A Cowboy’s Faith: Thank goodness for barns – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Thank goodness for barns

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The barn is the most important building on any ranch.”

It’s a fact that is always known but not fully appreciated until winter sets in.

Serving multipurpose depending who the rancher is, barns are frequently taken for granted until needed. Then they literally become life savers as shelter from windy blistery conditions for new born calves.

In and out of the barn has been the pattern in recent days. First calf heifers are brought in for birthing or with their newly born for a warming up start.

As soon as mommy and baby pair up and become in love with each other they are turned back outside.

Now restored completely, old barn headquarters has served many functions since being built a century ago. Specifically used for horse stalls nowadays.

That is until horses must be shoved away to make room for first calf heifer pairs. They move in for a short time and within a couple days go out as another twosome comes in.

When moving to the ranch 50 years ago, the historic main barn structure already had west and south side lean-tos. West end was used mostly for equipment storage, but also some livestock, which eased loading them out.

South lean-to had milk cow stanchions that worked well for mothering new calves to cantankerous cows that wouldn’t claim them. Two wooded grain bins with raised floors on the north side were put into limited use for that purpose.

Main barn was constructed for work horses, including two full-size tie stalls with hay bunks. A third accompanying stall was half-size, probably designed for younger horses.

Of course, the hay mow is up the inside barn ladder through the alleyway. Pulleys from days when hay was stored loose in stacks were still there above the north and south hay mow doors. Only square bales were stored in the mow during most recent years, although it’s been empty for some time now.

Entire lower level of the original barn including leans-to sides was converted into nine box stalls. They were kept full with customer horses for many years, but now are only regularly home for two horses.

Old barn does come to complete life again when first calf heifer birthing season arrives.

Reminded of Deuteronomy 28:8:  “God will order a blessing on your barns.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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