No so dry dry lot

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T & B farms
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No so dry dry lot

Post by T & B farms » Sat May 25, 2019 6:13 pm

My “dry lot” is an absolute disaster after the winter and spring we have had. I use it for weaning calves, and I bring in a few herds to ai here. In places the cows sink in past their knees. I keep it cleaned out pretty well, but it’s to the point if I take any more dirt out I’m going to have a pond. I would really like to pour it all to concrete, but that is just not feasible right now. It would cost roughly 30k to do what I’m waning, and that’s pouring it myself. I’m sure this would be the cheapest in the long run, but I cant swing that right now.
I’m looking for ideas/ suggestions on what to do.
Right now I’m thinking about 3-4” thick rock with some kind of plastic or geo cloth underneath.
Also I have a ton of tin I salvaged off of a blown down shed. Most of the nail holes are ripped through, but good shape other than that. Have considered laying some of that down to keep the rock from getting pushed into the mud.
Also looking for suggestions on ways to feed hay in the lot. At this time I feed bales in hay saving feeders. Works pretty well other than the huge mess. I will be adding a mixer in the next 2-3 years, so I’m not looking to make it permanent.

With the geo cloth will I be able to grade the manure and rotten hay off with the skid loader without wasting a bunch of rock?

Any ideas/suggestions are welcome and appreciated. :banana:



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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Sat May 25, 2019 6:18 pm

I’m wrestling with a similar situation and the wiser heads are telling to bite the bullet and go with concrete.

We feed roughly 120-130 head over the winter and I’m tired of repairing the lot year after year.
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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by MrSmith » Sat May 25, 2019 11:14 pm

I don't have much experience, or how big your lot is, but the few dry lots I saw around flat land Iowa brought in dirt to make a good size mound in the middle to give them high ground to get up on.

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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by T & B farms » Sun May 26, 2019 8:46 pm

I am considering a roof also. Not big enough for the dirt pile idea I don’t think.

I figured I would get a few more reply’s.

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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Sun May 26, 2019 8:54 pm

T & B farms wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:46 pm
I am considering a roof also. Not big enough for the dirt pile idea I don’t think.

I figured I would get a few more reply’s.
Bright Raven has a set up like yup described in your original post. I’ll ask him to give you his thoughts on how it has worked out for him.
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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by Bright Raven » Sun May 26, 2019 9:05 pm

I have a hay feed area that has worked. I graded it to drain in one direction. I placed a layer of #2 limestone rock. #2 is screened to pass a top size of about 2 to 3 inches. However, if the stone goes through by the small end first, some of the stone will be a bit larger. After putting down a layer about 3 to 4 inches deep, I had it choked off with fine screened lime waste. That sets up almost like concrete. I am able to run a front end loader bucket over it to keep it clean during winter. It does pick up some of the Stone but not much. The mine waste run forms a solid top.

I did not use fabric. Settling has not been a problem. The main problem is picking up some of the stone.
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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by T & B farms » Sun May 26, 2019 10:18 pm

Good to hear. Thanks very much for the info. Never thought about lime for the top.

I think some kind of fabric is a must here. The guy before me dumped literary hundreds of tons of rock here, and you couldn't round up a 5 gallon bucket full.
I usually wean in groups of 50-75, so very rarely will there be more than that in there. They are usually here for about 2 weeks. I could clean the pad off between groups very easily.

Here we call that lateral rock. 2-3” pieces. Would that be my best bet to lay down first on the cloth?

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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue May 28, 2019 9:36 am

My ground is the same - stone/gravel disappears.
I got tired of moving the hay rings all around our sacrifice winter areas, ruining the ground with the cattle punching it up & the tractor tires sinking in everywhere.
I had gravel pads put on the edge of our fencing, so I don't drive the tractor onto the pad with the hay, just set it over the fence into a feeder. The pads were made by hauling the mud away, putting down fabric, then large stone topped with a very fine stone & rolled. Yes, we lose some of the gravel when we clean, it has been a learning curve for my nephew, but getting better!! LOL.
Without fabric, around here, ground just eats up the gravel.
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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by T & B farms » Tue May 28, 2019 10:53 am

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:36 am
My ground is the same - stone/gravel disappears.
I got tired of moving the hay rings all around our sacrifice winter areas, ruining the ground with the cattle punching it up & the tractor tires sinking in everywhere.
I had gravel pads put on the edge of our fencing, so I don't drive the tractor onto the pad with the hay, just set it over the fence into a feeder. The pads were made by hauling the mud away, putting down fabric, then large stone topped with a very fine stone & rolled. Yes, we lose some of the gravel when we clean, it has been a learning curve for my nephew, but getting better!! LOL.
Without fabric, around here, ground just eats up the gravel.

Thank you for the reply. I think this is the route I’m going to go for now. Do you have a brand of cloth you recommend?

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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed May 29, 2019 2:31 pm

Sorry - no - get from my gravel supplier.
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Re: No so dry dry lot

Post by Ohio Cowboy » Thu May 30, 2019 7:57 am

Def put the fabric down first. If all else fails menards sells the fabric. I put it in under a parking pad/driveway expansion and it works great. Not much gravel and it sets up like concrete, no give at all. A roof overhead wont help at all unless there is good drainage. I have a barn I used to feed in with dirt floors and no matter what it was knee deep by spring.

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