Good ventilation is an important factor in any barn. Horses have highly sensitive respiratory systems, and living in a poorly ventilated barn can cause respiratory issues and illnesses. Want to maximize barn ventilation? Put these four tips to use.
Keep Doors and Windows Open Year-Round
The best way to maximize ventilation in your barn? Leave the doors and windows open year-round. It might seem counterintuitive, but keeping doors and open, even during the winter, allows for air to circulate. The wintertime is one of the worst times to close up your barn, since horses tend to be in their stalls more and ammonia fumes and dust can quickly accumulate. Even if you don’t leave doors or windows open all the way, be sure that they’re open partway to allow for fresh air to enter the barn.
Invest in Barn Fans
Barn fans can greatly help to move air around and thus improve barn ventilation, but you need to make sure that you buy the right fans for the job. Attaching a house box fan to the front of your horse’s stall is actually a significant fire risk. Because house box fans feature motors which aren’t fully enclosed and which aren’t made for use in a barn, the dust and debris of a barn can choke the motor. If the motor gets choked and burns out, pieces of it may fall through the fan and into the bedding below, starting a fire.
Instead, buy fans made specifically for barn use. Smaller fans can be attached to or positioned near the front of your horse’s stall, and they do circulate air. However, it’s even better if you can invest in overhead fans which can truly move air about.
Use Open Stall Construction
Consider ventilation when you build or renovate your stalls. Opting for stalls with a more open construction allows air to freely flow into and out of the stalls. Consider using stalls with half fronts or with grates on the top portions to keep air moving through your barn.
Install Additional Windows
Many barns aren’t equipped with too many windows. Simply installing more or larger windows can increase the barn’s ventilation. Just be sure that you work with a company which supplies horse-safe windows equipped with bars or guards to keep the horses from accessing the glass directly.
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The more that you can do to maximize your barn’s ventilation, the better it will be for your horse’s health. What are some ways that you maximize ventilation in your barn?