Alternatives to shavings as bedding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Alternatives to shavings as bedding?

What do you use/prefer? Straw? Pellets?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 07:47 PM
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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.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 08:08 PM
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I prefer shavings in my animal pens- I get all I need for free from a local saw mill.

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 08:33 PM
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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.

"I don't blame my horse. He's just being the best he can be in spite of me."
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 09:35 PM
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we use sawdust with no issue at my barn. a lot of people dont 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.

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-05-2010, 09:37 PM
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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.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 04:49 PM
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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.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
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.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 05:07 PM
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I've seen dried leaves used. . . never tried it, though.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-06-2010, 05:09 PM
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Thumbs down

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