Animal run off question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by famer_manda, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    I am not sure of the technical farmers terms but I learned something today. I guess it wasn't something I had thought about. But the barns that might be my barns here soon, I noticed a lot of grating and then water sitting there. Like one had this area with a few boards over it and then in the horse stall area, it had concrete lines with water standing under it. When the owner showed up I asked him if it was a high water table but he explained to me that it is just standing water from when you spray out the barns and its the animal run off. Part of the barn side has water that comes in which explains why its wet despite it hasn't had horses for a few years. He showed me the amish built side which showed a lot of sunlight and then he showed me the side he fixed up and it was nearly air tight looking. But the amish side definately had leaks. So anyways..here is this standing water which btw.. the skeeters were sort of thick. The rest of the yard was fine but the skeeters were after you when you got closer.

    Do all barns have this kind of system? I had never thought about where the water would go when you would spray down a barn to clean it or exactly where the horse urine would go. I guess I just figured it all was soaked up in saw dust and hauled off in the wheel barrow.

    Is there a way to cut down on the skeeters? would a flock of guineas be beneficial? lol
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That would be an unusual design for a horse setup to say the least.

    You will be able to come up with some better setup I'm sure.

    A holding area for the manure is cool, but typically you use a lot of bedding & make a solid pile. Liquid setups require a sealed holding area, and a way to pump the stuff around & apply it to the land.

    --->Paul
     

  3. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    I looked in over by the pig barn and it appeared to have some kind of steel siding or something. it wasn't just a hole with soil. I dont know of any pump or anything to move the stuff on through. If I can't figure it out, then i would want to dry it up and do something different. I dont like the idea of the standing water
     
  4. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Most people dont "wash down " a horse barn. They shovel them out. If you have concrete floors and built in drains you could wash them Otherwise youd just be putting way too much moisture into the building. If there are drains he should know where they lead too. Ive never seen a system where it just stayed inside as you described
     
  5. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    If i go back there tomorrow to show my dad then i will take pictures of it. The water is only about 6 inches below this concrete.(has inch gaps about every 6 inches and it goes the whole length of the basement and covers about 1/3rd of the floor right along the middle) In the pig stalls it has grates which I would assume would be used to drain water and then there is the large hole with standing water just outside of that barn by about 3 feet from the door
     
  6. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    No it doesn't distract me any but I am trying to think of what I would need to do to get rid of the standing water. Yes a blockage might be possible. But I wouldnt know how to figure it out unless I tracked down the original owner in pennslyvania
     
  7. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    My thought is run off is about manure getting into lakes and streams. If there is no water bodies near you then I dont think "run off" applies because it will be no different if you spread it on a feild, or if it runs out of the barn into a grassy area.
     
  8. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    Ooh okay i have a bad title then. I was just htinking animal stuff draining off the floor LOL

    No no bodies of water anywhere near
     
  9. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    It seems to be just hanging around in something.. not in grassy area but still under the concrete
     
  10. HeatherDriskill

    HeatherDriskill Well-Known Member

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    In our barn, there are no drains or anything in the stalls themselves. We use wood shavings and shovel those out as needed. In the aisle, though, there are cut outs in the concrete with metal grates over them. That's where the water goes if we spray out the barn or give the horses a bath. I have never really noticed mosquitos or other bugs around them. I would think chickens and/or guineas could help that problem.
     
  11. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    Heather that might be somewhat simular then but no metal grates. the metal grates are in the pig barn though. Where does your water go once it goes down there? Does it drain to some other place? Does it ever clog and get backed up?
     
  12. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    It most likely was a dairy barn, those were the drains that the manure and urine were washed into and then flushed out of the building...the outlet of those drains is most likely plugged, I am sure if you go to the end of the barn and look in the grating ( which should be removable ) with a flashlight you can see which end is supposed to drain....I think most of those drained into a manure pond type setup. Look for a pipe coming out of the ground on a slope that is pointed to a depression of some sort.

    If you don't want to use them you can just fill them with dirt, concrete, gravel, whatever you want.
     
  13. ergoman

    ergoman Well-Known Member

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    is set with a slope to a concrete buried catch tank, the pig crap ran down through grates to the tank and it was pumped out and spread on the fields. If theres no tank there most likely is tile that the water runs into then drains to the soil. Never seen a barn set up for horses that a farmer would set up to drain. Prob. pigs or dairy and would almost have to drain somewhere, never heard of a farmer making a standing water insect pit in the barn. If theres tile and its plugged just fill in the catch basin, if theres a tank, fill it in later, unless your going to use it. There are issues with high volumes of pig manure leaching into your ground water if its anywhere near your house.
     
  14. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have a slatted manure pit for hogs under the floor. That water and old manure is likely 3 or4 feet deep under the floor. These are commonly pumped or drained into a lagoon somewhere within a couple hundred feet of the building. The sludge (manure solids) are pumped into a liquid manure spreader and spread on cropland. They mostly use concrete slats about 6 inches wide with 3/4 inch cracks for the hog manure to get down into the pit. Farrowing houses often use steel expanded metal grates due to the small pigs in these buildings. Some of these steel grates have a heavy plastic coating over the metal. Those pits were never put in for horses. Take a little walk out behind the remodeled confinement hog barn and see if there is a skummy pond back there in the weeds. (Lagoon)
    Ask the man how long it has been since the buildings had hogs in them.
     
  15. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    in a liquid manure set up, the water and manure drops into the runs. some gravity flow out the end of the barn, some are pumped ,another system the waste stays in the barn and is agitated and pumped once they depop the barn . there are dangerous gases produced when the slurry is agitated and they also stay in the bottem of the pit for some time after( you never enter a pit or a barn being pumped out without a scot pack and preferably a tester). take a iron bar with you on your walk about and prob in front of you, also do not step on boards ,tin or other seeming solid items ,could be hiding the enterence to the tank or pump out ports. while not common for horses there are some barns that do use it but the pumping/agitating is expensive. filling up part of the drains once the manure is emptied will help keep the barn dry, bit of lime keeps the skitters down. you could also run a plastic tile to a dry well, then fill too floor level with gravel.
     
  16. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I misunderstood your first message. You have a very, very common hog slat setup. Pigs will poop over the slats, not on the solid part of the floor.

    There are several different designs - of late there is a 1-2 foot or more deep pit under all the slats to hold all the waste. That hole out by the door is where an agitater (2' fan run by tractor pto or hydalics) is put in (the pit extends out to there, possibly a bit deeper out there), and left to run a few hours to churn everything up, liquify it.

    Then a 'honey wagon' is used to haul the manure away. That really is what these manure spreaders are called. Eith the agitator can be reversed & becomes a manure pump, to pump the manure into the honey wagon; or the honey wagon is a sturdy tank with a vacumn pump & you drop a hose in the hole, the manure is vacumned into the spreader.

    It is possible the manure gets flushed to one end under the slats & is collected in a deeper pit over by the outside hole. But, these are not nearly as popular/ good/ easy any more. Uses too much water. Very inefficient.

    Also, the pit areas should _not_ collect outside water, that is a bad thing. They are built to keep the manure water in, & the outside water out.

    If it leaks, that would lead to the runoff problems you first mentioned - which is a very serious thing, & serious fines & penalties come with that. Again, I misunderstood what you meant with 'runoff' problems.

    I'm sure in different regions slightly different designs & machinery setups are used, but this is basically the way 90% of hog barns have been built for 2 generations or so.

    Some cattle are kept in similar but bigger barns, but that is far less common. It is possible you have a cattle barn if the ceiling is taller.

    --->Paul
     
  17. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to have standing water you'll be better off going with Muscovy than guineas or chickens. Muscovy will dabble in the puddles removing the mosquito larvae, AND will eat the flying adults. Chickens & guineas won't get the larvae.
     
  18. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    Well if this becomes my barns. I dont believe i would need nor want this set up. The pig barn part hasn't been used for over five years. The Amish used that to support their family and when the prices got too low they changed over to Construction. But the man who lived there afterwards kept sheep for a few years until he got tired of the farm life and he moved into the city and everything grew over. What "stuff" is in there is probably from him as the Amish probably knew how to remove it and use it.

    As for the horse barn.. which is more of my concern. (the owner told me horses, it had a low ceiling and it was in the bottom of the really big red barn that i showed the picture to) it is the one with the concrete. The newer owner might have just sprayed the place down and maybe its water. I just know its skeeterville. I wouldn't have any problem just filling it all in with sand if that is possible. I dont plan on keeping horses and if i kept cows, I know how to use a shovel and wheel barrow. Maybe its possible the barn was also used at one point for the pigs ?? that could be possible.

    I wish i could contact the original owner but he is in a strict amish community in Penn. and somehow I doubt he has email :p But, his brother still lives around here and I am sure via him I could get information on it all.