Stone size for sheep handling yards

Stockwell

Member
This might be better in the Livestock section...

Planning a new set of sheep handling pens in a block of ground away from home. What are people’s opinions on the best type/size of stone?
These pens will have quite heavy use so want them to be free draining etc. There will be part concreted areas, but the larger gathering pens will have to be stone as opposed to concrete. Many thanks
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
If you want drainage, I'd go for bigger stones, say 3" down. The gaps will soon fill up and you'll have a level surface that will still drain. I assume you will use perforated drain pipe below? At some quarries, you can get a choice between crushed stone or pebbles. I'd go for the latter as it might be better on dogs' and sheeps' feet.
 

tr250

Member
Location
Northants
If you want drainage, I'd go for bigger stones, say 3" down. The gaps will soon fill up and you'll have a level surface that will still drain. I assume you will use perforated drain pipe below? At some quarries, you can get a choice between crushed stone or pebbles. I'd go for the latter as it might be better on dogs' and sheeps' feet.
Trouble is with larger stone that doesn't knit sheeps feet will move more stone than you can imagine then sh!t on top and at some point need scraping if it's used to that degree then you will end up with a lot of shitty hardcore
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
Trouble is with larger stone that doesn't knit sheeps feet will move more stone than you can imagine then sh!t on top and at some point need scraping if it's used to that degree then you will end up with a lot of shitty hardcore
If the OP's going to scrape it out, I definitely wouldn't use stones. But how often is it going to be used? And how often scraped?

If it is to be scraped, needs either to be a hard surface (concrete or similar) or made from something that can be put back on the fields along with the manure, for example pea gravel. Use whatever is cheap and local.
 

simmy_bull

Member
Location
North Yorkshire
Don’t want to be scraping it out.
I was assuming largish, clean stone would be best?
Large lumps under your feet are not the greatest surface to be working on imo. There’s a cattle handling spot in a field done with big stone where I work and it’s still rough /unlevel ten years plus down the line.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
The only comparable surface I have here is a round pen for horse training, but I am on sand and free draining. 3" down in a dog run soon smoothed over with the sand riding up. Would worms have done that?

I had an area of heavy wear at the gate of the round pen. The man at the quarry advised a very coarse sand with pea gravel through it. That has compacted down nicely but doesn't get dunged on much. I use pea gravel inside a field shelter which will eventually become hard with the addition of dung. The whole thing gets mucked out occasionally with forks on the front loader, then more pea gravel (£15/tonne).

So, maybe fairly large stones, then small stuff over? But drainage is the key. Water must be able to get away.
 

FIL46

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Aberdeenshire
I put a lair of crushed rock in the bottom then 4 inch of recycled Sub base on to for my sheep pen been perfect now for 3 years
 

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