Muddy Barn Lot

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by caseyweiss, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. caseyweiss

    caseyweiss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    ohio
    Hello all,

    After all of this melted snow and heavy rain, my barn lot is a muddy mess. I have a relatively new pasture, so I am trying to keep my cattle off of it but it has made my fenced lot even worse. The barn and tramp shed all have concrete floor but I feed round bales outside. My questions....

    What is the cost of concrete in your area? Are there any alternatives to concrete that will work as well?

    What type of thickness is neccesary for cattle and manure hauling equipment?

    How would you design a concrete lot for cattle? I am thinking about a fenceline feeder with headlocks on the east side and concrete wall on the south side. The north and west side would be the barn.

    How much slope do put in and do I use any kind of safety grooving?...and do I make a manure holding area?

    As you can tell, I really hate mud. Any thoughts would be very helpful.

    Thanks,

    Casey
     
  2. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    Concrete is not good for large animals. It is painful for them to stand on for long periods of time, they can slip and hurt themselves, and it can be a really PITA to clean unless you have a high- powered pressure washer! Our barnyard is gravel, compacted. Keeps things relatively clean and is easy on the animals. Cheap, too. Cows just come hand in hand with mud, its part of the package.
     

  3. Rod_

    Rod_ Member

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    Nov 6, 2005
    I use a small disc to till the yard. Here it just takes a few days of turning the soil and it is dry after a large amount of moisture. Thay make really small ones you can pull behind a garden tractor but you will need chains on the tires to pull it. I think the brand is Worksaver. Costs about 600 bucks new; a lot cheeper than concrete and the tilled soil is easer on the cows.
     
  4. caseyweiss

    caseyweiss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    ohio
    Rod,

    In some places, the mud is almost two feet thick. I won't get my garden tractor through, I can barely get the 4020 through. I would like to get to the point where I can have a good solid pack in the barn, a clean barn lot, and a good, firm pasture. Our farm buildings were not built for cattle but we are slowly converting them over . Thanks for all the inputs.

    Casey
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    I suggest calling a local gravel place, have them bring in several loads of bankrun gravel. Pack it down. Actually with the mudd as thick as it is, maybe some #2 stones, then bank run gravel on top of it. We put a bunch of bankrun in the barnyard, no mud. Also I am keeping them off it, only to be let on it when they are outside. Bankrun won't hurt their hooves, and tends to pack nicely.


    Jeff
     
  6. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Casey,
    I hear your troubles! Nothing like having to get the front wheel assist to pull the skidloader out because she's buried and aint leavin. The worst spots are always where the feeder is; even if you move them often ( running oout of places in the lot). We poured a pad for one grroup of cows this spring. It is 30 by 100 with drive by feeding so nothing can sink in the mud till you drop off. I'll check on the slope. The contracter gouged us on price, but usually it is around a $1 per square foot. The guy also forgot to groove it and luckily we haven't had problem. At other places we have used broom handles or a gate to make criss crosses. I did see a really neat groove that was made by a worn out roller from a hay conditioner. They just rolled it down the feed alley when it was semi hard. I do wish there was a wall one the bottom side to stack manure against so it would be easier to haul. Currently using the bedding pack stack till the next freeze. At the university they used fly ash to make a three acre pad to compost manure on. You can get it free for the hauling from utility plants (coal ash I believe). The key is to pack it hard, sprinkle with water and pack it , repeat a thousand times. Although it was used for only a couple of seasons it held really well with the big tractors loaders and such. Milking time talk later
    Andy
     
  7. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    New York bordering Ontario
    Yes, fly ash is good, plus has the benefit of being free most of the time. Around here it comes from the heating plant at Fort Drum. My milk hauler has it in back of his barn where he runs some heifers and beefers and he really likes it. Think of it as poor quality cement, but you can scrape it with a skidsteer or tractor blade without problems. I'd like to get some and I'm on the list for it, but there's a lot of people ahead of me so who knows when they'll get to me.

    Jennifer
     
  8. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    VA
    Sometimes the barn or other buildings help keep it muddy by shedding the rain off of their roof onto the ground. Make sure that you have good drainage away from the buildings.

    If you can't keep drainage ditches clear of manure and hay, you're going to have mud.

    You may have to put in french drains. You dig a deep trench and put in porous pipe leading away to a place where the water can be discharged. You put coarse gravel over the pipes to let water flow throught the gravel, into the pipes, and away.

    I put "screenings" near my barn. Screenings is the name for the rock dust that is made when crushing gravel. If you order "crush and run" you get the gravel with the screenings left in. I buy just the screenings. They pack really hard and smooth. Manure and hay builds up on top of it and gets messy. It's not too hard to scrape the goo off occasionally and add some more screenings.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  9. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    Location:
    Near Traverse City Michigan
    Im a big believer in concrete. It costs about $70 per cubic yard here. 5" thick is plenty to hold the weight of most of even the heviest farm equipment. A 10x10 slab 5" thick is about a yard and a half of concrete. Concrete is much easier to keep clean, and there are no mudholes. All the dairy, and beef farmers I know have thier cattle on concrete most of the time, but also have a dirt lot so they can get off the concrete. When it is poured a rough floor brush can be dragged accross it so it isnt slippery