Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Barn Cleaning 101

I don't know about the rest of you, but I know my barn gets to be pretty out-of-control by spring. I haven't figured out if it's because I just don't see all the cobwebs from the long dark days of winter or because it's just too cold to do any cleaning or a combination of both. My barn tends to turn into a storage area by the time warmer weather comes around. I have a 4-wheeler stored in the aisle, old carpet that a friend gave me to use for the dogs next winter that hasn't made it to the rafters yet, and I also have loose hay all over the floor. I have good intentions to keep the floor clean but it just never happens the longer the winter goes on. I try to keep the stalls clean too but by the time March comes around, I tell myself that I will need the manure for the garden so I'll wait until later to do it all at once. This is not the best way to keep things clean through the winter, but this is how it usually goes for me.

Here are some before shots:

So in the spring, I go out ready to tackle this project like every other year. I go after the cobwebs first since they will be all over the floor by the time I'm done cleaning them. I use a big broom or the leaf blower if it's really bad. Then I go after the stalls because really, why would I clean the stalls and then the cobwebs? I don't like to do things twice but sometimes I need to. Once I have the stalls clean, I throw in all the fresh sawdust. Wow, do I love that smell when I walk in to do chores!! Plus, I just love the clean look once these things are done. Once those two things are done, I go after the aisle. I just use the scoop shovel or big broom to clean off the concrete floor. I throw it all out in the barnyard and then when my husband gets a chance, he uses his tractor and blade to scrape the extra out of the barnyard, making it nice and level to try to prevent excess mud puddles that seem to build up over the months. I also grab whoever is available to clean out the lean to. This is a job that everyone seems to be too busy for!!! It gets pretty deep and smelly before the warmer weather comes in. That goes on the garden and makes great fertilizer for my veggies. Then when it gets warm enough, I give all the water tanks a good scrubbing with just a stiff brush and the hose. I don't use any chemicals for fear there would be some left over and taint the water. After all that is done, I stand back and admire my/our work. Then I saddle up one of the horses to go for a ride and enjoy the fresh air and scenery. It really is a great feeling when you go out to smell and see the freshness that comes with a good cleaning. What a sense of accomplishment!!!

The finished product:

View after cle...JPG in slide show

View after cle...JPG in slide show

Linda Fish

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