From the PREFACE.
BETTER farm methods require better buildings, not necessarily expensive ones, but buildings that are well planned and properly adapted to the work for which they are intended. A farm building should be first a property saver, second a labor saver. Farm buildings may be considered in a sense as a necessary expense, but on the other hand they should be considered in the light of an investment.
A farm barn is the farmer's factory. It is a building in which he converts raw materials into manufactured products. In a dairy stable he takes cheap feeds and manufactures them into expensive cream and butter. In feeding stables and hog pens he manufactures high priced breeding stock as well as good beef, mutton and pork out of cheap grain and cheaper roughage.
It makes a great difference in the profits whether this barn factory is so constructed that the animals may be comfortable enough to make the best possible use of the feeds given them. Profits are also seriously affected by the labor problem. Barns and stables may be so arranged as to conserve labor or to waste labor.
The object of this book is to present a great many up-to-date ideas in arranging and building in such a way as to enable farmers to take advantage of the experience of others. The author does not claim credit for the different plans and arrangements offered. He has gathered them from successful barn builders and architects in many different states and in Canada.
In selecting a plan the farmer himself must be the judge of what he needs. The kind of farm building best adapted to one part of the country is not suitable for another. Two farms adjoining need different buildings, because the kind of farming differs with individuals. One farmer makes a great mistake by blindly copying what another farmer uses to advantage. Every building requires careful study to fit it carefully into the environments of the farm and the peculiarities of the man.
It is not the aim or intention of this book to induce farmers to put unnecessary money in buildings. So far as possible, utility has been combined with economy in construction. The profits in farming operations for the most part are gathered in a retail way. In this respect a farmer's business is different from commercial manufacturing concerns, because the output cannot be multiplied indefinitely. There is a limit to the production of any kind of farm product; hence, the necessity of economy in building. At the same time it pays to build well....
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