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stall bedding?

This is a discussion on stall bedding? within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Horses that urinate in there bed
  • Working out markup on horse bedding

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    06-12-2012, 12:10 PM
  #11
Weanling
It's ok I won't blame ya if I buy too many. I like my bedding to be deep.
     
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    06-12-2012, 12:38 PM
  #12
Trained
Have you considered buying bedding in bulk from a local bedding company, if you have one and the storage for it? My barn does that. It gets delivered in truckfulls and we store it in a pile in a quonset. With stalls as big as yours, it might be much more cost efficient.
     
    06-12-2012, 01:31 PM
  #13
Showing
I don't understand why anyone would switch from straw to anything else unless the cost has become prohibitive. Wheat straw makes a fantastic bed. You don't see race horses bedded in pellets or shavings.
     
    06-12-2012, 03:03 PM
  #14
Weanling
I go through a lot of straw. It doesn't absorb very well, and I have goats who will try and eat it. Also straw isn't as "clean" as shavings or pellets.
I was also considering ordering in bulk, only I do not have the room to store it. Also my stalls are all run ins. So I have some days where they don't even go in and make a mess.
     
    06-12-2012, 06:52 PM
  #15
Showing
Bulk is cheaper and easier if you have a lot of stalls to bed, but not worth it if you have only a few. I switched to bulk a few months ago and had a storage wagon built on a flatbed trailer to store it in. I use 1 1/2 wheelbarrows per stall (10 cubic ft wheelbarrow) and strip them every 3-4 days. With bags, I was using 2 in the summer and 3 in the winter.
     
    06-12-2012, 07:01 PM
  #16
Trained
I wish we had straw bedding here all the time, it is only available on occasion. No, I don't use it for my horse's bedding (they get shavings), I use it in the dog houses, they love it and it doesn't stink like old dirty blankets.
     
    06-13-2012, 04:21 AM
  #17
Weanling
I used to occasionally host tours of my farm as a Chore Efficient model for other local farm owners to come out and take some of my best practice to consider taking away and doing themselves. About a year ago I was explaining my flooring in the stall and that only used one or two scoops a day and that a bag of pellets usually lasts me about a week.

One woman looking in my stall asked me what kind of pellets I used her wood pellets were WOOD PELLETS and mine look different than hers. I showed her my bag of Eagle Valley pellets and she asked why they looked to different in the bag than on the floor. Finally I asked her if she was soaked and dried them before she laid spread them in the stalls.

Not only her but almost half of the people on the tour didn't know that you are supposed to wet pellets, let them fluff up before putting in the stall. I am dead serious. I was completely flummoxed!

Now it makes me giggle thinking that some people out there are dumping hard wood pellets as "bedding". It's like the world’s worst bean bag!

But seriously though, if you have rubber mats you don't need a whole lot of bedding. In fact deep bedding actually encourages horses to urinate in their stalls. Horses don't like to pee where it will splash, the urea burns their legs so they prefer to pee where it doesn't splash, such as say, a deeply bedded stall.

If you have rubber mats, bedding should really only be used as a sweeping compound. You should only put enough down to allow for manure to easily be picked up and absorbed without leaving a damp spot on the mat.

When my mare foal in March I hated it but I did use straw, but my vet and farrier both recommended that once the foal was dry to go back to fluffed pellets and just make one corner deeply bedded for the foal to sleep in, which I still do as he’s almost 2 1/2 months old.

I don't think I have ever used 10 bags of bedding or pellets in a stall. Even after I cleaned the straw out (it made lovely mulch in my garden in March, and kept my veggies warm against the frost), I still only used two bags of fluffed up pellets, and even then the baby was madly cuddled up in fluff.

Unless you have a SEVERALLY arthritic senior horse, rubber mats are more than comfortable for horses, and anything more than bedding as a sweeping compound on top of mats or even better dirt, is an absolute waste of money. Horses don't perceive comfort as we do, and by trying to anthropomorphize them to our standard of comfort is naive and in the end a huge financial waste, your horses is literally crapping on wasted money, and in the end even worse for the environment. Overuse of bedding takes forever to decompose. Horse manure is actually nearly the PERFECT ratio of green and brown materials (carbon and nitrogen) for composting. Adding bedding makes the composting take significantly longer for everything to break down. Pellets are vastly superior to shavings because the amount of product required is exponentially smaller than traditional shavings, but even shavings are better than straw which, takes FOREVER to decompose.

That being said if you have concrete floor and no mats, then YES by all means, deep bed to your heart’s content because, yes the concrete by its self is horrible and you do need to provide a cushion for a sheet of rock.

As far as costs, I buy a 1 ton of wood stove pellets from a guy off Craigslist for about $160 and he delivers and stacks them for me and 1 tone lasts me a little over a year for one moderately messy, but giant horse.

Yes I use stove pellet; stove pellets are TYPICALLY the exact same product as horse pellet bedding, but without the "horsie" markup. Just make sure that the label indicates that they are additive and resin free.
Hope this helps!
     
    06-13-2012, 04:03 PM
  #18
Showing
A local retailer gave me two bags of stove pellets try for bedding as he was looking for another market. I was very disappointed. Even when pee'd on they did not swell. What I have since learned is of the various qualities of pellets. These were the best with the best burning qualities. Perhaps the cheaper ones would work better in a stall. I'll still go with wheat straw when I can get it. At a teen I used it to bed16 horses every weekend so boy do I know how to bed horses with straw. Wheat is the best. Animals may nibble the odd straw but they don't eat it. Oat straw, yes. The other straws don't work as well as wheat.
     
    06-13-2012, 04:09 PM
  #19
Trained
Those pellets are horrendous for bedding. I know many barns that use them for horses stalled overnight and they have issues with mites, bed sores and fungal skin infections. I will rather keep my horse outside than on pelleted bedding. For occasional use, they are OK, but for everyday they are awful.
I am a fan of wood shavings and straw and if I must use it, sawdust. I will never keep a horse on pellets, when they are wetted down they make a nice home for fungus and bugs and don't provide enough cushion for the horses to lay down, causing bed sores.
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    06-13-2012, 04:59 PM
  #20
Weanling
I've never in all my years using pellets have ever had any problems with bugs, mites or bed soars. Typically pellets are so finely compressed and then kiln dried which would kill any fungus, mites, parasites or mold. Those things have to be introduced once fluffed, which mean, its a problem with the environment not the bedding. Fungus and mold I can see occurring if you live in warm and humid area and are fluffing up more bedding than you need, or are adding too much water, and letting it sit, especially if it's not in a secured container.
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