Types of Farm Buildings

Farms are an important part of the world's survival, producing food and sometimes clothing. They are not as simple as acreage, a few ponds and some scattered livestock. A well-built farm has many buildings dedicated to the specific areas of farming. A farm needs a place to store harvests before sale or use on the animals living within the operation as well as places for animals to live. The types of buildings located on a farm vary with what animals or crops are being raised.

Snow covered barn in Quebec, Canada
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Barns are used for storing hay, farm equipment and keeping livestock safe. There are several types of barns being used today, such as gambrel barns, prairie barns, crib barns, round barns and even A-frame barns. Barns can be made of stone, wood, metal and even earth.


Silos are used for storing grain, corn and other types of feed. Most are tall and narrow (shaped much like a bullet). A good silo keeps foodstuffs dry, out of the light and away from vermin such as mice and rats. Types of silos include towers, bunkers, oxygen-controlled, concrete stave and even some made of plastic film.

Birthing Pens

When animals give birth, these pens offer a safer environment for young animals and their mothers. Where herds are prevalent, farmers add special rails to the area that permit only young animals to enter for feeding, as the rails are too narrowly spaced for older animals to enter. Birthing pens can be as simple as a few feet of wire built into a temporary pen or as elaborate as an entire barn with partitions built exclusively for mothers and their young.

Milking Shed

A milking shed is a special building built for optimal milking. The area is easily cleaned and disinfected so germs are less likely to enter fresh milk. This is especially important in setups where the milk will not be pasteurized.

Indoor Riding Arenas

Indoor riding arenas are essentially large open-spaced barns. Their floors are usually covered in a sandy substrate and offer riders the opportunity to train their horses (or other livestock/pets) when weather is unfavorable. They can also be used to house auctions as well as sporting events.