At the old home place, our barn was a big, old and weathered two story structure. The top story stored the hay that we fed to livestock. A lot of hay. I never did see any square bales of hay up there. The years that we farmed there, we always cut and raked the hay with horse teams, stacking and moving hay with pitch forks. One of my jobs was to fork hay down into the stall hay mows down below when it was feeding and milking time.
In this photo Great Gran Ma is feeding the chickens from the hem of her apron.
The barn was the site of a lot of work. It is where we dressed out beef, pork and put up lots of chickens. Though we had quite a few goats, I don’t ever remember dressing one out. They were used to clear land and were traded for other staples as needed. Most of these evolutions involved the neighbors, where labor was traded for meat or other staples.
We had several large cast iron wash pots that we used to scald chickens, pork and other things. Even the feathers weren’t wasted, they were usually saved, to use in the making of feather tick mattresses.
For me those were busy days of hauling water and keeping the fires going under the wash pots.
Yes, the barn was a hub of activity for us, but there were also so many good times with family, friends and neighbors. Those giant Percheron horses were so majestic, and usually ever so calm, but, they got pretty excited when a kid slips out of the hay mow onto their back ! I only tried that once . . . . . . .he, he, once was enough !