All You Need to Know About Modern Loafing Sheds

What is a Loafing Shed?

When it comes to people, “loafing” carries a negative connotation of someone who’s just lying around, wasting time, and not doing anything productive. But for livestock and poultry, loafing is really a good thing. Domesticated animals like having a protected space in which they can eat or rest without being restrained. A loafing shed is designed to be used on farms or ranches for this specific purpose. Loafing sheds (also known as run-in sheds or livestock shelters) are typically built as three-sided structures, with the fourth side left open for easy access. Many simple loafing sheds are covered with a single-slope roof, but metal loafing sheds can also be constructed with a sturdier A-frame vertical roof.

How Loafing Sheds Benefit Animals

Just as people appreciate having a space to be able to get out of the elements, so do animals. Loafing sheds present livestock and poultry with a safe outdoor space where they can congregate, socialize, graze, and relax. The three enclosed sides provide needed shelter from sun, wind, rain, and snow, while the open fourth side makes it easy for animals to move freely in and out at their leisure. Loafing sheds are most commonly used for horses and cattle, but they also make great covered spaces for goats, sheep, hogs, chickens, turkeys, and more.

Tips for Placing a Loafing Shed

Start by considering the prevailing weather considerations in your area. It’s generally best to orient the open side so it’s facing south. This will ensure optimal wind protection and deliver better shading on bright, sunny days. It’s also preferable to situate your loafing shed on high, dry ground where animals are likely to congregate. Factor in the contour of your land, as well. If your property slopes, you’ll likely need to level off the area where you intend to install your loafing shed.

Why Metal Loafing Sheds Are a Better Option

A steel building will deliver a higher standard of performance & longevity, with less need for maintenance as opposed to a stick-built loafing shed:


Galvanized steel is tough, flexible, dependable, and essentially weather-proof. You can’t beat the durability of a rugged steel building.


You may have heard that a steel shed might be more expensive, but the truth is that steel buildings are actually more cost-effective than stick builds.

Multiple Applications

Steel structures more easily lend themselves to more than one application. A steel-built shed is also easier to expand or adapt, should your needs change in the future.

More Resistant

Not only is a steel building essentially weatherproof; it’s also termite-proof, pest-proof, and offers better protection from fire and lightning threats.

Here’s an Example of What Metal Barn Central Can Provide

Take a look at this three-sided metal farm building, perfect for all sorts of applications. In the old days, loafing sheds were all made of wood. Thank goodness we don’t still live in those old days!

This custom metal loafing shed is 30’ wide, 21’ long, and has a side height of 10’. Like other traditional loafing sheds, this building is enclosed on three sides. But a loafing shed from Metal Barn Central is more cost-effective and faster to build and install, and also provides a much more dependable level of performance than a comparable stick build. Sun, moisture, wind loads, snow loads, and pests simply don’t threaten steel like they do wood. Cleaning and ongoing maintenance of your loafing shed will be much easier, too.

This featured building is engineered to endure wind loads of 115 mph, and a whopping snow load of 65 psf. That means you can trust it’ll be ready to handle pretty much anything Mother Nature has to throw your way. And with no need for internal columns or supports, you can use your covered outdoor space in a number of ways. Obviously, it works great as a loafing shed for livestock, but it can also serve as a place for parking your vehicles or equipment, keeping stacked wood dry, or for use as an open-air workshop. The vertical roof, horizontal side paneling, and front gable give this building a distinctive look, too.

Want to do some tweaking of the building design? Or maybe you’d like to add some different customizations. We can help you to create your own perfect shelter, no matter what you may have in mind.

Metal Barn Central is your one-stop shop for steel tubing structures of any size, type, or design! We offer the best solutions for metal shelters, garages, barns, barn buildings, farm buildings, or whatever custom metal structure you need. We stand behind every structure we provide, too. In fact, we’re so confident in the quality of our building products that we back each one with a 20-year rust-through warranty on framing (including both 14-gauge & 12-gauge options), a 10-year metal paneling warranty, and a 30-day workmanship warranty.

Give us a call at +1 (980) 321-9898 today, and let us show you the Metal Barn Central difference!