Using Geotextiles For Feeding and Traffic Surfaces
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service , AEN-79 , 1997
Mud robs Kentucky beef and dairy producers of performance from their cattle herds in winter and spring. To help avoid the problems associated with mud and reduced performance, producers should consider using concrete pads or lower-cost all-weather surfaces wherever animals congregate (e.g., feeding areas, animal traffic areas, and loafing areas). Although concrete is probably the most desirable surface for durability and low maintenance, an all-weather surface can be constructed of geotextile fabric, rock, and fine surface cover for less than one-third of the cost of concrete. Rock over bare soil in Kentucky requires approximately 12 inches of depth for stability, but using rock over geotextile fabrics can reduce rock depth by half. Repeated maintenance usually required for rock pads is also reduced because the fabric keeps the rock in place.