Straw or Shavings?

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Straw or Shavings?

This is a discussion on Straw or Shavings? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Shavings for foaling on
  • Why straw over shavings for foaling

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    03-03-2010, 05:47 PM
Straw or Shavings?

Okay, I've heard pros and cons on each, and honestly I can't decide what I'm going to use with Galaxy. I almost got a bale of straw yesterday, she's not anywhere near due yet but I don't wanna go try and find some and *Gasp* there be none.. that's how my luck runs!

So... I wanna hear some opinions from people who have used one or the other, and why.
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    03-03-2010, 05:50 PM
Straw for foaling out...always if you can get it. Bed it deep, pick out the poo and really wet spots, and bed it on top of that.
    03-03-2010, 05:53 PM
After all I've read on here, I'd use thickly bedded straw with a skimming of shavings under it. That way, the shavings can soak up the pee instead of actually going into the ground. Plus, you don't want the baby's first few breaths being full of shavings. Good Luck with your decision...AND with the new baby!!
    03-03-2010, 07:18 PM
Green Broke
I've been keeping Freyja's foaling stall only bedded a "normal" depth with shavings, and cleaning it every day. I have 4 bales of straw stacked right next to the stall ready to bust loose in there on top of the shavings the minute she shows me she's ready, and another half dozen bales in the loft ready for cleanouts after that. I really, really dislike straw for everyday use, it's just yucky to me, but I'll keep straw in there for the first few days of the foal's life, then switch back to shavings when it is about a week old.
    03-03-2010, 07:34 PM
Okay cool! Especially with the shavings under it. We use mats, I can just imagine the icky wetness from straw!
    03-03-2010, 10:10 PM
Green Broke
Yeah i'm using about an 1-2 inches of shavings. And then a good thick layer of fresh straw over it. I can usually go about a week and a half with just picking out poo. And then I have to clean it all out and redo the whole stall. And it's easy to clean! I love it that way. As the shavings soak up the wetness and since my stalls are on bare ground it saves me from having a stinky stall. And the straw is just a comfy bedding as i've laid in it. And personally it's pretty soft granted it doesn't touch your skin. Then you just itch! Yuck
    03-03-2010, 10:24 PM
I use shavings, if I put in straw at night, there won't be any in there in the morning
    03-03-2010, 10:44 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by PaintsPwn    
Okay cool! Especially with the shavings under it. We use mats, I can just imagine the icky wetness from straw!

Exactly! I have matts and underneath them my barn floor is concrete (140 year old barn, nothing I can do about it) so relying on straw makes it disgusting. I'm kinda a germaphobe anyways so I just keep shavings for absorbing the wetness so I can pick it out and I'll bed straw on top when I need to.
    03-04-2010, 03:39 AM
Okay, but PaintsPwn is talking about a foaling stall and foaling out a mare, right? Not just general preferences for bedding.

So shavings are a no-no, because they get stuck to the umbilicus, the foal's nose, mouth and eyes, the mare, everything - yuck! That's why straw is considered standard for foaling stalls -- it doesn't stick and get into everything.

So, Paints - find 10 - 20 bales of straw NOW and put them aside for your mare. Don't bed her stall with straw until close to her due date, when she's waxed up, dripping milk and almost ready to go. Keep her and the baby on straw until your straw runs out, or until the baby is a week or so old.

If there's a deep spot in the stall where urine tends to collect, or if your mare prefers one spot, then putting shavings down in that spot and straw over it is a great idea.

There's a technique to mucking on straw - I used to keep a whole barn on it and loved it - much faster to muck than shavings, but the most important thing is to keep the foaling stall scrupulously clean. Leave a muck tub and fork outside the stall and pick the stall everytime you walk by.
    03-04-2010, 08:22 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Sonic    
I use shavings, if I put in straw at night, there won't be any in there in the morning
Then your mare is either not getting enough to eat or not getting the right nutrients. Foaling on shavings is a complete no-no - the particles and dust get into everything and can cause serious complications and infections.

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