The type of feed pad dictates the method of cleaning.  Scraping is suitable for compacted earth/gravel surfaces, whereas a concrete pad can be cleaned by scraping and/or hosing or a flood wash system.

Comparison of surfaces for loafing and stand-off areas

MethodAdvantagesDisadvantageManagement tip
ScrapingSuitable for both earth/gravel and concrete surfaces Cheapest option - low capital cost Less effluent to handleHigh labour cost Effluent is more concentrated Tractors may require more cleaning and maintenanceUse a 3m wide scraper blade – it’s quicker Clean 3 to 4 times each week If scraping concrete, consider pre-wetting for a more effective clean
Hosing /hydrantsLow capital cost Large volume to handle – it’s more dilute Uses similar amounts of water to flood washingNot suitable for earth/gravel surfaces High labour cost Produces large volume of dilute effluentLocate hydrants around the feed pad Take care to avoid splashing feed Hose regularly on concrete – dry manure is hard to shift on concrete
Flood washingLower labour costs Uses similar amounts of water to hosing/hydrants Can use of-peak electricity to fill tankHigh capital costsScrap first to manage manure accumulations, this avoids channels forming and meandering of flush water
Source: Moran & McDonald, 2010

Find out more here: