Deep Litter Bedding Method
Does anyone here bed stalls using the deep litter method? If you do, tell me everything you know about it!
I'm thinking of switching to that way of bedding for the remainder of this winter. We still have about 2' of snow on the ground with a THICK layer of ice. I haven't been able to get to our manure pile for 3 weeks, so we've been bagging the manure and taking it to the dump when we clean stalls. It's a pain and I know you throw less out with the deep litter.
My mare is a stall walker and grinds everything up nicely each night. Seems like my gelding pees gallons and gallons and gallons each night. And my filly, while not a walker, can still manage to trot a few steps, so everything is grinded up in her's too. Plus she's obnoxious and tips the muck bucket while I'm cleaning.
So, with all that said, I'm thinking it's the best solution for now.
what is the deep bedding method? Never stalled a horse...lol
It's where you only pick out the manure and obvious wet spots. Then you keep adding fresh bedding to the top. Eventually it will build up a bit and also be "warm". Then you totally strip it (some people say 2-3x a year, others say every month... kind of what works for you and your horses). If done correctly it shouldn't smell or be damp.
Mine would probably go about 2 months before it's stripped. I'm just looking for some personal experiences with it :)
I do that for the BO's mini donkeys and for Rosie's stall that is open for her to go outside. I pick out the barn twice a day. Rosie is a lot like your mare with the walking everything around. I use shavings. We have a huge pile in the back of the barn. I'll take 6 or 7 wheel barrow loads into each stall and bank it up against the walls...much easier to cover the spots where you pick. Then I'll take 1 more load in to spread on the floor. For the donkeys, it works fine. For Rosie, I feel like I'm stripping it every day just to get the wet and the poo out. (I do wish she'd go outside to do that) When I'm done picking the stall out, I rake in from the banks I made against the walls to cover where I've picked.
I usually strip and rebed when I've used pretty much everything that I had banked against the walls. I will tell you this though. In the donkey's stall, I end up re-banking it everytime I go in. He keeps his 7 month old baby in with it's mother. With all the running around and being nosey, the baby usually succeeds in running or digging all of the banks into the middle of the stall.
This is how the BO used to do in the show barn I worked in. It really doesn't smell if you do it right.
I basically do that with my gelding. I love it.
Never heard it called that but that is a typical way to care for a stall. Pick it out and add bedding and strip when needed.
It's not typical.
Normally you pick out every little manure ball, every wet spot. Deep littering you pick up the piles of manure and the urine spots you can see. The rest you leave, you don't turn everything over, don't dig around, nothing. Just add fresh bedding to the top. The underlayers almost start to compost, generating heat, which make these beds great for older horses, too.
I'm still on the fence about trying it... Anyone else bed this way? Any tips?
I actually use sawdust as my main bedding and put a layer of straw on top. Looks great and gives a wonderful place to lay down.
Since my horse is one of those starving types (in other words, overweight easy keeper) he eats some of his straw so it is not hard to clean around.
I do not have an odor problem. Actually the stall I bed normally (my mare is a total and complete pig) and strip all the time is more odorous than my deep bedded stall is.
My bad, just researched some more... yoou don't take any urine out.
Here's a poster from another bb's experience with deep litter:
The woman who I board with did that. It was disgusting when we went to strip the stalls there was like 2-3 inches of solid "stuff" at the bottom. I had to scrape the heck out of the stalls. I ended up just using a snow shovel to get it out. If you dont clean out the urine its going to spell like amonia, and its pretty hard on a horses hoof, chemically. It might be ok for a horse who has free access to the pasture but I would not do that for horses who are stuck in their stalls for a certain amount of time each day.
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