Livestock owners throughout the Pacific Northwest have a common enemy – mud. Even in colder areas, mud can be an issue in paddocks, barns, and stalls, creating a breeding ground for bacteria, loosening or removing horseshoes, and posing a danger to animals and people alike. Thankfully, there are some simple fixes you can employ on your homestead to reduce their time in the muck.
Wood Shavings Work Great
Adding an inch or more of simple wood chips or pine shavings can be a great way to reduce stall and barn mud. Adding up to a foot in paddocks and around troughs can also be beneficial. Just remember, that wood decomposes quickly in the spring and winter weather, so you might be adding chips every so often. If you do add chips and you have horses, be sure you DO NOT USE locus or black walnut shavings as they can be toxic.
Coastal Tip: Straw is a great way to reduce mud. However, it can cause digestive issues for horses.
Clean Up Daily
It might not be a chore anyone wants, but picking up excess hay and feed, as well as cleaning up manure and urine soaked areas, can really help reduce mud. Manure plays a big role because of the amount of water it retains.
Time Their Bathroom Breaks
Depending on the animal, most livestock will create the most manure several hours after eating. If possible, try to ensure they are out in the pasture to reduce your time cleaning manure.
Keep Them in After the Rain
Give the ground outside a chance to dry out a little before letting your livestock run out into the paddock or pasture after a good rain. The less mud they create out there, the less muck they’ll bring back with them.
Dig Out the Mud and Replace the Soil
If a spot in their stall or in the barn isn’t drying out, it could be time to dig it out and replace the soil. If it’s particularly bad, you might consider adding sand.
Coastal Tip: Be sure to add all that muddy soil, manure, and biodegradable stall materials to your composting pile. Get more details from our article, The ABCs of Composting.
Try an Additive
An all-natural bedding enhancer is a great way to reduce stall mud. Standlee Premium Western Forage® Horse Fresh® makes it easy to reduce moisture, keep stalls dry, and eliminate odors. It’s safe for most livestock, including chickens, rabbits, and pigs.
Mud Control Ideas at Coastal
The folks at your Northwest Owned and operated Coastal have what you need to control mud in your world. Stop by today and ask about Bedding products and other erosion-reducing ideas. We’ll be happy to show you what works best in your neck of the woods.