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Mud Control and Cow Carpet

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  • Mud Control and Cow Carpet

    I have a 3 stall shed row barn that opens in to my pastures. The horses are free to come and go and typically they poop right outside of the stalls. I have put years and years of gravel of varying sizes outside of the stalls but with the organic mixing in, very hard to clean poop out of gravel, it just gets muddy/yucky anyway. I remembered reading about cow carpet at one point but after looking at the website I realize that I'd have to put a layer of gravel and a layer of footing (probably sand or screenings) over top which would still be difficult to clean.
    Could anyone offer any suggestions for dealing with my muddy/poopy place?
    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

  • #2
    I would think that screenings would be much easier to clean up than mud or gravel. Many of the places that we camp have screenings under where the horses are tied, specifically because they provide better drainage and are much easier to keep clean than dirt/mud.

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    • #3
      I have crushed stine covered with geotextile topped by a layer of stone dust outside my doors.
      The trick is to get a compactor and really compact the first layer of stonedust.
      Easy to pick the manure up, and I just add a bit to the top once a year or so to replace what gets lost.
      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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      • #4
        If you don't want mud...then you must create a barrier between the subsoil (geotextile cloth/cow carpet) and your animals, and put a footing material (gravel or screenings) on that.

        I have an area probably 50 x 60 done in geo cloth and screenings. Sure, I lose a bit of gravel every time a horse poops, but I clean every day and my sacrifice area remains mud free 5 years on. I've added screenings once (one, 10 yard load) since I began.

        The key is to put down that cloth, then add at least 6" of gravel. I used 3/4 minus topped with 4" of fine, angular gravel called screenings (names are dif in dif parts of US).
        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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        • #5
          Bumping this up...does anyone have any links to any cow carpet/geotextile? I can't seem to find anything (helpful, with prices, etc).

          Thanks

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          • #6
            Spacehorse- Your best bet is to let your fingers do the walking and look up a landscaping or erosion control company in your area. Geotextile cloth is used in erosion control. Luckily, in my city we have a manufacturer right here. A roll (12 feet long x so many yards of material) ran me about $350. It did the whole area I posted about above.

            I'm sure there are "national suppliers" but the shipping would kill you. Look for a local source.

            You might call your local extension office, as well, for ideas.
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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            • #7
              I did a layer of base gravel topped with stone dust. Be sure to grade it away from the barn so any pee or rain rolls away. The stone dust compacts down nicely with water and use. Right in front of the stalls I put rubber stall mats. I got the mats on sale for only about $30. I've also seen used mats on CL for half that cost. It's working nicely for my guys.
              Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

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              • #8
                i think so

                Originally posted by Char View Post
                I would think that screenings would be much easier to clean up than mud or gravel. Many of the places that we camp have screenings under where the horses are tied, specifically because they provide better drainage and are much easier to keep clean than dirt/mud.
                i think so too

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                • #9
                  I redid my sacrifice area this year (only the second time in 22 years). We did a layer of crusher run, geotex fabric, then stone dust. In the high traffic area under the shedroof, I added ring mats from Linear Rubber. It is quite easy to muck out any manure on the stonedust and the ring mats reduce the pitting and wear down just outside the stall doors and around the hay feeders.

                  *star*
                  "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                  - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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                  • #10
                    So, do you put bigger stones UNDER the geotextile, or on top (and under fine screenings)?

                    Do the bigger stones not tear the fabric if you put it underneath?

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                    • #11
                      The cloth goes first, next to the dirt. On top of that, you add your bigger gravel--3/4 minus (driveway gravel). Then the top layer is your "footing" material--I used screenings and some "pea gravel" or tiny round stones. Water drains through the gravel to the cloth layer, which forms a barrier between water and earth, and you get no mud, and your gravel stays put.

                      You must keep the gravel clean on top. Manure, hay, leaves or any organic material must be picked up. The cloth has to stay permeable, so water can pass thru it.

                      Your gravel layer needs to be thick enough that the horses, tractors etc don't reach the cloth. I have 4-6" of gravel/screenings over mine with no issues so far.

                      I do get a bit of puddling in spots, but that is due to my paddock not being leveled/sloped before we did this. I had to create a mud free area, and did not have a tractor at the time, but honestly, it hasn't been a problem.
                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                      • #12
                        We did a cheap version by a high traffic gate area. We
                        put down some old, torn orange plastic snow fence and
                        then covered with sewer rock. Over that we put some
                        screenings to make a comfortable surface for the hooves.
                        It stays solid and mud free.
                        Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                        Elmwood, Wisconsin

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