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I have yet to get any goats but I am trying to get ready. Where the pen is going to be will be heavy, muddy clay each spring. I plan on putting down several inches of wood chips obtained from one of the local landfills where they chip all of the tree branches etc that are brought in. Are there any potential dangers from this?
 

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You can search the site for info on safety of wood chips and what kind to get and what kind not to get. The bottom line is that they will eat them. You also have to consider the level of soiling you are willing to tolerate, and what is healthy for the goats. If it is a wet muddy spring and there is goat urine and feces all over, you may end up cleaning those chips out once a week to avoid the stink and the danger to hoof health. I have absolutely no experience with it, but there is a product called Dry Stall or Stall Dry or maybe its Dri, that is supposed to be for exactly that. It is a volcanic rock material that works down into the mud and improves drainage. Once you have developed a solid layer of that, it may solve your problem semi-permanently. I have just been using perlite and vermiculite I got on sale at the store to hit the few muddy spots I have with the spring thaw. It is the same stuff as far as porous volcanic rock . I am currently looking into something called zeolite as well, although I think that is something you clean out with the bedding. My mud issues in the goat pen are very limited, so as I said, I don't know how well the Dry Stall will work, or how expensive it would be, but it is an idea.
 

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I use stall dry under sawdust bedding in the goat barn in the winter. It helps absorb some of the amonia but still needs to be changed with the bedding/sawdust/chips weekly. Also... when you dump it in the bed it's very dusty... so you gotta cover it and wait for the dust to settle before letting the goats back into the barn. It works better for horses etc. where you can just toss some ontop of where where they just peed... but I keep it out of any areas ontop of the pile where goats may ingest it.
 

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I put stall dry down twice as a base layer. I was under wood chips once and staw the 2nd time. It was in a barn with a wood floor. It seems like it is made of clay. It absorbs moisture quicky. If it drys out at all, which it tends not to do, it is hard to get up off the floor. I did not think it did anything to reduce the smell.
IdahoNancy
 

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I've used wood chips in high trafic areas. I can't say they ate them. Maybe checked them out but then left them alone. It is on the ground ya know! ;) It would be something you would have to add every year or two depending on the trafic and confinement of the area. I have a small more secure enclosure that I put the wood chips in and then a larger pasture area. I used to lock the boys in the more secure area at night when they were young. Now they can come and go as they please. I would say the wood chips lasted me 2 or three years but I only had 2 goats in the maybe 30x30ft area. My new barn and property we are getting ready I spread wood chips all over the hill and area directly by the goat barn. It was just dirt and clay since recently cleared.

I've also used stall dry inside the stall. Yes very dusty but put it down first then wood pellets (also expand and help absorb urine) and then pine shavings. I never thought of puting it outside in mud areas. I do think it helps with the smell but I also clean out the entire stall area every couple of months. It really helps in small areas. I have 6 two year olds that are desperatly outgrowing the 12X12 stall. Soon we will have our new property ready. They have all grown up together and seem fine in the tight area...unless it rains ALL DAY!

I wonder about using cat litter in really muddy areas? (or is that what perlite and vermiculite is?) Any thoughts?
 

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Cat litter is usually bentonite, which is a fine clay that is often used in drilling applications as a lubricant when combined with water. We have it on many well pads out here, and when you walk in it, your boots turn into six inch high clogs. I have the most trouble during early season pygmy rabbit surveys, when we have moisture. The horses hate it, too. Once it is dry, it is virtually impossible to clean from boots and anything they have come into contact with, and will harden on hooves like cement. Vermiculite and perlite are porous rock that is used to allow better aeration and drainage in potting soil and gardens. I think I like the gravel idea if it is a large area. At some point, the castles have to stop sinking into the swamp, right?
 

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I live in a muddy area and this winter tried putting down large chunks of cement from a patio demolition on top of the ground before the rainy season really got under way. The goats do a great job of playing stay-off-the-dirt by jumping from chunk to chunk. For the areas outside the entrance to the barn it worked really well. They never got it all mucky because they stayed on the chunks.

Inside the barn is still a work in progress. I used a whole bag of Dri-stall and maybe it helped, hard to tell. Gravel over that, hay over that. It's been a long wet winter.

I would definitely not use Kitty litter because, as mentioned above, it will turn to slick mud.
Vermiculite and pearlite, when dry, produce a possibly carcinogenic dust. Besides, I think they will only bulk out your mud.
 

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I have been using store-bought compressed wood chips for bedding in the goat barn and in their trailer. I think it works fine. It is very absorbent, is reasonably cheap, and I've not had any trouble with the goats eating it. My goat barn has an open side, facing south, so the sun keeps it pretty dry. Also, my chickens share the goat pen and can dig and scratch thru the bedding. I think that keeps it cleaner and drier. Eventually I will rake it all up, wood chips, goat and chicken poop, etc, and dump it in my compost pile.

I also use sawdust in their barn as bedding. I get it for free. It works ok as bedding, but I don't like it in the trailer because it is quite dusty and it blows around a lot when I am driving down the road. I think that is bad for the goats to breath.

I have laid some wooden pallets around the pen so the goats can get out of the mud. They also have a wooden cable spool that they love.

I think that if I lived in a place where it was wet a lot, I would think about having some dirt brought in and made into a hill in the goat pen. That would drain and would stay a lot drier than a flat pen. The best dirt I know of for such things is decomposed granite. It never makes mud, no matter how wet it gets.
 

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I had been using old cars. The goats could walk across the yard without touching the ground. ;-)

Now that I can see the ground, I have a wet spot where the tow truck that cleared my yard got stuck. So I need at least one old car to fill it in. ;-)
 

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I thought I would post this link if you are still trying to figure out what to do.

http://www.drystall.com/dry_stall.html

If you explore the site a bit, it has some info on using the regular Dry Stall (not the cedar or pine stuff) to fill mud holes and create better soil drainage. The discussion turned to the value of Stall Dry, a different product that is not used for what you are asking (my fault, I mentioned both thinking it was one product with one or the other for a name).

It really sounds to me like the Dry Stall is what you need. If it isn't for an inside shelter area, the dust issue shouldn't be a concern, and once it is all down in the mud and integrated into the soil, I don't think dust or particles would be an issue.
 

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Wow! Thanks. That looks great. I'm going to see if my local dealer has it or can get it. I would like to use it in the muddy areas. I emailed them to see what they would recomend for my indoor stall since it has a cement floor with stall mats. Maybe I might not have to clean the stall as much.

Thanks again. The products are too close in name "stall dry" vs "dry stall"
 

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Well, since you mention an indoor stall, I have been using a product called Sweet PDZ. It is granulated zeolites that convert ammonia into nitrogen, well, more-or-less, but they explain all the science on their web page, so I won't try to.

I have no good info on its success at the moment. I have been having issues with moisture in their dirt floor shelter. We have had rain like I have never seen in Wyoming in June. When I have cleaned the shelter and applied large quantities of the Sweet PDZ before their pine shavings, it seems to have aided in absorbing moisture and reducing ammonia for a day or two.

The shelter has been there since last fall, so it has a good deal of urine from the winter that soaked down in and froze. It is normally so dry that it never gets to the ammonia stage since everything that isn't soaked up by bedding drains down through the soil and drys quickly on top. The moisture problem is coming in through the soil and bringing it all back up.

I am speculating that when I clean them again today, since the wet weather is pretty much over, it will do a much better job. I also deciding if I should dig a trench outside to fend off this underground spread of moisture, or just line the inside of the shelter with pond lining and fill it in with dirt.

I sure feel like Sweet PDZ is the solution to my problems once the excess moisture issue is dealt with, for whatever that is worth.

http://www.sweetpdz.com/
 

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Yes that is what I thought you were talking about to begin with. There is a product called STALL dry which is a deodorizer. I will put that down, then wood pellets and pine shavings. I will reaply those three in that order once the bedding is soiled. Sometimes I will even apply it a third time. Then I will clean out the entire stall and start over. It is easy to shovel. It doesn't mat together like straw. I use a flat edge shovel and it is easy. Depending on area, animals and time spent indoors you could probably get away with cleaning out the entire stall 1 or 2 times a year. Mine are a bit cramped and inside alot due to the rain and I clean it 3 or 4 times a year. I have been dumping the used bedding in the muddy areas which helps since it still has some absorbancy left but I can't wait to try (careful now) DRY stall which sounds like a product that is desined to battle mud!

When I get my boys to the new barn...I might try litter training them. I talked to a lady that has the big 50gal water troughs with low sides that she fills with pine shavings (a deodorizer would be good too). She says her goats will only pee in that. Then I would be able to just sweep the goat berrys out and use as compost. (I also thought one of those leaf blower/vacume mulchers might work for sucking up the berrys)

I might be dreaming but I'll give it a try. Maybe they won't pee in the trough...but if there are no shavings any where else....maybe they will go outside. :D

My boys all like to lay on their hard bedding platforms. I keep trying to put soft shavings up there but they just kick it down and sleep on the hard wood platforms. Go figure?
 

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Hasligrove said:
I might be dreaming but I'll give it a try. Maybe they won't pee in the trough...but if there are no shavings any where else....maybe they will go outside. :D
They're male goats... they'll never put the lid down. It's part of the domination ritual. ;-)
 

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Bob Jones said:
Hasligrove said:
I might be dreaming but I'll give it a try. Maybe they won't pee in the trough...but if there are no shavings any where else....maybe they will go outside. :D
They're male goats... they'll never put the lid down. It's part of the domination ritual. ;-)
If you succeed in litter training your goats I will be amazed! Are you sure that lady wasn't pulling your leg? My goats pee and poop wherever they are when the need arises, even on eachother when they are laying around in the trailer. :twisted:

Keep us posted on this.
 

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Hasligrove said:
When I get my boys to the new barn...I might try litter training them. I talked to a lady that has the big 50gal water troughs with low sides that she fills with pine shavings (a deodorizer would be good too). She says her goats will only pee in that. Then I would be able to just sweep the goat berrys out and use as compost. (I also thought one of those leaf blower/vacume mulchers might work for sucking up the berrys)

I might be dreaming but I'll give it a try. Maybe they won't pee in the trough...but if there are no shavings any where else....maybe they will go outside. :D

Llamas maybe- goats -- not mine that's for sure-
 

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I am quite gullable....and blond...but I doubt she was joking with me. It was when I was getting ideas for my barn and she sent me some pictures and I was wondering how she kept it looking so clean. I wish I could remember who that was.

I do think it is a lost cause :D Berrys will forever go where ever they wish. Maybe if you started when young. I'll let you know. We are still working on fences and want the house completed before we move them. It will be this fall some time.
 

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Has anyone had experience with the Sweet PDZ as a soil amendment to reduce mud? The product Dry Stall is not readily available here. The web site should it should work but I'd be interested in some real life goat experiences. Thanks, IdahoNancy
 

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I use Sweet PDZ. I do like it, it absorbs moisture very well, and does seem to help with odor. In the spring I had moisture issues I think I discussed further back in this thread. I cleaned their shelter as soon as there was moisture getting up into the shavings and then spread a thick layer of Sweet PDZ. It took a lot of it and was a very expensive endeavor, but at at least it helped keep down moisture and ammonia until it dried out for the summer.

For your question, I don't know that it will work as a soil amendment. It does absorb large amounts of moisture, but I would think for mud situations you would need a truck load. I would spread it on the mud in their shelter and it would absorb a lot of moisture, but I would still need to shovel it out and replace it with each cleaning. That was also a situation where I think the angle of the hill the shelter is on was allowing surficial ground water to come out about a foot into their shelter, kind of like a seep. After a couple of weeks, there was no water left up hill and the issue was resolved, at least until next spring.

If you can get Sweet PDZ locally, you may want to buy a few bags and choose a small test area to dump it in. It is about $16 a bag here (well, in Rock Springs where I get it 100 miles away) and if nothing else, it is great to throw into bedding to absorb urine.

I have never noticed it getting into their hair or wool, which I imagine some people would be concerned about. When it is dry and they walk through it, it gets coated on their hooves (dust-like, not caked-on-mud-like) and keeps them dry. I imagine in places with moisture related hoof problems it would benefit that as well.

Hope that helps,

Gregg
 
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