Shavings on horse mats? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-10-2016, 08:19 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by secuono View Post
Wow, shavings here are $10-16 a bag....
Shavings where I am cost $7.99 for an 8 cu ft bag.

I also do the shavings over rubber mat stalls. I've started shifting to shavings as it is harder to get wheat straw in small square bales unless I can get a field that I can bale myself. So I guess that makes shavings my number one choice for bedding and wheat straw my number two choice.

It's my thought that shavings are more expensive than straw; shavings seem to absorb better than straw; shavings are easier than straw to clean out.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-08-2016, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: England
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Hi! By floor mats I'm guessing you mean rubber mats?

I do have shavings on top, but you don't need as big a bed because the floor is softer on the ponies's feet. Simply from experience I've found banks are still needed :)

For one horse I use about 2 bags a week, but I use quite large bags and the smaller, and cheaper ones I generally use 4 a week. I use the bigger bags, even though more expensive because they are better quality, last longer and are 99.9% dust-free. In a month anything ranging from 8-10 bags a month, because we get ours delivered weekly I'm not entirely sure.

We get ours delivered so the price is around 8 a bag (sorry I don't know what that is in dollars) and 10 when they are delivered. We have 2 horses, both on mats so we get around 4 bags a week and occasionally 5, depending on how dirty the horse's were and also if we need any for the trailer.

I don't know about America but either DuoBed (a mix of about 40% rape straw and about 80% woodchippings) or StableChoice (which is the good-quality, dust-free shavings our horses are now on) and both are very effective. StableChoice is finer, softer and better for winter when the horses don't get grazing time but often we use DuoBed in summer because it's cheaper and the we don't have to worry as much about respiratory.

I clean Dusty's stable out daily and take about 1-2 wheelbarrows out, so generally I put down half a bag every other day. Shannon is much dirtier but has thicker matting and therefore requires a thinner bed (this is to save money).

Stable mats, are a highly expensive option but they generally last a long time and means a cheaper bedding.

It is still necessary however to disinfect the stable every now and again and this job is made significantly harder with mats as they are extremely heavy!

This is all I know about them, mostly from personal experience. Good luck - I think they're fantastic!
Dulcie x
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-09-2016, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Beavercreek, OR
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I buy a pallet at a time...36 bags $4.oo per bag. I usually end up replacing 1 bag per stall per week. My horses are in while it's right now they are in their stalls from 5 pm to 6:30 am.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-09-2016, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
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I use pellet bedding over rubber mats and love it. I pay about 5-6$ a bag (Canadian) and might use a bag a week per horse. Sometimes not even that much. However, they have dutch doors and go in and out as they please so tend to just spend the night in their stalls.

I have not found it necessary to wet my pellets except when I first put down a new bunch (which I've only done twice in 6 months). They crumble and expand and form a very thick, spongy layer over time. The key is to clean them every day. I take out the manure and any really concentrated urine areas which tend to clump. Then I spread it around a bit. Add a few fresh pellets on top and it smells nice without feeling all slippery like it would if I stripped the stalls and filled them all with fresh pellets. It's the sort of thing that builds up with time. There is enough moisture from moisture being tracked in by the horses or dripped from their water buckets to keep them from being too dusty. I might spray them a little during the hot summer months when they dry out a little more, but right now, I don't need to add any moisture and they are not dusty at all.

I much prefer the pellets because I am not having to strip the stalls and because they feel spongy when they expand and crumble. Shavings do not have that thick, spongy consistency, unless you are getting sawdust.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-13-2016, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Here in the Midwest where lumber mills and trees are plentiful, sawdust is the bedding of choice in every single stable I know of. The sawdust is basically free as the mills don't want it laying around, transportation is the only cost. There are companies who have invested in the large dump trucks with an auger built into the back and they will fill a storage area in minutes. Smaller stable owners simply take their pick up trucks down and haul it themselves. Then the used bedding gets thrown into a manure spreader and spread over various fields.

Most of the time the sawdust has minimal dust in it but occasionally there will be a dusty batch. No one uses shavings (too expensive and non-absorbent) and only use straw when a foal is on the way. Sawdust is extremely absorbent and easy to leave a clean stall (at least for 5 minutes as all horses seem to feel the need to poop the instant it's clean!).

Rubber mats are definitely worth the investment as you need much less bedding. One of the stables I boarded at did not have mats of any kind (owner too cheap) and you had to leave a 4-5" base built up in the stalls, clean off the top layer on a day to day basis and then strip down completely every couple of months. Then you had to build the base up again.

One thing I've experienced with mats is that they do take some maintenance. To keep them flat and in decent condition, they will need some cleaning and rearranging underneath from time to time. The expensive full care stables around here will completely pull them out every 6 months, clean and then reset them! Usually it's enough to just roll up the edges one at a time and clear/flatten the floor underneath. If you don't keep them fairly flat, they will start breaking along the edges that stick up over time.
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-09-2017, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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The amount of bedding you need depends on the surface underneath. There are microcellular rubber-foam mats that are 1" thick that only need a very small amount of bedding to absorb urine. On concrete you need more to help cushion as well.
DeanChandler is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Wow, we really have it good here in the Ohio/Kentucky/VW area. Virtually everyone here uses sawdust and never buy shavings unless you need to rent a stall at an event. Bagged shavings are available at the feed mills for about $6-$7 a bale but they generally don't sell a whole lot of it.

Because of the quantity of hard woods and sawmills in southern Ohio, sawdust is basically free-the only cost is transportation. You can drive down and get it with your pickup truck or they also have huge, specially designed dump trucks with a huge auger built into the back that literally throw a big pile of it into your building in about 10 minutes. Then the used stuff is spread on the fields or given to local garden centers and nurseries.
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