Monday, June 8, 2015

Slabbing up the Dairy

The mud and cow manure in the dairy just became too much to bear and the smell of morning milking lingered on me all day. Something had to be done.

I had placed a square concrete block roughly where Hailey's feet stand and sometimes this worked OK, but often she would place a foot off to the side and sink into the pungent mire. When she eats she often likes to urinate and this would fill the hole her hoof had made and wouldn't dry out until the next deluge made it worse.
If the weather is bad she and her companion, calf by day and bull by night, would camp in there and trample and drip. I put it off for a while but the time had come for a more permanent solution.
First I dug down to more solid ground and moved out all the soggy smelly mud. Then some wood was attached on all four sides - level across the shed, sloping towards the garden at the front. With some reo cut to size the dairy was ready for some concrete.

Michelle is a concreter's daughter so while I mixed up the bags in the wheelbarrow she brandished the homemade float and smoothed out the wrinkles.

Once the concrete had 'gone off'' - that mysterious moment where the chemical reaction in the mix is completed enough to make a lasting finish on the top - she set to work again. It was important not to make it too smooth so Hailey does not slip. A bucket of sand applied to the top and then brushed completed the process and time does the rest. Tomorrow Hailey will have to milked out in the paddock to make sure the slab has set enough to be stood on the next day.

It will be quite something to have a solid floor to work from and being raised up a couple of inches will make Hailey happy as she will be able to access the feed bin easier.

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