As long as they're spitting it out I suppose, I wouldn't want them eating it.
My friend had a racehorse in training and she said at his barn they were bedded on peanut shells, and the trainer said a lot of them come in and start eating the shells, but pretty quickly they figure out it's not as exciting as they thought and stop. I suspect this is likely the same thing.
I'm not familiar with this type of bedding, but I suppose you could use it as a bottom layer and put something else on top?
Are they just nibbling, or are they actually eating it? Corn cobs can cause blockages if they're eating more than the occasional piece. The ground bedding is horrible and I hate using it. The stuff that is ground and then pelleted (like the wood pellet bedding) doesn't seem quite so bad. Some of the local fairs use it because it's cheap.
As to the ground bedding like you show--- some people like it, but this is why I didn't:
- dust EVERYWHERE. Very fine dust that got on everything. I had two horses out of four coughing within two days, and that was only stalled at night. We ended up having to water down the bedding daily....
- ...which led to the barn smelling like a distillery. Sour corn mash has a distinct smell (think whiskey still or ethanol plant) and that's what the barn smelled like. Even with the windows and doors open. Gag.
- one of my dogs kept trying to gulp it down and had to be locked in the kennel or he'd sneak down to the barn and try to eat bedding every time we let him out of the house.
- it can cause blockages if the horses do more than nibble at it occasionally. If they're actually eating it, that's bad.
- urine ran down through it and pooled on the floors rather than being absorbed by it.
We ended up stripping it out of the stalls after a week or so, and used it as garden mulch and bedding in the run-in sheds in the winter where it stayed soft and dry even after a soaking rain or ice, and being outdoors it kept the dust down. It was also useful for sprinkling over slippery areas as it would melt into the ice and increase traction. But I wouldn't use it in stalls again, at least not for horses.
So I decided to try the bedding and keeping an eye on them... my QH (more curious nature) took a few mouthfuls and then spit it out and hasn’t touched it since and my OTTB didn’t touch it. It absorbed ok but it got EVERYWHERE. If you’re thinking about buying the 900 lb package...don’t. It’s not worth the time and energy it takes to get the cobs out of the package. I had to fill a big tub up over 7 times (for each stall) with a shovel and it was very inconvenient. There are probably easier ways to do it but I had to store the bedding on a different level of the barn...it’s easier just to buy the bags and you’re not really saving money. It only filled my 2 stalls 2.5 times.