In my regard, i find them op. They can produce rediculous amount of food, and can consume not used vegetables. They only need some grassy area, well not even that, and produce 1500 flesh + 1000 milk a year, which can be easy turn into cheese. Lether and fat are bonus.
The only downside is the bugged AI for the workers there, so sometimes they just forget to care about. But even a barn without food will survive the winter.
Sure 4 workers are alot, 4 hunters i ll give you same amount of meat at least, BUT need hunting ground, which are commonly more far away than barns. Cow population grows exponential, so its easy to earn max food, after bought it from vendor.
I think it has to be cut down a bit, like more severe illnesses for cattles, not suvivable winters without food ect.
I think the amount of meat is just too high, no need for anything else. When I have 3 barns and get 8 cows born per year, that’s 4000 meat. The downside is most of it will rot before being eaten even when all of it is smoked. I could micromanage the slaughter to stagger that some, but it’s just annoying to deal with.
Honestly though it’s not any worse than farms, I can have enough farms to make so much food that most will spoil before being eaten.
I always have cows grazing where my next farm will be. So when I put the farm down it’s usually at 80%+. It also takes probably 10 years to make a barn good if you don’t buy a ton of cows to start. It will take a while to go from 2-3 cows up to 12. Then even more years after you split to another barn.