AskDefine | Define farmyard

Dictionary Definition

farmyard n : an area adjacent to farm buildings

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

farm + yard

Noun

  1. The area around a farm, excluding the fields.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

For the 2006 animated film, see Barnyard (film).
For the 1923 film, see The Barnyard (1923 film).
For the University of Minnesota's basketball student section, see The Barnyard.
A barnyard (British English: farmyard) is a barn adjoined to a yard, its demise began when the tractor and truck replaced the horse and wagon. A barnyard of the 1800s was fenced in an area of an acre or more. It was the domain of the mules, horses, and other barnyard animals. Animals often rested in barnyards after days of work on the fields.
The barnyard was also a good place for an apple or pear tree, which would provide shade. The watering trough and hand driven well occupied a prominent place in the barnyard, some farmers used wooden troughs while some used large iron pots. In either case they had to be filled daily, either by a pitcher pump, or by windmill. Pumping the trough full, by hand, each day was usually the laborious chore of the farm boys. It took a long time of continuous pumping with a pitcher pump to fill a large trough.
A large barn was often central to the barnyard, storing wagons and a hay rake. A hayloft towered above the ground floor, the barn cupola capped off the hayloft. The loft had a series of openings in the floor just above the stalls. These openings were used to fork hay into the cribs below. The hayloft was a pleasant place to play on rainy days, and children could tunnel through the hay and build mounds to jump into. Frequently, the barn housed the corn crib and a corn sheller. The corn was used to supplement the hay diet and was relished both by horses and mules. It was also a boon to mice and rats, farmers often had "barn cats" to control vermin.
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