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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Posts
    61

    Default Bedding for Run In?

    I have 2 horses that live out. They have access to a sectioned off part of the barn for shelter (20x30). We do not have stalls. Now that it's winter time, I am feeding inside to save some hay from being mashed into the snow/mud. Of course, now they are using it as a potty area as well. I am 7 months pregnant and doctor says no stall cleaning. So it's my husband's responsibility. He's not horsey at all. The floor is packed dirt and he cleans as much as he can every 2-3 days. Yes, I'd love for him to do it every day, but he works long hours outside and I'm lucky he's doing it at all. He wanted to wait till everything thaws in spring and just bring home a Bobcat from work and scrape everything out. Luckily, I've got his mind changed on that...

    Anyways, since we're having single digit temps (below zero today), everything is frozen and then frozen to the ground. I am considering putting down either shavings or pellets to make clean up easier. Do you guys think it would make it easier from a freezing stand point? I don't want to make it more attractive for them to "go" there, but either way, they are.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,974

    Default

    We just took an old guy to his retirement home this week, and his shelter is bedded with straw. It is lovely. Straw keeps things far warmer than shavings, and gives them a nice sheltered, cushy bed, too. That might be a better option.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Posts
    61

    Default

    We really don't have the room to store straw. The rest of the barn is hay storage.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Pellets might work better for you. It will be expensive at first, (when you first put it in) but you won't need much room for storage and it normally doesn't need cleaning as much as shavings.
    "Uh, if you're going to try that, shouldn't you unplug it first?"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,814

    Default

    My horse's run-in is bedded in shavings year round. It is mucked out once a week. I think they should always have a soft place to lay down when they need to, especially if they live out 24/7.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
    Location
    AreaII
    Posts
    1,348

    Default

    I bed my run-ins with straw. I bed it very deep. They are 12x36 and I put at least 6 bales of straw in there. I leave it in there until it's mashed to only a few inches and put more in. Then I go in with bucket and strip it all out and spread around the field- maybe once a month or more.

    Mine don't live in there though. They come in every night and only use the shed some of the time, so you might have to clean it out weekly.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    8,207

    Default

    Shavings in my mare's shelter. I know it sounds gross, but the manure in there that gets churned into the bedding.. well in these temps, the manure kinda acts as an insulator and keeps the ground a bit warmer, I swear.

    It does get cleaned out once a week, though.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    When the temps are this low, EVERYTHING freezes. I like to use dry bedding pellets in my lean-to/shelter area--they're easy to store, easy to dump and spread, and break down slowly into sawdust. When the weather is truly awful and everything's frozen, I just let it go, and scoop it out by the wheelbarrow-load when it warms up/thaws a little. Single-digit temperatures and poop-picking-perfection are simply not compatible in my little slice of the real world.

    ETA that if this shelter area is their only spot to potentially lie down, I'd definitely consider putting hay or straw down very thickly in one corner so they can have a snooze.
    Click here before you buy.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    I've never bedded my run-ins down. I must be a horrible horse owner. Even if I did they would choose to sleep outside of it anyway.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,953

    Default

    I'd feed them outside I'd rather lose a bit of hay and not worry about poop patrol.

    Plus you could make your own feeder, lots of ways to do that.

    Our run in sheds have about 4" of crushed blue stone, that helps the manure not stick in frozen weather

    Regards,



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,974

    Default

    A bale of straw isn't going to take up much more room than a bag of shavings.

    you could also just buy as much as you need, spread it, and buy a few more to re-do as you get feed. Most feed store's carry straw.

    Otherwise shavings, or even clean mulch/wood chips would be good, too.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I use shavings in my run-in sheds. It is much easier to pick up the frozen poop. I find if the poop is on the ground - it is nearly impossible to pick as it freezes to the ground. But easy on the shavings. Straw would be another option. If you can't store it - just go get a couple bales once a week and put it down. You could have it put into your car or truck, and hubby could unload it.

    And I also feed my hay in mangers in the shed. I don't want it wasted outside if it is misty, or snowy or whatever.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by irishcas View Post
    I'd feed them outside I'd rather lose a bit of hay and not worry about poop patrol.
    We did that for the last two winters. We have woods on one side of the pasture and a 20 acre field on the other side that the wind rips across. And we have a cop who tried getting us on animal abuse last year because the horses were outside with snow on their backs. He "felt bad". The judge wouldn't even hear the "case", he was a horse person. But the cop still drives by and sits in front of the house now and then to see what's going on.

    It was -18 in the barn this morning, wind chills of -35. They can come in the barn and eat



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Thanks everyone, we'll get either shavings or straw this weekend and see how they do.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
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    4,019

    Default

    I have a similar arrangement, two horses that live out with a large section of my barn acting as a run-in, their space is about 16x24. The run-in is dirt floor which I've covered with heavy rubber mats so I may keep it swept clean. I cover the rear 1/3 with shavings... I found an interesting bagged shaving called "kiln dried", though its likely what most people call sawdust... its tiny wood shaving flakes, not dusty at all, but not the big fat curly shavings either, they actually absorb urine fantastically and are very economical with little waste.

    My b/m is a fan of straw for its cushy insulating properties, but I'm leery. I don't imagine it being any more absorbent than hay, and I loathe the smell of urine anywhere. Also, my horses are IR and I've heard of IR horses nibbling away at straw and getting laminitic. I also *imagine* that mucking a straw filled shed would be a chore, especially now being spoiled by the ease of my kiln shavings.

    My horses are hayed in the paddocks in about a half dozen piles during the day, and in inclement weather, their evening hay is tossed it the shed.

    What I do is collect the un-eaten hay scraps and put that in the shed too for bedding.... kinda like free straw. I know the horses aren't likely to eat it as they've refused it once already - and if they did, its their own hay anyhow. I pick my run-in daily, and strip it every Sunday, so I just compost all the bedding that is even remotely soiled.

    Raking up hay all over 2 acres is a pain in the neck, but I'd be doing it anyhow to keep the paddocks clean.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2006
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    1,919

    Default

    I use shavings.

    Although not sure why I bother. Only one out of 8 horses ever goes in to lie down, apparently the other 7 are much fonder of wallowing on top of snowbanks like badly designed penguins.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,207

    Default

    I use the hay they have refused to eat as well. Granted I am in FL and the manure packs into the sand and composts very nicely, but the hay does help. It keeps the dust down, and the hay stays on top while the manure finds its way to the bottom, where it turns into dirt. I do clean it out occasionally, but there isn't much to clean out.

    Uneaten hay is good for other things too. I mix it with manure in the compost pile, or use it to cover/fill the big sand pit my gelding dug to roll in. I use it in the garden some, or if it is clean then the rabbits get it. It is better on sand to keep dust and mud down than gravel is. Very useful stuff.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    4,019

    Default

    ^^^ extremely useful, I use it in the garden and for compost as well.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,953

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JingleBell View Post
    We did that for the last two winters. We have woods on one side of the pasture and a 20 acre field on the other side that the wind rips across. And we have a cop who tried getting us on animal abuse last year because the horses were outside with snow on their backs. He "felt bad". The judge wouldn't even hear the "case", he was a horse person. But the cop still drives by and sits in front of the house now and then to see what's going on.

    It was -18 in the barn this morning, wind chills of -35. They can come in the barn and eat
    Good lord, that is a good one, lucky for you the judge was intelligent

    I have a good one too, we of course put fly masks on all the horses, one of the pastures is close to the road. I've had a few people pull in during the summer and ask me why I was blinding my horses. Of course they didn't report me so I didn't have to go to court

    It was -12 this morning, mine were out all night they were fine.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    9,015

    Default

    I used pelleted bedding for my mare's run in shed in the past. Granted she only used it when out in the pasture, (She was stalled at night) but it was easy to keep clean and with all the ventilation it never smelled.

    After initially bedding it, I only added maybe a few times a year. Also, put down mats.



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