The information for this entry came from our friend Joyce Servidio, which was nice, since neither Angela nor I have much experience with dairy farms. Thanks for the info, Joyce!
Cow breath on a cold day; steaming manure/urine; white-washed windows to keep the blinding morning sun out; cats hunting; mother cat with kittens; cats begging for squirt of milk from udder; sawdust; flicking of ears & tail; metal tags in ears; bull nose ring; calves nursing; barn dances; stainless steel pipes, milkers, & bulk tank; youngsters training animals for 4-H shows; show ribbons & trophies; water hoses; bale hooks; white-wash flakes; dark liquid eyes; calves mouthing wooden or metal rails; charts for feeding regimins; flies, flyspecks, flypaper, fly traps; flakes of whitewash falling when first of next season’s haybales are dropped onto haymow floor.
Fresh white-wash; fresh milk, sour milk; manure (different in summer than winter because of feed); fresh/sour haylage; fresh/sour silage; molasses; sawdust; fermenting corn silage; wet hay, moldy hay, dry hay; bedding straw.
Kittens mewing; cats meowing; mice & rats scutling; cats purring; chink of chains; clank of metal stantions; splatter of manure; scrap of shovel on concrete; brush of broom on concrete; cat fight; pulse of milking machines; calves blatting; calves suckling on nipple; splast of urine; barn dances, square dancers & callers; clatter of manure system; tractor & manure spreader idling at barn door; scrap of cow tongue on concrete manger getting taste of few grains or drop of mollases; moos, bellers; “heeeere, kitty, kitty” call; “come-bossy” call; milk compressor; silo unloader; tractor & bucket loaders; quiet murmuring of workers talking to animals; cursing; dripping water from water bowls; gushing water; cows slurping water; thump of bales dropping off elevator into mow floor or earlier layers of bales (two different sounds); stirring milk replacer powder into water with whisk; flies buzzing.
Warmth of cow on cold morning; cats stroking legs beging for taste of milk; sawdust; sticky mollasses; warmth of manure/urine if unlucky enough to get splashed; coolness of same if fall; smooth wood of haymow floor from years of sliding hay bales; bounce of mow floor during barn dance or when bales fall from elevator; foot/leg slipping between haybales; waft of fresh air; cow snot & drool; scratch of hay/straw through thin jeans or on bare arms.
Mollasses; grain; oats; fresh milk; water.
--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Example 1: The door slammed back and forth against the wall, hinges giving a rusty wheeze with each bang. Inside, the barn was dark as a hole, so a person had to make their way through it by feel, but that was hardly comforting. Shuffling feet awakened metal pails and broken pipes. Cobwebs fluttered in phantom breezes and stuck to the skin. Boards creaked. It was easy to imagine any number of things dwelling in such a place. And the imaginer would be right.
Example 2: Eyelet curtains fluttered at each window. The smooth, white-washed boards dared any spider to spin so much as a thread. Fresh hay crunched under my shoes. I glanced at Aunt Pearl, who stood there in gloves, hat, and a cloud of perfume to survey her finished project. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath--one that turned to a gagging cough. I sighed, wrinkling my own nose at the animal smell. There was only so much you could do to beautify a barn.
--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile) The ancient barn smelled like a haystack that had been left out in the rain.
Example 2: (Metaphor) Stalls lined the walls the length of the barn. A cow stood in each one, head down and staring at nothing while the metal milk machines did their work: robot parasites, sucking the life from their hosts.