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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Barn Improvements

I've been putting off a much needed barn improvement project for a while in hopes of catching the necessary materials on sale. Specifically, high grade rubber mats for the stalls and aisle way.

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The heavy stall mats I needed finally went on sale today so Seife & I headed into town. We will need to remove the old mats in the stalls and do some leveling of the clay floor before we put the new ones in place, as well as have some sand brought in to raise the floor level in the aisle way because we occasionally have flooding problems when it rains a lot.

Project benefits:

  • Reduce bedding costs (which are at an all time high) because rubber mats keep the bedding from being ground into the dirt/clay floor.

  • Reduce flooding problems by allowing us to raise the floor level and then protect it with the mats

  • Reduce dust issues... our barn is very, very old and the aisle way is made up of very, very old fine dusty dirt that gets on everything. This will also help keep our milking station cleaner.

  • Better footing for elderly horses and their arthritic legs.

  • A concrete aisle way isn't in the budget.


The old mats, which are actually recycled sorting machine belts from a local mine, will be moved to serve purpose in muddy areas (directly in front of and behind the barn, for example) so they will continue to be used.  The new mats are 4'x6' and can be cut as needed with a circular saw.

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While I was there, I also got three new heated water buckets (two for the horses, one for the goats) that will hopefully encourage them to drink more water when it's freezing out. Our two horses are both retired and slacking off on water isn't good for them, and the goats need to stay hydrated to grow healthy babies in their bellies.

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