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  1. #1
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    11,987
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    Attached is a picture of the 12' x 12' stall I just finished digging out, by hand. We made the mistake of following the suggestion of the person who built our barn to put clay in our stalls. Given the barn location, the clay was almost always mushy. We've tried everything but digging the clay out. So, that's how I spent the Independence Day weekend, plus several previous weekends! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] BTW, the last picture is the pile of clay I dug out. It's now sitting in the corner of one of our pastures, so we'll have to relocate it in the near future.

    The depth below ground level is approximately 12 inches. I was going to put some kind of pit in the center of the stall, however, given the ground water level most of the year, I've decided not to do that.

    My new plan is to lay a 14' x 14', 8 oz. geotextile cloth (click here for what I mean) over what you can see in the picture. A 14' x 14' cloth will run up the sides of the hole a foot. Then lay in 12 inches of 2A modified limestone (3/4" down to fines) followed by some type of interlocking stall mat topped by wood chips.

    Your thoughts?
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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    22
    Location
    East Central WI
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40 w/ 1470 loader

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    Our land is mostly gravel so I don't have your wetness problem. Is it the water table that is that high, or do you have a layer of hard pan lower that prevents drainage. Your local septic installer would probably be able to answer this questions for you. If it is hardpan you may want to consider digging a hole through it and backfill coarse gravel to help drainage. Are you laying the fabric down to keep the muck below from pushing up into the limestone? Cost wise it might be less expensive to use a larger stone backfill base with the limestone on top. The stalls that we have I put down limestone (8-10") and rubber cow mats. The 3/4" cow mat lays flat without needing the interlocking feature. This works well for us. Easy to clean the rubber and the limestone seems to help control order.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    <font color="blue"> If it is hardpan you may want to consider digging a hole through it </font>
    I'm going to dig a test hole in the center of the stall with a manual post hole digger and see what's there.

    <font color="blue"> Are you laying the fabric down to keep the muck below from pushing up into the limestone? </font>
    Yep.

    <font color="blue"> Cost wise it might be less expensive to use... </font>
    The 14; x 14' was only about $30.

    We have several cow mats at one end of the center aisle to keep the horses from dragging mud into the barn. Since it took two of them to cover the stall they didn't work well for us, although that could have been to the instability of the underlying clay.

  4. #4
    Gold Member hillslider's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    368
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130 JDX700

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    When I read your post I thought to myself.......Been there. Had the same issue. When I bought my little farm there was clay in the horse stalls. Mushy and always stunk of wet horse pee soaked clay. We dug out and put down crushed limestone. Worked great. The limestone packed down yet drains well. No more stink. I posted this picture last week but it got lost in the site problems. I went to the local gravel yard with my 97 F250 to get the limestone. The guy that loaded it had a huge endloader. The stuff was wet and he was jiggling the bucket and slowly dumping it into my truck. He got a bit carried away and the hole bucket dumped in. The result.....5800lbs in the back of my truck. To say the least I had little steering on the way home. Thank God the truck has a 460 because I live in West Virginia and had some good hill climbing to do to get her home. I thought for sure a tire would have blown but I made her home. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    549
    Location
    Goshen, NY
    Tractor
    JD 790

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    Given the location of my barn and the way it is currenly setup it appears the previous owner blacktopped the stalls to avoid the same problem. The job wasn't perfect and I patched and smoothed a few spots but it works OK because we use thick rubber stall mats for cushioning. Every once in awhile we lift the mats and hose them out.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    11,987
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    Well, I finished the stall late Sunday afternoon! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

    I reviewed my tractor log book and I spent 6.8 tractor hours, 35 man hours and hand dug 29 FEL loads of heavy clay out of the stall. Of course, since I dug out 29 FEL loads, I had to replace it with something! I don't know whether the clay coming out, or the 2A (3/4" down to fines) limestone going it was heavier! Probably, about the same. Based upon what remains of the 25 tons of limestone I started with, I estimate I installed about 10 tons of limestone.

    Even though, given our high spring water table, I'm not sure it will help, I also ended up burying a 30 gallon plastic drum in the center of the stall and sloping the ground towards it. Once you've dug down 12 inches, what's another 2 or 3 feet to bury a drum! The drum already had 2 holes in the top (the usual holes in the top of a drum), I drilled 2 more (2.5" diameter) in the top and drilled 4 holes in the bottom.

    I covered the whole stall floor, plus a foot up at the sides, with geotextile cloth then began dumping in limestone.

    Since I could not get the FEL into the stall, I would get a FEL load of limestone (the pile was up the road a few hundred feet, in our other pasture), dump it into a 5 cu. ft. wheelbarrow (which would fit thru the stall doorway) then dump the wheelbarrow into the stall. Two thirds of the tractor time were spent doing this. Every 4 inches of limestone, I used an 8" x 8" hand tamper to compress the limestone.

    Interestingly, the first wheelbarrow I used, when I attempted to lift a load of limestone, the left handle broke (rotted from sitting outside)! Hmm, what to do. Ah, there's my favorite metal wheelbarrow, with sturdy redwood handles sitting in front of the barn with my wife's flowers planted in it. A quick transfer of the dirt and the floral contents to the wheelbarrow with the broken handle solved this problem. The tire was flat, so I had to take the wheelbarrow up to the garage to air it up. I thought I could accomplish this without the wife noticing, but who should be sitting on the front porch as I walked by? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    "What did you do with my flowers?"

    "I transplanted them."

    "I can't wait to see that!"

    Of course my wife wasn't too happy with my arranging skills (flowers up, roots down), but what are you gonna do? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    Finally, I installed rubber mats from Summit Flexible Products. One more stall to go, but I might wait until next year to see how well this stall works over the winter and next spring.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Janesville, Wisconsin
    Tractor
    None -yet. Until then FunBuggy (EZ-Go) will have to do!

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Interestingly, the first wheelbarrow I used, when I attempted to lift a load of limestone, the left handle broke (rotted from sitting outside)! Hmm, what to do. )</font>

    Sounds like quite a project Mike. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    I think if I had a broken handle on my wheelbarrow and I needed to decide what I was going to do, I might consider one of these! DR Powerwagon [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Sure would make the job a little easier! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Stall Dug Out, Now What?

    <font color="blue"> I might consider one of these! DR Powerwagon Sure would make the job a little easier! </font>
    I agree, but at $1,600!! Yikes.

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