Post by finallyfarming on Jul 31, 2019 16:35:41 GMT -5
I just moved to a new place. The barn was, as far as I can tell, a tie barn for nine dairy cows. Most of the feed bunk has been ripped out and the barn has been used for raising dogs, goats and pigs at one point or another. I think. I have been feverishly cleaning it up, which was one of the grossest things I have ever done. (Mummified cats falling on your head gross) But it is cleaned out and pressure washed and the stanchion is finally being built for the two cows due in 7 days. My plan is to leave the feed bunk, which is just the right size left to serve 3 cows, and build 3 free stalls and have enough room for a 10 x 10 calf stall and a raised milking stanchion. But what do I do with the gutter? It was in the right place for tying cows in front of the feed bunk but with the feeder gone the back of the free stalls will be 3 feet from the gutter. The barn is old and the concrete is cracked all over, the gutter doesn't flow very well anymore although it does have a drain to the outside. It does a great job of being a perfect fit for a pitchfork. So in my cleaning I just dumped all the old straw and gunk into the gutter and it made forking it out very easy. I plan to put stall mats down on the concrete to cover the cracks and make it more cow friendly. So my question is, what to do with the gutter?. Just leave as is and use it to make cleaning easier? Would cows be able to just ignore it and walk over it? Or should I cover it up with plywood and then stall mats? I wish I could use the barn as intended but as something built in 1945ish it really is at the end of its life but not quite ready to be torn down. Thanks for any ideas!
If it's a standard size you can get iron grates to cover it that will let manure just fall through although let me say that it is a pain in the butt with loose straw. Otherwise you can get flat irons to cover it or you can fill them in with cement, either all the way or partially, leaving a much shallower gutter.
I'd love to have a gutter down the middle of the barn, I'd definitely check and see if there's a grate available that would fit. I like that gravel idea above too. Anything that will let liquid flow out sounds great.
Last Edit: Aug 2, 2019 16:00:38 GMT -5 by petebert
I have the same channel in the barn that I kept my cow in. I just filled it with dirt, packed it down and put mats in her stall. Over time with pee, humidity and all, it is hard as a rock. Gravel would work too.
It needs to be filled because it is unsafe for you and the cows to navigate ( ask me how I know ) My goats use the barn now that Lily is gone.
Last Edit: Aug 6, 2019 14:39:04 GMT -5 by jerseyrose
Julie wife, mom to 3 wonderful ( now adult) kids :-)
Currently Cow-less for the first time in 11 years RIP-- Rose-Jersey RIP-- Abby - Jersey Rosie-- Jersey past family cow Lily -- Angus / Jersey past family cow 2 appaloosas- Candy, Sierra 3 dogs--Tess, Sunny, Mia a herd of 22 Boer goats a variety of chickens 3500+ pigs in our care at any given time.
Post by finallyfarming on Aug 8, 2019 11:35:35 GMT -5
Thanks everyone! I wish I could keep it for cleaning purposes but the concrete was poured, according to a concrete water tank outside, in 1945. The floor is cracked all over and the concrete has shifted all about so the gutter does not drain very well. I am going to fill it with concrete. So wish I could have the whole floor repoured but I don't have the funds for that. The cows are always stepping in it and slipping so it has to go. So sad. It should take about 20 bags of concrete which is a lot cheaper than a vet call.
I LOVE this question. In Vermont, where I cut my teeth on cows long ago, there was a barn like so many others that was built around the time cows were a lot smaller- and shorter from head to tail. Thus, in many of the older barns still in use, just as the head gate needs to be raised to accommodate genetically "improved" larger cows, the gutter is always to close to the ties. They tend to stand with their rear legs at the lower gutter level. I twisted my ankle and balked and complained about that largely useless gutter so many times it was a priority in my own barn to not have one. Any corners in a raw milk barn are potential areas for bacteria to live. What then....with a small herd you can tip the cement toward the outside sliding door and scrape manure for the little time they are in for milkings. Out on pasture and walk in sheds the rest of the time. FILL IT WITH CONCRETE! Clean it out and fill it up. If it has a gutter cleaner rail still in there, bury it too.
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
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