In the middle of April we rented a skid steer for a week to clean out the winter feeding areas. As I have mentioned before, we use a rotational system with our winter feeding so that the cows will eat their winter hay from four different locations. This allows the manure to not be concentrated into one location and lessens the amount of drudgery that animals have to endure to get to the hay.
The two locations that get the worst are the heifer calving facility and the mature cow calving facility. The heifers eat their hay on an existing concrete pad and it builds up enough that we will scrape it clean 2-3 times during the calving season. This location has a manure stack pad that we store the manure in until conditions are right to spread the manure on pastures and hay fields.
The cow calving facility also has a stack pad that stores the manure. This barn is equipped with 6 different flooring treatments that give the floor structural support when it is wet, but it also has drainage which allows the moister to percolate down away from the bedding. This helps keep the flooring surface dryer and makes for a better surface for the new calves.
If you are interested in learning more about the different flooring types you can go to our website at https://www.edenshalefarm.com/producer-resources.html. Click on “Bull Barn Facilities” and “Calving Barn Facilities”.