the pictures and congratulations!

  19. Michelle, you're probably right, but it's a shame good used farm equipment isn't readily available.

    Rain, thanks!

    Fiona, thank you for the link! Sunday we'll take a look at it (I don't think I can get him to sit down before that!)

    Mama Pea, it is a great feeling. Hopefully we'll have a lot more homegrown hay for it soon.

    Sherry, thanks! Cheaper but better. It's a great feeling to use our own resources and use some of the traditional techniques. We feel like our barn has personality!

    Ed, thanks for the link! If Dan can see it in action, he can almost always figure it out. We definitely need to improve on our current "system" :)

    Debbie, yes, Dan's hand is doing better, although it's still sensitive and his fingers don't have much mobility. Mostly he's learned how to do everything with only three fingers and by the end of the day his hand is usually hurting. But the fingers are gradually getting used more and more, which is probably the best physical therapy for them.

    Paula, thanks! Yes, the background photo is of our dogwood tree. It's pretty much past blooming now, so I need to get out there and get some new pix for it and my header too.

    Mike, thanks! Yes, he's pretty much pressing on and figuring out how to adapt his work methods. He never was one for just sitting around.

    TB, thanks! The barn is a benchmark for us, and getting it done will feel like turning a corner in our homesteading. :)

  20. Bravo! My first thought after seeing the flooring down but no hay yet was "must smell just this side of Heaven". Then the first hay was us and away. There are just some scents that are top of the mark for me. New lumber, fresh hay mmmmmmmmmmmm. Freshly milled grain also. Barns are a delight for the senses. Congratulations to the both of you.

  21. Where there is a will, there is a way! Nice hayloft. Nancy

  22. The goats say "meh," because they are so cozy and contented that all is well with the barn. I would like to put a sleeping bag up there for the night and have a cozy snooze. Very nice!

  23. I'm enjoying a vicarious sense of accomplishment :) You two should be very proud of yourselves - this is a real watershed/over a hurdle/turning a corner kind of achievement, I think!

  24. Goatldi, the smell of both are heavenly, I agree, but especially that freshly hay! It's a blessing the timing worked out as perfectly as it did.

    Nancy, thanks!

    Phil, hay makes a very comfortable nap spot! All our cats certainly think so. :)

    Quinn, this truly is landmark for us. The barn represents the last big project in our infrastructure. There are other things we plan to put in place, but nothing as big as this. Can't wait!


Welcome to 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog! Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation.