Dirt floor - additional bedding

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by paulaswrld, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    Hey everyone, Well I have spent the last two years with a barn with wood floors and rubber stall mats....of course, I hated just about every minute of it once I had more than a couple of does....so, we recently built a beautiful new barn and I decided to have dirt floors. I have dirt floors in my buck barn and have loved them. However, I guess 2 bucks in a 6 x 8 barn really doesn't make all that much mess. Now for the problem.....it is HORRIBLE in the new barn (muddy and ammonia smelling)....we have had a very unusually rainy spring so I know things are just worse than ever...but, I am spending way to much on Sweet PDZ, Lime and shavings than I ever thought possible ... so, any suggestions? I was thinking sand, or crushed gravel... Now, we are not overcrowded...the barn is 18 X 20 with 5 2yo, 1 3yo, 1 dry yearling and of course too many babies....but still not overcrowded!

    All input always appreciated,

    Paula
     
  2. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Hi Paula,

    I use Woody Pet http://www.woodypet.com/horse.html This is the best stuff ever :D No lime needed, controls ammonia and absorbs like crazy! Also you can rake up poop with out scooping out the bedding so it lasts a long time. I am super anal about my barn floor, I rake poop all the time and I never let my floor become damp, let alone wet.

    Christy
     

  3. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    I have dirt floors and put gravel down in the places that seemed to get wet..no more problems. I also use a bedding like christy does in the winter and love it!
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Instead of spending money every month, every year for bedding, bite the bullet now and improve the drainage. Bring in sand, spend the money to make sure you don't have any outside rain coming in under the barn walls, think about pouring a footing. I did this with metal and cement. My whole north side, we dug a big hole all the way down the length and then screwed metal flashing deep into the hole to the wood of the barn. I then filled both sides of this metal flashing with dry cement, just poured the sack crete out of the bag into the holes, added some water and then covered it with dirt. It worked so well! I did this years back around my chicken yard.

    Now you can bring the sand up in the level of your barn so you have better drainage. Rake your barn with a big metal leaf rake, it picks up the berries off the sand without taking all the sand.

    I use shavings alot, but coming this month they are raked out and I just rake dirt. Drainage is key and if your soil is not sandy it will be a clay wet stinky mess. Vicki
     
  5. paulaswrld

    paulaswrld New Member

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    Vicki, if you don't mind me picking your brain on this as I totally agree with the idea of spending money now to solve the problem. How far down did you dig your hole? How wide? And did you do it on the outside of the barn or both in and out?

    Thanks so much,

    Paula
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    A true footing is straight under the wall, in fact it's poured in cement and then the wall is built on top of that. I dug straight down on the inside and then on the outside, so there was a trench at least 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide right under the wall. So a shovel full deep and wide on both sides of the wall. Only a little hand digging to clean it out well and around posts. The point is the dirt walls are your forms to hold the concrete. In a real situation you would line the forms with wood, add rebar or that rusty grid wire that goes into cement to stabalize it, and then pour wet cement, let it set and then removing the forms, fill the sides in with dirt. I just did away with the expense part :)

    Mine is also high enough so you see the footing both inside and out even with the added sand in my barn, it is covered when the shavings are first put in and are really puffy but once the girls grind them down you can still see the footing so I have alot of sand I can put into the enterior of my barn still over the years.

    We have sandy soil anyway living in the woods, but when your barn is in the same place for 20 years you have to add sand, which is just about the worst job in the world!

    Then yes, any of the soil sweeteners they carry will work, but so does simple daily raking. I take about 3 scoop shovels out a day and compost it or put it around plants and trees. Right now I am still all fluffy shavings because my last two does don't leave until next weekend and I keep shavings in the baby pen all the time. Also I just added two more bred minis to another pen.

    I am building a new buck barn for my woods pen, my old one is a nasty old shed, it's my one leftover embarassment from my old broker days, it's dry is about all you can say about it. But I want a new barn for the boys and me to make feeding in that pen as easy as their front barn. I really can't wait to use all my new ideas on it! Vicki
     
  7. stacy adams

    stacy adams New Member

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    Is that the buck house by your driveway? I LOVE that barn and how easy it is to feed them with out having to go in there an them rubbing all over you or trying to push you down! I'm working on getting a few of those built around here. :biggrin
     
  8. Narrow Chance

    Narrow Chance New Member

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    When we rebuilt our sheds after Katrina.. I had clay brought in and built up the inside of the barn. I then covered with sawdust. Raking often helps. After a while the clay becomes hard.. and won't absorb as much as regular dirt. Of course.. there are some goats that love to 'make a nest'. Ours has held up for a few years.. although with continual raking.. it needs replacing.

    Thanks for the idea of the footers Vicki.. hubby built onto my main barn.. and like every good handyman wantta be.. he built it up hill.. with the roof run off going up hill. I know that sounds confusing.. but so is my barn. Not that I don't like my barn.. I do.. but the water when it rains.. ugggh
     
  9. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Yes Stacy, except this time it is going to be taller. When GE stands on the wall brace he can look out the top of the barn through the vent :) I also am through ducking to get into my side of the barn to feed, and I want it wide enough to fit hay bales and feed barrels so no more buckets across the yard...oh and I fill the hay from my side also!

    Rett, oddly I know exactly what you mean :) The rain comes off the roof and comes into the barn from runoff! I initially dug a mote, so as the rainwater hit the ground it had a trench to go around my barn....literally a river when it got to raining hard. Or gutters, although with my trees it's a maintenence nitemare I don't want to have to do. Vicki
     
  10. Little Moon

    Little Moon New Member

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    Vicki - I would love to see some pictures of your buck barn so I could better understand. We have many barns to build in our future and really need ideas.

    Chrisy - my DH found this stuff on the internet and was trying to explain it to me. Very cool, I am interested.

    Anne