View Full Version : What temperature do you close barn doors?

Nov. 6, 2009, 04:56 PM
Just curious what temperate your barn closes the barn doors at? All day? Just at night? Wondering what is typical and what logic is behind various opinions. I am assuming wind plays a role for some as well.

Nov. 6, 2009, 06:59 PM
For me, wind is the biggest factor. My barn is situated so that there's almost always a breeze. Usually below about 40 one end of the barn is either completely closed or open just a foot or two, and the other end will be almost completely open. It has to be below 20 and blowing snow for me to close both ends tight, and then the side slider is usually open at least 5' or so. I can't ever truly close everything tight or the barn dogs and cats would have a fit. If I close doors, it's usually more for my comfort. The horses get plenty of natural light and ventilation either way- my barn isn't insulated, the eaves are ventilated and I have skylights as well as windows in most of the stalls.

Nov. 6, 2009, 07:08 PM
I only close mine on really windy nights. I live in S. Louisiana, so cold isn't really a factor very often. (Coldest nights usually aren't much below 40 degrees.) My barn is set up to get a breeze flowing in the summer, so in the winter the wind can make it pretty blustery in there.

The way my barn is built, it doesn't keep cold out, and there are only doors on one end. The other is open but backs up to woods, so wind can't come through that direction.

I might close them if it's really cold and rainy, too.

Nov. 6, 2009, 07:25 PM
I agree with the others. It's not the temperature, it's the wind that makes me close up the barn. Even then, I don't close off the doors from the stalls to the attached runs unless the snow's blowing in horizontally. I leave everything wide open if it's just cold, and in the three years I've had my own place the coldest I've seen is 7 degrees. As long as there's no wind, my guys can choose to be in or go out.

Nov. 6, 2009, 07:40 PM
I don't close them unless the wind is unbearable and is blowing snow or rain inside. Otherwise they are always open - so much healthier for the horses. As long as there is not a huge direct draft on the horses they are fine. Closed up barns are so unhealthy - the air needs to circulate and you need ventilation. I was in a barn yesterday that was closed up and they were cleaning stalls - it was absolutely horrible in there - very hard to breath and a lot of coughing going on.
So no I don't close them unless the wind is unbearable ;).

Nov. 6, 2009, 09:20 PM
Being a boarder, I don't get to make the Big Decisions.

But I'm like the others here and not a fan of closing up a barn to keep it warm. I think horses would rather have fresh air and be blanketed a bit more warmly.

Wind rushing through and snow coming in would do it for me.

Nov. 6, 2009, 10:02 PM
The North end gets closed up tight with very windy or rainy conditions. It is closed by varying degrees to accommodate the comfort of the people inside.

The South end is rarely closed up tight unless it is very cold 20's and below or there is wind/rain. But is very rarely closed during the day no matter what the weather.

Each stall has an outside dutch door, a smaller sliding window up higher and a 6' overhang outside (so we don't have to worry about rain coming in). Those are opened or closed for the comfort of the horses, along with blankets or not.

The ventilation in my barn is pretty good even when closed up tight. The air stays pretty darn fresh without there being much direct breeze. A closed up barn should smell like hay when you open it up, not like ammonia, urine or manure.


Nov. 6, 2009, 10:10 PM
We have the barn/indoor arena heated to 45-48 degrees (hard to tell exactly on the old dial style thermostats). We close the doors at 50 or if it is extremely windy. We have an excellant ventilation system that is set on thermostats that kick the exhaust fans up higher if it is getting too warm in the barn.

Nov. 6, 2009, 10:27 PM
As a general rule, we close our big, end-of-the-aisle barn doors when the night time temps go under 50 degrees or rain or higher winds are forecasted. The dutch doors in all the stalls stay open all night until temps drop under 40 degrees.

In high winds above those temps, the dutch doors on the west side (where our weather comes from) get closed., but then we leave about a four inch crack in the stall windows for air flow. Big aisle doors get closed, but the windows in them stay open for air flow.

In the 30-40 degree range all the horses stalls have windows (with screens and bars) that we keep open to varying degrees depending on the wind and damp.

Everything gets closed in temps under 30 degrees. There's enough air space around their dutch doors for air flow, and I open up the barn during the day when the horses are out.

We also have ceiling fans that circulate 24/7 on a low setting.

Nov. 7, 2009, 10:24 AM
My lovely little backyard barn is a shedrow, so no main doors to close; I usually allow the horses free in/out access to their stalls anyway.

When running a boarding operation with a center-aisle barn up in VA, I avoided closing the sturdy old barn up altogether. Wind, as someone already said, was the biggest factor. When outside temps were chilly -- say below 50 or so ("very cold" in my book, but the horses beg to differ!) -- I'd close the ONE aisle door in the direction of the prevailing winds. The barn was still consistently 5-7 degrees warmer than outside, but well-ventilated so we had healthy horsey lungs all winter long.

Nov. 7, 2009, 11:50 AM
When the temperatures start going into the 40s at night the doors will get closed and opened during the day. We have plenty of ventilation and windows stay open (at least for our guys) year round. When it stays in the low 30s all day, they stay shut all day.

Come Shine
Nov. 7, 2009, 11:53 AM
Being a boarder, I don't get to make the Big Decisions.

We used to be at a co-op barn. One of the agonizing decisions if you were the last to leave was whether to leave the doors open and, if so, which ones and how far open.

Nov. 7, 2009, 12:16 PM
Horses need ventilation, so at my barn, we only close the doors for strong winds or when rain is blowing in the aisle. Otherwise they are open.

Nov. 7, 2009, 01:08 PM
We don't close unless it is 30F or below, blowing snow or rain. And we NEVER close up 100%, we always leave the doors cracked about 1ft, unless it is thunderstorming out and then we open back up after the storm.