There are still a few old-school village cowsheds left

There are a lot old-style cowsheds still around, where they attach the cows. More modern ones have evacuators that take out the manure in trenches in the floor, but you can sometimes find farms with a little old shed where they used to shovel by hand. These aren’t in use – nobody wants to spend an hour each day shoveling manure.

The other day I came across an old-style shed in a village in the Haute-Pyrenees. This used to be normal when families had a few cows, but now I don’t see village sheds being used except as renovated housing, car storage or as a restaurant.


gasc village


Above is the street view of the mountain village. That’s the shed by the gathered men. It is a lovely clean village, a spot for tourists as they visit the Pyrenees.

And hidden in that building is this scene:


gasc cows


Those are Gasconne cows. Notice the old-style feeder on the wall. The farmer stores hay in the space above the ceiling. As I talk to all these old farmers, I get the feeling I am seeing an entire era of France passing away.

4 thoughts on “There are still a few old-school village cowsheds left

  1. Susan Lea says:

    Fascinating! I’ve often wondered, as I’ve wandered through the streets of an old French village, what is behind those different doors. In fact, the doors and windows themselves are so photogenic that I’ve taken more pictures of them than I can count. In Provence you can buy posters of “Fenêtres en Provence” or “Portes en Provence,” but I bought a frame that allows me to display 20 of my own photos in one frame, like a changeable poster. You’re making me homesick!

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