My feed store just started carrying Suncoast shavings, and they're $2 more per bag than the regular shavings they have, so I bought a bag to see what justified the big price difference.
Well, you may get more shavings, but that's only if you can break the darn bale up! I put it in the stall for my horse on stall rest, so he was in the stall when I opened the bag, and I got worried he was going to trip over his shavings if he moved! It was ridiculous! I couldn't break it up with a pitchfork, I had to use my hands to break it up, and after a while I just gave up and broke it into manageable pieces. I made a mental note that if I ever had to use these again, to make sure I had a hammer readily available and no horse in the stall. They were horrible!
A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham
I got 4 bags last weekend (at the same feed store I am sure) by accident. I asked for 4 bags of shavings and paid the same price I have been paying all along for the old shavings but they loaded up 4 bags of the Suncoast. I agree that they are kind of hard to break apart but there is a lot more in the bag and they are larger pieces. Once you get thm broken apart they are soft and fluffy. I am going to try beating then loose in the bag before opening the bag with the next couple I put in (I only used two so far). Kind of like how you have to drop a bag of ice before you open to break it up. I'll let you know if that works any better.
Yes, they sell them at the FL State Fairgrounds for the shows held here, I always just kick them around and kick the chunks up against the wall. The plastic forks can break when you try to use them to break open the block.
They are not absorbent at all so you need something underneath that is. They are nice an fluffy though.
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. Bernard M. Baruch
I absolutely love them and don't buy anything else. Some places just sell the large flakes, some sell the mini as well. I like the minis on the bottom if I'm starting a new stall. And then the large on the top. If you've been using them awhile, the large ones break down and then I use that on the bottom. I don't have to add as often. Listen, I find it makes a diff where I buy them. I, too, used the little pitchfork for a long time. Now when I get them, I use scissors around the top third all the way around the bag, take the top plastic off. Dump them in the corner. Break them in half. Take half and throw it against the wall. Same with other half. They break right up. They are not all hard like the first ones I got. And I've been using them for years.
I believe the reason they may be easier to break apart now (vs. older bales) is because Suncoast switched from 12 cu feet (large flake only) to 10 cu feet per bale. I now think they're easier to break apart. I haven't asked them, but I was wondering if they were receiving complaints similar to those expressed previously in this thread.
Hate them. Hate kicking them apart (shavings in the socks!! no!! ), hate poking/stabbing/spearing the blocky mass, eventually only to separate by individual handfuls. Hate cleaning the big oversized flakes that don't sift easily. Hate how poop gets squashed to exactly the same size and thickness as the big flakes. Hate how they don't absorb urine very well. Hate how they are at least $2/bag more for all the hassle.
My favorite bedding is fine, dustless shavings: curls with lots of loft and absorbancy. Spread out of the bag with a gentle kick, nice fluff. About $4.50/bag at the local feed store. Guardian easy-pick shavings are nice, too... but super expensive and not much expansion.
“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
? Albert Einstein
Well, thank you, Mali. I was telling someone that they had 12 cu. ft. and she said, nope, 10 and I saw that on the plastic. They do seem to not need "stabbing" or separating any more. Good observation. I still think they're a good deal and the big flakes over the smaller or guardians make a really nice bed. And 10 cu. ft. is a good buy at $6+ over a bag of 5 cu. ft. at $5. Each to his own.
I love them too- especially the big flake variety. You do have to use an honest-to-God pitchfork to break them up (a muck fork simply won't do), but for a pig in a stall like one of my horses, there is nothing better. He stomps and grinds everything else to oblivion!
$1 bale more than regular shavings at our feed store. I bought them to try in our pony's stall (he has heaves) and they worked very well. I had no problem venting my frustrations on the bale to get it fluffed.
My beasts aren't in much in the summer, just to eat, so I haven't kept up the bedding as I would in the winter. I suppose it is time to stock up on shavings again.
At a dollar a bale more, the Suncoast is definitely worth the extra cost to me as you get a good bit more in the bale and it's virtually dust free.
"If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."
I hated them - my feed store only carries the large flake variety, it darn near broke my foot trying to kick it, finally had to attack it with a metal garden rake! And forget trying to sift the manure out of them! I only bought them once when the were out of the other brand.
They now carry a new brand - Triple Crown by Callaway Farms, lovely shavings, easy to sift, easy to break apart and spread.
They are a pain to break up , but my gosh there is not one speck of dust in them - That is worth the extra $$. I mix a bag or two in with my bulk pallet mill shavings that do get dusty and it fluffs the stall up and keeps me from having to bed for several days.I have no mats and bed mine very deep - a good 8 - 10" in the middle and then banked on the sides.
I don' t think I' like them as 100% bedding - too hard to pick thru - lots of waste with the big flakes, but mix in well with the bulk stuff.