Hooves and Salt

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Train

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Don't really know where to post this question so I guess it's going here. Feeding the cows is done with feeder panels in a straight line, cows on one side bales on the other. Cows are standing on a large concrete pad. Due to this, that and the other, ( mostly a brutal winter ) their side has a huge build up of snow, which is of course packed tight now pretty close to being ice. Finally was able to get the tractor in to try to clean it up but the whole feeding area is just to hard and the bucket won't bite into the snow/ice. I'm thinking throughing some type of ice melter, probably salt, over the standing area might loosen things so I can get it cleaned up. It may take several applications of spreading, waiting and scraping but oh well. I'm not concerned about the pad as it will likely get torn out this year of the next, but is there anything to be concerned about regarding the salt and the cows hooves?
 

TREY-L

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No, not that I know of. Besides providing a better footing surface for your cows, I don't see a problem with it. A cows hoof is continually being worn away anyway and walking around in some salt isn't going to cause any more wear than anything else would.
 

alacattleman

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Train":1xrwnep4 said:
Don't really know where to post this question so I guess it's going here. Feeding the cows is done with feeder panels in a straight line, cows on one side bales on the other. Cows are standing on a large concrete pad. Due to this, that and the other, ( mostly a brutal winter ) their side has a huge build up of snow, which is of course packed tight now pretty close to being ice. Finally was able to get the tractor in to try to clean it up but the whole feeding area is just to hard and the bucket won't bite into the snow/ice. I'm thinking throughing some type of ice melter, probably salt, over the standing area might loosen things so I can get it cleaned up. It may take several applications of spreading, waiting and scraping but oh well. I'm not concerned about the pad as it will likely get torn out this year of the next, but is there anything to be concerned about regarding the salt and the cows hooves?
wish i had a concrete pad........ sure wouldnt tear it out
 
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Train

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It's actually part of an old feed lot and the area is way bigger than we need for our herd. The area we're using right now is going to be torn down so we can install a pivot for irrigation. There are three huge pads ( now your jealous ) that were bases for large grain feeders. I was thinking I might try to cut them into managable sections and move them to the new feeding area. Even if that doesn't work they'll be broken into smaller sections and used as a base for gravel.
 

mobgrazer

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I did go looking for info because I wanted to know also. I did find a few publications that had less then a paragraph on cattle and soggy salty coastal land and suggested foot rot. I could not find anything worth quoting.

I’m not saying that I read that standing on salt will cause foot rot but I did read some publications the briefly suggested standing in a salty environment might lead to foot rot. Now because I posted this every one that lives on the coast or lives way up north is going to give me hell.

IMO I would go light on the salt and use it as you feel needed but would get a bag of sand next time your out so you can use less salt. If you tossed out some sand or pavers base you might get some traction now and as the ice melted. Sand and pavers base might be cheaper in the long run then the cost of salt.
 

dun

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If you are getting any sun at all, spreading ashes on the ice will help to melt the ice. The dark color concentrates the heat rather then reflecting it.
 

Workinonit Farm

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dun":19lod47b said:
If you are getting any sun at all, spreading ashes on the ice will help to melt the ice. The dark color concentrates the heat rather then reflecting it.

LOL I was going to suggest the same thing for the same reason. AND the ashes also give/provide good traction.

I use them all time for areas that get slicked over with ice.

Katherine
 

JHH

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Can you get ahold of any sawdust? That seems to me like a better solution and is biodegradable and wont hurt much if any thing will it ?

I know we can get as much as we want and if you pile it up you can see the steam off of it on really cold days. The cows like to lay on top of it.

Just a suggestion. JHH
 
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Train

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Actually, melting or loosening the snow is kinda the jist of the post. Picture a row of round bales right behind the feeder panels and a lot of snow blowing up to them and stopping. It's now hard and packed and is probably 18 to 24 inches high. Now picture where the top rail is on those cows. You just know one of them is going to figure out how easy it would be to clear the rail. Then it would be off to the bale stack, all the while enticing the others to follow. :roll:

We have a lot of greenhouses around here that have big piles of ash from there coal fired boilers. I think I'm going to try that as I like the combination of melting and traction. Thanks everyone.
 

mobgrazer

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Ok you have 18 too 24 inches of ice / snow to melt or move.

I melt, beat, drill, and chisel a hole in it for a pipe bomb. I use half inch PVC pipe about 3 inches long and refill the hole with wet sand. Putting the fuse in a straw helps a lot also. Yep you bet to get the pipe as deep as possible.

It might take a few try’s depending on how big the ice chunk is. I do this a few times a winter to unclog a drainage pipe that VDOT will not fix that goes under the gravel road.
 

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