WHAT's best -- CONCRETE or DIRT for Barn Floor?

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Went through the archives, but this question isn't really answered. I would like your feedback as to why you Like/Dislike concrete or dirt floors. Barn will have separate areas for goats & donkeys (donks will have rubber mats). Also, if you recommend concrete floor, how do you slope it and provide drainage? Thanks in advance.

-- Marsha (CaprisMaa@aol.com), April 01, 2001


Concrete is better for cleaning. Dirt is better for animal feet, especially horses. We have concreted the cow and pig area. Sure makes scraping the muck out easier. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (kmfraley@orwell.net), April 01, 2001.

Hey Marsha...I'm spelled the other way!! I had dirt floors for my horses for two reasons---lots of urine and it is definitely easier on their feet and legs. Probably the same for "donks". When I had my new barn built for my goats I went with concrete. It's easier to scrape really clean and easy to disinfect. And I promised myself that I would never have anymore than six milkers (ya..right!!!). I clean their 10x24 ft. pen out every 7-10 days in the warm weather and never in the winter. I just add bedding. I would go with dirt for your horses.

-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), April 01, 2001.

Dirt is much more resilient.It can't be disinfected as easily as concrete but it can be done.Concrete has the ability to be pressure washed clean going for it and that is about it.Folks go through a lot to try and "fix" concrete's draw backs.as far as slopeing concrete you do it by setting one form a little lower than the other.Try dirt first you can always concrete over it if it does not work for you.

-- greg (gsmith@tricountyi.net), April 01, 2001.

I meant donkeys instead of horses, Marsha. You can tell that I still have horses on my mind...I really miss them!! Definitely try dirt first since concrete is rather permanent. I use concrete now because I really need to be able to thoroughly disinfect before milking season. Rubber mats are supposed to be good, also for horses or donkeys.. But I don't have any experience with them. Good luck!

-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), April 01, 2001.

We have dirt floors in all our barns, but we put down 4 to 8 inches of limestone screenings(locally, it is called "bug dust".) from the local quarry. It costs about $2.25 a ton. We go get it in the pickup truck and back in and shovel it off and spread it over the floor. We level up with it and it packs some and makes a firm flooring, but still easy on the legs and feet.

When we clean out the barns, we naturally get down into the limestone screenings and some of it goes out with the manure. We go get more and get that layer in place again. The extra benefit is that we get the lime back out into the fields mixed in the manure.

-- homestead2 (homestead@localnetplus.com), April 01, 2001.

Both, concrete in feed, hay and milking areas. Dirt for the animals areas. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), April 02, 2001.

Kinda depends on where you live too. While I prefer dirt in the stalls, in Washington or any other soggy area I'd go to concrete, covered with lots of bedding or mats, to keep them dry.

-- Bear (bearwaoman@Yahoo.com), April 02, 2001.

We have dirt in the stalls and concrete in the cross ties. Also putting concrete in the goat milking area. To get the slope right try using a water level---they don't cost much and they don't lie. Doug

-- Doug in KY (toadshutes@yahoo.com), April 02, 2001.

A temporary water lever can be made by putting some water in a see- through hose and clamping or corking both ends. The two levels of water, when the hose is bent in a U (or any set of curves through which the water runs continuously, for that matter) will, of course, be level.

-- (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), April 05, 2001.

Thank you all for your answers. I have goats now but in 'make-shift' housng, and wasn't certain what would be best for both donkeys and goats. I'm leaning toward concrete flooring (if we can afford it), but a combination sounds good too! Again thank you.

-- Marsha (CaprisMaa@aol.com), April 05, 2001.

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