barn floors

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by CarlinsDarlin, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. CarlinsDarlin

    CarlinsDarlin Guest

    151
    0
    0
    This winter and early spring here has been so incredibly wet. Its the first time in a long time we've had to worry about this much water. I guess it's better than dealing with the drought we've had the past few years (at least the garden won't burn up and the pond won't dry up), but it presents its own set of problems.

    My barn floor is dirt. There's a few leaky spots in the barn, but not many. DH is bringing home some new tin today to cover them, and hopefully we can get even those few spots patched and stop the leaks. Rain also used to come in through the goat's door on the north side, so this winter we built a covered loafing area over that door hoping to drain the rain further away from the door and stop rain from entering that way. It has helped as well, but still the barn gets wetter than I'd like.

    With all this wet, we've had foot problems off and on and, as I've lamented over on the "tiny bumps" thread, now a case of staph dermatitis as well. I'm wondering if there is a better option than a dirt floor that I can put in the barn?

    Wood, off the floor with floor joists (like so - picture this upside down :) _|_|_|_|_|_ ) seems like it would drain water away and keep drier, but it would likely need to be replaced more often due to rot, and would be a harboring place for mice and snakes under it. I can deal with them, though, if it's a do-able option and would be okay for the goats...

    Concrete (with a rough surface so as not to be slippery) would drain and dry and make it possible to sweep out the barn, but it would be awfully cold for the girls to sleep on in winter. Perhaps concrete floors with sleeping platforms? Then again, I don't know what concrete would do to their feet...

    Does anyone else have anything else in their barns besides dirt floors? What are the pros and cons? I'd really like to avoid a repeat of all the problems we've had this year with all the wet weather. I'm just grasping at straws here, trying to make them the most comfortable home possible.

    Thanks,
    kathy
     
  2. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

    1,045
    0
    0
    I have always had my goats on cement. We put down a couple inches of sawdust for bedding with straw on top. The sawdust soaks up the wet and keeps the smell down, and the straw keeps them off the wet sawdust and insulates very well. We've never had a problem with it.

    The walls are also cement block...very nice because you can powerwash and disinfect the entire thing if needed. Not to mention the goats can't eat them. We used to have plywood sides on the old barn and the goats made several large holes in them after nibbling for a couple months.
     

  3. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

    723
    0
    0
    If you can find solid pallets they work really well. Just make sure they are all right together without gaps fro getting hooves caught, etc. We get solid pallets for free. The goats have them in thier shed and we have used them in the hay barn for putting hay bales on. These are oak and we always joke that only the best on our farm - OAK floors! :lol

    We also use solid pallets outside for a goat "boardwalk" we have a human one around the chicken coop too where it gets pretty muddy.
     
  4. Beverrlly

    Beverrlly New Member

    168
    0
    0
    We're doing a slatted-type floor like you're little picture. We raised the barn up by 2 cinderblocks (laying horizontally)---so raised about 1.5-2 feet-- and then we're putting in a floor with gaps about a 3/4 inch width. Hoping that will keep the barn cleaner/drier as everything will fall to the dirt below the barn. We think in the winter we will put straw bales around the outside of the barn to block the wind from coming up through the floor. Here's hoping this scheme works.
     
  5. My floor is dirt. I am going to use a bag or two of shavings with straw on top so the pee and any water gets soaked up. :)
     
  6. CarlinsDarlin

    CarlinsDarlin Guest

    151
    0
    0
    Thanks for all the good ideas. I'm thinking the pallet idea is probably most feasible for us now. In fact, along with the new tin (we re-tinned the entire south side of the barn, where most of the leaks were coming in) DH brought home several 4x4 pallets this evening. They weren't solid, though, so we screwed a piece of plywood to the top of each one. We of course didn't get the entire barn floor re-done in one afternoon as well, but we did get three of the pallet/platforms done in the girls side of the barn (one for each of them) and one for my buck in his room, too. At least they each have a little platform to sleep on tonight. They were exploring them and playing all over them after we put them down, so I think they'll use them. All but my oldest doe, anyway... she was pretty cautious of them. We'll see.

    My barn is small, so I could probably do a bunch of these pallets and cover the entire floor in them. I may very well do that. Doing the entire floor would allow me to sweep the barn out regularly rather than having to pitchfork out wet hay that gets spilled everywhere. Yuk.

    Thanks again!
    Kathy
     
  7. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

    723
    0
    0
    I still have straw for bedding over the pallets too for cushioning so I still have to muck out yuck! If the pallets are still in good shape when spring hits I scrub them down with bleach water, otherwise they get burned and replaced
     
  8. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    Here is a crazy thought. I don't know if it will work but has anyone thought or used a small, thin rock/pebble base followed by a layer of sand? I would think this would keep the water away from the surface?

    I wonder how hard it would be to clean though? Just a thought. The pallet idea is pretty good. I'll have to try that.

    -Kim