View Full Version : Let's talk about octagonal barns

Dec. 15, 2010, 11:38 AM
I was wandering around Borders the other day and picked up a book about unique, high end barns around the country. One of them was octagonal and I thought it was just the neatest thing ever. Did a little research and realized they are not at all common, except in this one wee part of Michigan.

Anyone have one or been in one? Are there any real benefits or problems with them? I thought it seemed really cool that you can pretty much see all your horses just by standing in the doorwar. No aisles to walk up and down to check on everyone. Of course, you can't really gracefull attach an arena to one.

Also, if anyone has some pictures of any, I'd love some barn eye candy!

Dec. 15, 2010, 11:44 AM
Before I bought my first horse, he was briefly boarded at one, and it was VERY cool!

It was a large one, with aisles and ceilings wide/tall enough you could put in a moderate w/t/c ride around the aisle during bad weather. they even had a setup where you could set up a jump across the aisle!

Dec. 15, 2010, 11:48 AM
You could ride IN the stabling part? :eek: How was it laid out exactly to make that possible?

Dec. 15, 2010, 01:02 PM
Is this the one from the book?

I know Carey (she's a farrier and does equine massage, too) - even her run ins are octagonal!

Dec. 15, 2010, 01:04 PM
Kate+Tru- I'm not sure where in PA you are, there is a white & green Octagonal barn on rte 97 between Littlestown & Gettysburg. It is pretty cool, I look out for it every time I drive past.


Dec. 15, 2010, 01:11 PM
Here's a link to a list of Octagonal barns in PA, the first one listed is the one I mentioned above



Dec. 15, 2010, 01:13 PM
The Footes have a lovely barn in Haslett, MI that is partially octagonal. Nicest people you'll ever meet.

Anyplace Farm
Dec. 15, 2010, 01:30 PM
No, they are not common in the US. I swear, I think I read there are either only a count in the teens in VA? Can't recall.

But apparently, in this area, they were an ideal set up for milking cows. I have only seen two in my lifetime. The one was in VA, the other I think was either in MD or PA...cannot recall.

Dec. 15, 2010, 02:31 PM
There were quite a few round barns here. There are links to several places around North America that had round or multisided barns at Bell Barn Society (http://www.bellbarn.ca) as weill as pics of the barn on the Bell farm from years ago.

Dec. 15, 2010, 02:41 PM
There is an OLD one near me, it is the neatest place

Dec. 15, 2010, 02:45 PM
The Red Mile in KY has a fabulous round barn that has been well preserved. I have wanted to move it to our farm many times.:yes:


Dec. 15, 2010, 03:30 PM
in vermont we have a few round barns.
a spectacular one is preserved at shelburne farms and worth a trip to see. in fact, i'm going to make it a point to go see it again, it's been quite a few years...

anyway, iirc, the barn has five floors, and the horse manure and bedding was pushed down to the chickens, and than down again to the pigs. it made so much sense to me at the time, using gravity to help move and process the waste, and i bet it would be a lot warmer inside with the circular open design.

i cannot remember exactly the sequence of floors, but i think the machinery was on the top floor, hay below, horses and dairy,hens and pigs last. the manure wagon under the pigs too i bet.
the one feature i'd be sure to add is to have the horses
(maybe all of the animals ?)
in one big open space on their floors, with feed stalls and work areas on the perimeter and a water source in the center.

i know my horses always prefer to stand nose to tail with their buddies instead of alone in a stall. best for body heat, mutual grooming, etc. i think this would work best for a small closed herd, but maybe not.
someday i may get to build a barn, and mine will be of similar.

Dec. 15, 2010, 04:08 PM
But apparently, in this area, they were an ideal set up for milking cows.

I never thought of that, but they sure would be. I remember my grand father carrying heavy pails of milk from the far end of the row of cows. I can only imagine how many miles he walked in a lifetime.

Dec. 15, 2010, 06:37 PM
There is a round barn in the Hancock Shaker Village in Western, MA.

Dec. 28, 2010, 04:43 PM
You could ride IN the stabling part? :eek: How was it laid out exactly to make that possible?

the stalls were around the outside, there was storage and, iirc, an office/tackroom/something in the middle. The aisle was 12-15' wide, an open roof (so plenty tall for riders on horses), and it was just big LOL

Zu Zu
Dec. 28, 2010, 06:34 PM
I priced one in Spring '06 with Morton :eek: like the one at the Kentucky Horse Park but it was very expensive :eek::yes:.
They qualified the price saying that it was "pricey" because of the wasted material , that is cut away and not used because of the shape.
About three times the price of a regular shaped indoor.