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Shredded paper bedding

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  • Shredded paper bedding

    My horse is on stall rest, and the barn beds with wood pellets, which I like - super absorbent, easy to pick. However, they just put down a couple inches. I add a bale or so of shavings per week to that.

    Recently I've noticed my office leaving bags and bags of shredded documents around, and I'm wondering about the pros and cons of adding shredded paper to the current bedding situation. Hey - it's free!

    So far the cons would be ink rubbing off on the horse? Soggy paper gluing itself to the mats? Irate stall cleaners?

    What else?
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  • #2
    Office paper is not absorbant like newspaper, so the shredded paper will not absorb much urine. But any urine it does absorb will stink, since the paper won't mask the urine/amonia smell like other types of bedding.

    Your stall cleaner will HATE you. If it's long shredded strips, you can't pick through them -- there's no weight to help you toss and separate clean from dirty like you can do with straw, for example. If it's short, cross-shredded pieces, since they aren't absorbant, they don't really clump. You can't really pick it up with a fork; you almost have to have a shovel.

    There is paper bedding out there, but it's pulpy, absorbant paper (even softer than newspaper texture). Very different than shredded office paper.

    Plus, it may look cushy to start, but it's not like straw that keeps structural integrity when the horse lays on it, or like shavings/pellets/etc that break down into smaller particles -- it's just going to compact into lumpy layers.

    However, April 1 is coming up -- it might be worth to bed the stall in paper just on that day and then to capture the stall cleaner's face when they see it...

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      HAH! OK well sounds like a thumbs down then... no need to upset the stall cleaners!
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      Comment


      • #4
        Actually I LOVE the shredded paper / cardboard bedding as long as its cross cut and not the long strands

        And for mixing in with existing shavings or sawdust, its fabulous and no harder to muck out

        If its the long strands - yeah - the stall cleaners WILL hate you. That stuff is a PITA

        I also find "0" odour with it, the absorbency is terrific and the dust is non existent

        I had every intention of getting into a commercial operation and selling bags of shredded paper / cardboard as livestock bedding. The biggest hurdle was finding enough good clean product to shred - the market is dominated by the waste companies who in turn bundle it up and ship it to China for them to recycle to use in their manufacturing and shipping out of product globally. Literally - that left me with about 1% or less of the available scrap paper and cardboard stock

        I loved using it for bedding and had no issues at all with it
        www.TrueColoursFarm.com
        www.truecoloursproducts.com

        True Colours Farm on Facebook

        Comment


        • #5
          I had to clean a friend's stalls that had paper bedding in it. Absolutely hated it!! It gets dirty very quickly, packs down and doesn't add much cushion, is hard to clean and doesn't spread that easily. I would never use it.
          http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
          The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
          Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
          Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding

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          • #6
            Used paper shavings in Colorado but they were absorbent and cushy. Several
            boarding barns used them and loved them including the guys who got to clean stalls. Think they were made from recycled phone books. Can't get them in Texas.

            Tried the paper from our shreddar--epic fail!

            Comment


            • #7
              We bed on the shredded phone book bedding from Colorado. I found it by chance through a distrubuter here in MI. What can I say... we LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Wouldn't go back to shavings or pellets for anything! It has the absorbancy of pellets and the soft/fluffiness of light shavings. It also clumps like cat litter, making it very easy to only take out urine 2x a week (withoutbodor or moisture).

              I hope this works. Here is a pic of a stall with somewhere between 1 and 2 bags. It also has 3 days worth of urine (take urine out Monday's and Friday's)
              http://m.facebook.com/?_rdr#!/photo....ser=1268760014

              Comment


              • #8
                A barn I was at used shredded newspapers for bedding. The wife was a newspaper delivery woman and would bring home the extras and shred them every night while watching TV.

                This was a very small operation, however, of 10 stalls max and horses lived outside except for meals during the non-winter seasons.

                Truly I didn't mind it. It seemed nicely absorbant, and I didn't notice an odor. I just minded that they bedded very skimpily. And the barn was always littered with little scraps of the paper because it blows around very easily. And, they mucked into recycling bins instead of a wheelbarrow and then carried the buckets by hand or by 4-wheeler to their compost heap.

                If you have cross-cut stuff, ask your muckers if you can bring down a bag or two for a 1 or 2 day trial. If they hate it, you'll stop supplying it. But, if you will be so kind to refer to the recent thread on stall-rest horses eating up supplies without any increase in board, if it works your BO/BM may be REALLY happy to have a reasonable way to cut down on some costs!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WinterSpringJr View Post
                  We bed on the shredded phone book bedding from Colorado. I found it by chance through a distrubuter here in MI. What can I say... we LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Wouldn't go back to shavings or pellets for anything! It has the absorbancy of pellets and the soft/fluffiness of light shavings. It also clumps like cat litter, making it very easy to only take out urine 2x a week (withoutbodor or moisture).

                  I hope this works. Here is a pic of a stall with somewhere between 1 and 2 bags. It also has 3 days worth of urine (take urine out Monday's and Friday's)
                  http://m.facebook.com/?_rdr#!/photo....ser=1268760014
                  Your link isn't working for me, and I'm logged into fb.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jaideux View Post
                    And the barn was always littered with little scraps of the paper because it blows around very easily.
                    Decades ago, I dealt with shredded newspaper bedding at a barn in Yorkshire. Ugh. Soggy and stuck to everything, strips of it everywhere. The worst was that the horses were tacked up in the stalls, and half the time when you walked out, your horse was dragging a strip or two caught in his shoes. Sorta like when you walk out of the ladies and then notice a flag of TP stuck to your foot.
                    Ring the bells that still can ring
                    Forget your perfect offering
                    There is a crack in everything
                    That's how the light gets in.

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                    • #11
                      I use shredded office paper in my stalls - absorbent, not particularly fluffy, take out the "clumps" and pile dirty but dry in areas that are usually wet. No particular bad smell, but do not mask any odors either. If my horses were in for extended periods of time it would not be my top pick.

                      Not my favorite bedding, but less blowing about then shredded paper bedding.

                      Pluses:
                      FREE, composts pretty well.
                      NO DUST
                      Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                      ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jaideux View Post
                        But, if you will be so kind to refer to the recent thread on stall-rest horses eating up supplies without any increase in board, if it works your BO/BM may be REALLY happy to have a reasonable way to cut down on some costs!
                        Sad to say my horse gets nothing extra whatsoever being on stall rest - the same amount of hay and bedding as all the others. I buy extra shavings and hay and give it myself, along with my own grain. Horse is mucked out once a day by barn as usual. Hopefully the barn help appreciate that I muck out each evening too... Less work for them in the morning...
                        ----------------------------------------
                        PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum
                        http://pssm.xanthoria.com/
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We used shredded phone book bedding for a while. It was super absorbent. I liked that. If you do use, I think it is best to be sure it's soy-based ink, but to be honest, I cannot remember exactly why. Non- toxic maybe? Better on the environment? I don't recall. However, we stopped using it because it was bagged and a PITA to spread! It all stayed clumped together unless I spred it by hand which became too time consuming. This was shredded and bagged the same way and size as pine shavings. And it does take some getting used to seeing newsprint-type paper all over the place!
                          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                          ¯ Oscar Wilde

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I tried it once in one stall, for my tidiest horse and it was HORRIBLE. Not to mention the mess it made around the farm when bits blew about it looked like trash.

                            I've recently converted to clean straw. I've tried everything but peat moss (who has the money for that??), including corn cob, sawdust, pellets, etc. . I had only used straw in one stall many years ago and wrote it off because the mare ate it - but I decided to try it when our pony had surgery and stall rest and I LOVELOVELOVE straw. It's cheaper than bagged shavings and good for my mare with breathing issues. The horses rest on it, which makes me happy, and it's faster to clean and lighter in the much bucket. I'll never go back to shavings!

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