At the beginning of the game, the barn is unavailable. You will have to build it from the ground up using Lumber (acquired by chopping down trees and stumps with your axe or collecting fallen logs), Stones (acquired by breaking boulders with your hammer or occasionally found in the mines), and Gold at the Carpenter's Shop.
Before you can purchase the actual barn, you first have to have the ability to purchase animals. This is done by unlocking Brownie Ranch, located in the northwestern-most corner of the Island. Unfortunately, a large boulder has fallen, blocking the only road into and out of the ranch.
Unlocking Brownie Ranch
There are two ways you can go about destroying the boulder that blocks the path:
- Wait until the 28th of Spring when the Animal Festival starts and the boulder is cleared away by itself OR
- Smash the boulder yourself using your own Hammer. Your Hammer must be at level 3 or more, which is an easy thing to accomplish before the end of your first Spring.
Once Brownie Ranch is unlocked, you can finally visit Dale at his Carpentry Shop and ask him to build you a barn. It even comes with a complimentary Ostrich Egg Incubator!
The first Barn you purchase, the Level 1 Barn, can only hold up to 6 animals. If you want to have more animals, upgrade your barn at the Carpenter's Shop and Dale will add two more stalls for a total of 8.
Immediately after acquiring your barn, you can purchase the Butter/Cheese/Yarn Maker and Dye Pot from the General Store in Waffle Town.
Outside the barn, there is a bell that you can ring to let the animals out. Ring it again to let the animals go inside. Just be sure not to let them out during bad weather!
Fodder is dispensed from the chute at the back of the barn. You can get fodder by chopping grass in the pasture with the sickle and it will automatically go to the fodder dispenser. Animals tend to fill up the rear stalls first, so if they are outside and you place fodder in their dishes, make sure you don't put it in a vacant stall.