This year we put down crush and run/gravel in the walkway around the barn and 1/2 our dry lot. It has been wonderful with all the rain we have had this winter! However, one problem has reared it's head.
Since my horses have access to it 24/7 what is the best way to scoop the poop? I am picking up large amounts of gravel when I scoop. Also, they love to poop in an area by the barn and since it has rained so much, it has covered the gravel in that area and is a but of a mess. I have tried raking but it has not been as effective as I would have liked. Any suggestions?
What clanter said... plus get it tamped (sp?) down, and I don't mean by just stomping your feet on it but by an actual mechanical tamper. You can rent one or have someone come in and do that.
I put large gravel + screenings in my sacrifice lot and in the most heavily traveled areas, even with tamping they're going to dig it up. It was better than the mud, but I was still not satisfied so I pulled back some of the screenings, bought those cheap mats with the holes in them, put them down nice and level, anchored them down with giant carriage bolts/washers, then put the screenings back over top of them. Two years now and so far so good. It is SO easy to clean up and they've kind of cemented themselves into the ground. But that's just in a few areas, not an entire sacrifice lot.
Also, no matter what, you'll always pick up some gravel with the manure. If you didn't, you'd have concrete under their feet.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
Meh...you pick up some gravel with each poop, it is inevitable. I replenish my gravel (with a size called "screenings" here...I think some folks from the East call it "crusher run"??) every two years or so because some just gets stuck to each poop.
I've found the rule is daily pickup...you cannot leave it. When the birds scatter it, it makes it even harder to pick up. When it gets rained and walked on, it does indeed become a soupy mess. There really isn't a solution, but getting the majority of the organics (hay, poop, dirt) up off the gravel certainly preserves it much longer.
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
It was better than the mud, but I was still not satisfied so I pulled back some of the screenings, bought those cheap mats with the holes in them, put them down nice and level, anchored them down with giant carriage bolts/washers, then put the screenings back over top of them. Two years now and so far so good.