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Peat bedding under calves

  • 27-08-2023 12:58pm
    Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,787 Mod ✭✭✭✭Siamsa Sessions

    I’m hoping to buy some autumn calves this year so straw is very much on my agenda at the moment.

    It’s scarce stuff so I’m looking at alternatives like peat for bedding calves. One website is looking for €150 for 1.5 tons. No idea if that’s good, bad, or indifferent.

    Anyone ever put peat under calves?

    Trading as Sullivan’s Farm on YouTube


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Layton Old Pedestrian

    Peat is ok if you've lots of room for them to run around in it and good drainage/slope on the floor. But if you've minimum space for the group I would advise against peat, it will turn to slop very easy.

    Used it 2 years in a row coz I got a few load for nothing but would never use it again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,424 ✭✭✭hopeso

    But you're not supposed to be buying peat....... 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,460 ✭✭✭J.O. Farmer

    It's okay he's planning to try to sequester carbon emitted from cattle in it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,678 ✭✭✭jaymla627

    Be very careful with it, calves need access to straw at all times when on the peat, our they’ll start eating it, lost calves here that where eating it, was using the peat-bed stuff with lime through it so maybe was more palatable, had cubicle mats in calf pens and was bedding mats with peat and lime thinking I was doing great work but turned into a disaster

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,779 ✭✭✭mr.stonewall

    I have seen a few folks out a few inches of sand or wood chip under the straw half way through rearing. Super soakage and keeps the straw dry. When mixed in the dung heap it makes no difference. Different story with gravel.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭Say my name

    A different take on that. If you were mixing in sand, if the pit was near the sea the pH would probably be alkaline so maybe a benefit too. If you wanted to further on the thought mixing in basalt dust would bring in even more benefit from a mineral point of view from the fym being spread out on land.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,446 ✭✭✭✭Reggie.

    I put peat under calves every year with no issues. As said make sure there is straw available to eat and they will be fine. I bed one section of the peat as a lie area for the calves

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,787 Mod ✭✭✭✭Siamsa Sessions

    Thanks for replies.

    Last question: Would you want 6 inches or 12 inches under them?

    Trading as Sullivan’s Farm on YouTube

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,979 ✭✭✭endainoz

    The one year I was allowed to use peat bedding, I was told to make it a foot deep. Could try mixing in some miscanthus with it or even some bio char is your feeling adventurous.