Alternatives to shavings as bedding?

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Alternatives to shavings as bedding?

This is a discussion on Alternatives to shavings as bedding? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-05-2010, 08:31 PM
Alternatives to shavings as bedding?

What do you use/prefer? Straw? Pellets?
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    07-05-2010, 08:47 PM
Pellets are horrible. They harbour mites, mold, fungi and other lovely things. Straw is the best choice for horse health, but it is harder to clean and can smell. Shavings are the most widely used because they usually pose no threats to health (barring allergies), are easy to clean and smell nice.
    07-05-2010, 09:08 PM
I prefer shavings in my animal pens- I get all I need for free from a local saw mill.
    07-05-2010, 09:33 PM
Peat moss is another alternative. Per pound each it holds 8 more lbs of water compared to shavings, is usually dust free, and composts quickly. The drawbacks is it can be heavy to shovel when wet and difficult to see manure.
    07-05-2010, 10:35 PM
We use sawdust with no issue at my barn. A lot of people don't like it bc it can be dusty, but our barn is really open & it isnt a bother unless it is super windy, when it will blow around a bit.
    07-05-2010, 10:37 PM
I buy funny mix of shavings and sawdust. It's not as "dusty" as sawdust, but smaller then shavings. I tried straw and hated it - doesn't soak pee at all.
    07-06-2010, 05:49 PM
I can tell you what NOT to use. The other boarder at the barn used mulch from trees she chipped up that she had cut. It doesn't absorn anything and the stalls are in horrible shape. Not to mention the sharp pieces of mulch that get stuck in their feet. Horrible stuff! I ground cleaned my girls stalls and put in shavings which are much nicer. (This mulch stuff was in my girls stalls because she talked the previous owner into letting her put it in there.) It was super heavy because it had started to decompose and nasty, nasty, nasty.
    07-06-2010, 06:01 PM
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Pellets are horrible. They harbour mites, mold, fungi and other lovely things.
I'm not sure where you heard that, but I have to disagree.

I use pelleted bedding, and all you have to do is make sure it's cleaned just like any other type of bedding. Get out the urine spots and pick the rest, and it's fine.

I've found with the pellets that I have fewer flies in the stalls than with any other kind of bedding. I also buy the type that's supposed to be anti-fungal.

I don't lay it down dry; I water mine down in the wheelbarrow before I put it in the stalls. Each bag of pellets makes a nice, rounded wheelbarrow full of bedding.

Straw may be the warmest bedding in the winter, but I'm not particularly fond of it. I've used it, and I have to strip the stalls each time I clean them because straw bedding can get rather rank very quickly.
    07-06-2010, 06:07 PM
I've seen dried leaves used. . . Never tried it, though.
    07-06-2010, 06:09 PM
Thumbs down

Originally Posted by payette    
I've seen dried leaves used. . . Never tried it, though.

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