Bedding on straw - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-08-2010, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USDF Region 1, USEA Area 2, USEF Zone 3 - Maryland
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Bedding on straw

Cavalina, my yearling filly, is going to a USDF DSHB show at Fair Hill on August 21-22, and is being stabled overnight. Fair Hill only allows straw bedding in their stalls.

I have never bedded a horse on straw, I much prefer sawdust for absorbancy and ease of cleaning. So, I have a few questions-

How many flakes of straw do you use to bed a stall initially? I don't know how big the stalls are there - but I'd venture to guess somewhere between 10x10 or 12x12.

Are certain types of straw better than others?

What's the going price of a straw bale? I'm going to call around to feed stores sometime this week... want to have an idea of what a good price to pay is.


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post #2 of 5 Old 08-09-2010, 10:46 AM
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You should use a whole bale to bed initially.

There isn't any particular type of straw that's better than others.

Straw runs anywhere from $2.00 to $4.00 a bale, depending on where you buy it.

Your horse will eat some it, so be forewarned. It won't hurt her, it just has no nutritional value.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-09-2010, 11:22 AM
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I've always used straw, and although I find shavings or sawdust easier to clean, I prefer straw for it's comfort level. I always see horses bedded down in concrete stalls with sawdust and I just cringe - nothing like a big fluffy bed of straw to induce comfort! It's also MUCH safer for birthing mares. But yes, it gets dirtier much easier and has less absorption.

Most people use wheat straw, which most horses won't actually eat if they're being fed a good diet. Our horses get an alfalfa mix, and they wouldn't eat straw if it was the last thing standing. However, I had an abused and neglected mare that routinely ate all her hay and half her bedding every night for two months when we got her before she figured out she wasn't going without food ever again.

Oat straw is what most people use as a filler food, so while it's typically used as a bedding, it's tastier to horses. However, it's also more absorbent then the other types of straw.

Straw isn't expensive at all, typically it runs around $2.00 a bale. I've paid $3.00 for super compact bales, but that was a one time thing and I've never paid over $2.00 for any other bales which usually run between 30-40lbs.

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-09-2010, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Well fed horses will generally only taste it, but I've known some who thought their straw bedding was a whole stall filled with food just for them!

Oat straw is very tasty, because it's oat hay with the grain heads knocked off. My horses willingly eat oat straw if they're out of hay. But then, I don't feed very rich hay. Mostly a timothy/orchard grass mixture.

I like to use straw on top of pelleted bedding in the winter. The pellets are soaked before being put down, so they resemble sawdust. I don't like using unsoaked pellets; too slippery.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-09-2010, 11:35 AM
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In my neck of the woods straw runs about the same price as a comparable sized bale of hay does.
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