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Putting Bedding in Paddocks

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  • Putting Bedding in Paddocks

    I was wondering if anyone has ever put in their old used shavings in paddocks or around gates to eliminate mud. I would sift out the manure and really bad stuff but I feel like there could be a better second use for it than just compost.

  • #2
    Shavings + paddocks + rain = nasty, oozing, smelly, knee-deep mud. DO NOT DO IT.

    The only way to eliminate mud in paddocks is to search on here for the umpteen threads on "how to fix muddy paddocks" or "geotextile cloth". I did it, have mud free sacrifice paddock, here in the constantly wet PNW. It can be done, just NEVER with wood products in direct contact with the soil.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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    • #3
      Shavings and sawdust and other wood and paper products decompose. And that creates more mud, not less. Don't do it.
      Patience pays.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ditto! Been there, done that.....didn't work!

        Comment


        • #5
          The above advice is totally the truth. If you think the mud is bad now, just wait until the bedding has broken down!!

          The only way to fix that kind of mud is to remove the top layers with a machine, replace that muck with stone, road gravel types of fill. The geotextile fabric is very helpful as a layer over the good dirt after scraping out the muck. Fabric prevents the new fill from getting mixed with the soil over time. The mixing just lets the soil "eat" the nice fill. I lost truckloads of fill before we laid the fabric and put the fill on top.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the suggestions. I kinda thought that might happen. I might also look into putting down the cloth in the first 36 feet of the paddocks and then put hog fuel or more gravel over them.

            I ran across a farm that has some nice gravel paddocks and I kind of want something like them: http://foxbayfarm.files.wordpress.co...s-shed-row.jpg

            Comment


            • #7
              yes to the road fabric,then gravel on top.No to the hog fuel as it will still break down and be a mess.
              mm

              Comment


              • #8
                The one caveat to creating gravel paddocks: You must pick the manure and hay off the gravel, every day. Any organic material will break down and make...well...mud-like material, even on top of your gravel.

                You need to wait until summer or a long dry stretch for the soil to harden and pack. Then, you can simply roll out the geo cloth, and pour your gravel. You need at least 4 inches of 5/8- (like small driveway gravel) or smaller (we call it screenings here in PNW).
                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                Comment


                • #9
                  NO ! NO ! BUT A Stall Mat Strategically placed at gate opening HELPS IMMENSELY !

                  NO ! NO ! NO !

                  BUT a stall mat or mat runner placed strategically at gate openings works GREAT !!!!
                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                  • #10
                    as everyone else said NO.
                    if you are doing gravel, i've started replacing our crusher dust with pea gravel/sand mix as a top layer, and LOVE it. water runs through instead of pooling, and we have no more problems with sharp gravel bits embedded in the hooves.
                    only make sure you don't do it thick, or you will never push a wheelbarrel through.

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                    • #11
                      It would NOT eliminate mud...it would make your wet areas much, much worse. My husband actually tried it while I was traveling on business and he was in charge of barn chores. It was quite a big mess when it rained. The best solution I used is I got some course sand put it in the traditionally mucky areas and got some of those heavy rubber stall mats from TSC and placed them over the sand. Works like a dream. No more sucking mud.
                      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Like everyone else said: DON'T!

                        In desperation, I have spread hay over the worst mudholes sometimes so my vet or shoer did not have to trudge through the ankle-deep, boot-sucking morass my paddocks can become.

                        But this is strictly a temporary fix.
                        Once things thaw, I rake aside all of this hay & toss it on the compost heap.

                        Gravel over a good base is The Way to go.
                        I had this done about 5 years ago and just now I'm calling the excavator back to redo the last 6' where the horses go back & forth.
                        Otherwise his work still stands, and I could almost go down on my knees to kiss it...except the mud would not let me get back up
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                        • #13
                          Ugg, we had a bunch of rain last year, and the BO put a ton of hogs fuel in front of the pasture sheds. For a week or so it was lovely, then it developed into the worst, knee deep sucking mud!

                          That hogs fuel kept the area wet on sunny, breezy days when the rest of the pasture would dry out.

                          IT WAS A DISASTER
                          APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I boarded at a place with a huuuge arena with the best, always-draining sandy soil naturally. Never muddy, never slippery. They put stall cleanings on it and within months it was TREACHEROUS footing, that wouldn't drain and the stall cleanings acted as insulation so the underlying muck stayed frozen (it was a cold climate). From soft, DRY footing to buttered glass in MONTHS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When everyone is saying put gravel over the geotextile cloth, do they (you) mean lots-of-small-rocks gravel, or mostly-dirt-with-rocks gravel as that term is used by builders here?

                              And what do you do if poop accumulates on the gravel, whatever the kind?

                              The front of my run-ins gets really mucky and this year for the first time we just scraped it aside into a pile all winter, and then removed the pile in the spring. Under the muck is well draining soil. I'd think of helping this along by putting down mats/gravel but the horses poop there, and when I pick out the run-ins in winter, I toss the poop there too. I'd need a way to periodically scrape the top layer of poop etc off. Would that damage the gravel or the mat?
                              https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
                              Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/
                              www.PeonyVodka.com

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                The barn where one of my horses was at had gravel paddocks and it shredded his knees up and around his ankles so all the horses had to have bell boots turned upside down and pointing up to protect them. I think around the gates it would be fine but not in the entire paddock. Were going to look into hoof grid too this week.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                                  When everyone is saying put gravel over the geotextile cloth, do they (you) mean lots-of-small-rocks gravel, or mostly-dirt-with-rocks gravel as that term is used by builders here?

                                  And what do you do if poop accumulates on the gravel, whatever the kind?
                                  What I've got is a 6-9" base of crusher-run gravel: pieces ~ 2" in diameter.
                                  Over that is 3" of stonedust - like very coarse sand.
                                  The stonedust packs down over time and can easily be raked clean.
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by hiddenbrooknb View Post
                                    I was wondering if anyone has ever put in their old used shavings in paddocks or around gates to eliminate mud. I would sift out the manure and really bad stuff but I feel like there could be a better second use for it than just compost.
                                    It will act like a sponge.

                                    Which is initially good, as it will suck moisture out of the soil.

                                    But then it will "hold onto" the moisture, and KEEP it wet.
                                    Janet

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I am getting ready to invest in the geofabric covered with gravel to make sacrifice areas. They recommend 5/8 minus here for that.

                                      I have recently been thinking about trying to do double duty - make a mudfree zone that could also serve as a small riding area during the wet months. I have small property and so space is at a premuim and I was inspired by this website to consider this: http://www.equiculture.com.au/equicentral%20system.html

                                      What i am wondering is if this combination, the base of crusher run gravel with the stonedust over it would make an acceptable base for riding on.

                                      I am in the pacific northwest and so about 6 months out of the year, wet and mud is an issue. right now, things are pretty dry - my property drains well so even a few days of dry weather makes a big difference but I want a mud free winter "sacrifice area". I also would like to have a track or "arena" somewhere to ride during the worst of the wet season.


                                      Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                                      What I've got is a 6-9" base of crusher-run gravel: pieces ~ 2" in diameter.
                                      Over that is 3" of stonedust - like very coarse sand.
                                      The stonedust packs down over time and can easily be raked clean.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by hiddenbrooknb View Post
                                        I was wondering if anyone has ever put in their old used shavings in paddocks or around gates to eliminate mud. I would sift out the manure and really bad stuff but I feel like there could be a better second use for it than just compost.

                                        No. In fact, the best way to eliminate mud is to dig it all out down to hard dirt and lay down stone dust. I don't allow remainder hay to stay in a paddock, because it breaks down into compost. I pick up all manure so that it doesn't break down into compost. If you put down shavings, they will just break down into compost and any of these things will produce deep, nasty mud.

                                        I had shavings and hay and manure in front of a barn I leased and it took me all spring to dig out the mud. It was a mixture of shavings, hay and manure. Underneath was hard ground. I brought up a few wheelbarrows of sand and gravel from the 'beach' of the pond and kept all shavings and hay picked up in that area and for six years had no mud (until I left).

                                        Eliminate the orgainic matter and you won't had mud.
                                        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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