Deep Litter Bedding Method - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-18-2010, 03:22 PM
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I do urine every day. I just do not dig to the bottom.
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-18-2010, 05:26 PM
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I had researched it and decided to do this in my barn this winter. My horses are only stalled at night, they are on pasture during the day. It's a cold, drafty barn and I wanted to add as much heat and save as much on bedding as possible, so went for it. by the end I was honestly wishing I had never got started with it. My mare has had a chronic thrush problem since I got her, and although I was liming/bedding her stall twice as heavy as the others, her feet continued to get worse, and my pony whose feet were perfectly clean also got thrushy. After a month I stripped the two girls stalls out, and just left the boys deeply bedded, and by 6 weeks I couldn't handle it anymore. No matter how deep the shavings, when the boys would lay down the old stuff from underneath would leach through and give them wet, yucky spots on their haunches. Stripping the stalls after they are bedded that way makes it entirely not worth it, to me, the sheer amount of waste bedding hauled out is so time consuming, it's easier for me to pick stalls every day and strip once a week, which is what I have now gone back to with all four of mine. It just never did feel very clean. I understand the premise of deep litter, and I know I've used it successfully with chickens, but I wouldn't go that road with my own horses again.
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post #13 of 19 Old 02-18-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Indy! That's the kind of thing I need to hear. A first hand experience!

I might run test for the next 2 months (until they start going out both day/night) in mare's stall. She's the messiest. I know it takes some management to get it started... hopefully it'll work. If not, we'll revert back to full cleanings 2x a day... and many trips to the manure pile!

Anybody else?

Mom to 3 bays: Beau, Daisy & Cavalina
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-18-2010, 07:20 PM
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My Beau ~ np. I know a lot of people have had success with it, and in premise I was all for it. Just, for my part, the end result wasn't satisfactory. I was using 3-4 times the amount of shavings as normal, and my horses still had gooey spots all the time.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-19-2010, 07:03 AM
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I really think it is a horse by horse thing. It would never work with my mare. No way. She is just too piggy. It works great with my gelding.
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-19-2010, 01:16 PM
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It's great for horses who can walk in and out as they want to (I think it's called loose housing)
After some months it will start up heating, and then your horses have underfloor heating - I use the method in my stable :)
But if your horses can't go out as they want to, and then are "forced" to stay inside, it could become a little critical and harsh to the hoofs.

You have to use enough straw everyday (in the end it is still cheaper anyway) and you have to be a little more attentive to your horses footties... sorry feet

As some might know, I'm danish and don't writes or understands English perfectly - so sorry if I said something you already knew :) - or something that just sounds silly!?

I'm danish, I'm here improve my English :)
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-19-2010, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
I really think it is a horse by horse thing. It would never work with my mare. No way. She is just too piggy. It works great with my gelding.
I agree with this very much. My horses had probably never seen a stall in their life until I got them, and although my gelding does poo all in one corner (yay for the few GOOD stud retained habits) he pees everywhere, and the pee was the problem for me because even with diging out the obvious spots, and adding massive amounts of shavings, it would still soak through where he laid down, and I was worried what it would do to his skin (not to mention he is a predominantly white horse and it looked horrific) I hear you about your mare though, my big mare is disgusting too, she's what in the dog show world we would have called a "dirty b!tch" or a "kennel b!tch". She poos in her water bucket on a nightly basis, poos right smack in the middle of her hay, she's just gross. I guess she just never learned clean stall manners, maybe now it's too late. My pony mare isn't bad, she just churns it up a lot like others mentioned.

I think JanneT has a good point too, I wish I had open stalls with runs the horses could go in and out of, but it's not really applicable or practical in the style my barn is. Thankfully I only stall in the winter though, the rest of the year they are on pasture 24/7.
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-20-2010, 10:11 AM
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We basically do this for our horses.
Started with a stripped stall (10' x 12'), added 4 bags of pellet bedding and a bag of chopped straw (just added the straw for the first time this week). Pick out piles at every feeding (twice a day) and urine soaked spots.
Both horses are walkers, so the pellets get ground up pretty quick. The manure gets broken up too.
I use a regular stall pick daily.
Every couple day, I use a pick that has more tines and screens out the smaller pieces.
With the horses inside everyday (we are covered by snow now too) I only need to add 1 bag of pellets per week.
I decided to add the straw because it is 1/2 the price of pellets. Just a little experiment to see if the stall stays as clean or cleaner.
I never leave it long enough to start "heating."
About once a month, I move the loose bedding to find the soaked, packed spots and dig them out.
I also pick hooves at least once a day. One horse had minor thrush, but with hoof cleaning and treatment, it has cleared up.

Last edited by jethroish; 02-20-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-21-2010, 12:48 PM
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Watch for mites and mold! I know many horses that have ended up with angry welts covering their entire bodies when this bedding method was used.

Not to mention, it even sounds disgusting. If you want more "heat" and cheaper bedding, switch to straw.
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