barn floor: dirt, clay, concrete
My barn is a bit rundown. Gradually, I'm fixing it up. Grand plans involve hobby (not commercial) chickens, and maybe any of ducks sheep, maybe alpacas, or dwarf goats. and who know, even a pony in 5 to 10 years when the kids get bigger. There were horses here at one time, but I'm not sure it's really big enough for that. There are four 9X9 stalls, and a T-shaped alley down the center and on two sides. Currently, it houses equipment and numerous groundhogs. It's quite worn and could use paint and some wood patchwork.
Phase 1 is done: repairing the board and batton siding and replacing the roof. Phase 2 looks like chickens, perhaps next spring. Some summers, a couple lambs already sleep in one stall and graze in the adjacent paddock (a bit under an acre, though parts are wet). Hopefully, this will continue.
The next thing will likely be chickens. I'm attracted to the chicken tractor concept, though maybe moving the lodgings inside a barn stall for the winter.
My big consideration at the moment is what to do about the barn floor. It's currently dirt. Very uneven, and the groundhogs are well entrenched. I'm wondering about smoking them out with Revenge bombs, but then what?
Concrete? Some say it's too hard on animal feet, and too chilly. Gravel covered with rubber mats? Or just rubber mats on the dirt floor?
I read in some book about a technique involving mixing concrete with dirt (3 parts dirt, 1 part concrete), to get a cheap surface with some advantages of concrete and some of dirt. Has anyone done this?
Please tell me what sort of flooring you think makes sense. The nicest small barn like this I've ever been to (Alderbrook Farm in S. Dartmouth MA) had concrete in the "halls" but dirt floor in the stalls. Not sure how they kept the varmints out, but it seems clean as a whistle. That's my only attraction to concrete: keeping out pests. I've never worked with the stuff, but would give it a try.