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Best Bedding Option?

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  • Best Bedding Option?

    We have two horses and one of them makes the biggest mess in his stall. Every morning when I clean his stall out it seems like I have to remove the majority of the bedding. I fill up about 3/4 of a manure bucket each morning. (The other horse only fills 1/4 of a bucket.) The first one does his business and then moves around so much that he breaks the poop into small pieces and scatters it all over. This also causes the urine to be spread around, making it difficult to scoop. We are currently using pine shavings. Is there something else I can use that will cut down on the mess that's still cost-effective?

  • #2
    Pelleted bedding. Bed it heavily the first time, MUCH easier to deal with than shavings IMO.


    • Original Poster

      Do you have a specific pellet to recommend, or just pellets in general? I bought a few bags from a local Southern States dealer and have been mixing it in with the shavings. I should probably just buy enough to bed the whole stall and do away with the shavings, at least for him.

      I have one 11x11 stall filled with bedding about 16" deep that I'm trying to use up. I had previously emptied all of the bedding from the rest of the stalls into that one so I could see where we stood with rubber matting. I could probably use the rest of the shavings in the mare's stall to save money.

      I have an ad for StreuFex. Has anyone heard of it?


      • #4
        We use Equine Pine. I wouldn't mix them since the shavings will still get all soggy and messy. The first time it will take alot of bags. Lay the bag down, slice them open, pour water on them-yes, pour water on them ;-) They will puff up like crazy....wait about 5 minutes then dump them out of the bag. For a normal horse you will only have to add a bag a week or so to replace what you take out when you clean, for a pig-type, it might be more.


        • #5
          Getting the pellets and mixing with the shavings is the best way to swap over - no sense throwing out good bedding. If the existing bedding is already iffy, just take it out.

          Since you have SS, consider the Struefex - pelleted straw. It breaks down faster than wood, doesn't require any wetting to break it down, and because the particles are heavier, when it does dry out, it doesn't go as far into the air or stay as long.

          JMHO I've done the pelleted wood from SS and TSC, and FAR prefer the pelleted straw.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            I wouldn't throw out the shavings, I'd use them up before starting the pelleted stuff. We tried mixing when we switched over and were not impressed with what we thought the pellets did. It was actually because the shavings interfered with the pelleted bedding. Made it almost as messy as just the shavings. When we had the stall filled with ONLY pelleted bedding, it was 100% better.
            Never tried the pelleted straw, sounds interesting- not sure if they have it around here....


            • #7
              Interesting kas.

              I did the mixing when I switched over and didn't have any problems. Pee spots were still soaked circles that might or might not get trampled through LOL Manure was still in piles, or not, and I just picked things out as normal. It was generally a smaller volume of bedding since the pellets soaked up a great deal of the urine.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                Pelleted Bedding

                I use Equine Pine in my stalls. During the summer I just use a bag in each 10 x 12 stall. It is a fairly light bed, but it serves it purpose well for my horses. My horses are only in during stormy weather, 30 mins total for their grain and two horses spend the day in the stall because they are bug-phobic. I bed with 3 bags in the winter.


                • #9
                  I mixed the pellets with regular shavings to fluff I up a bit and had no problems. I prefer mixing to the pellets alone, they get really dense.


                  • #10
                    My mares do the same thing - go everywhere in their stalls and then walk around churning it into a big mess. Mostly I just leave them out, but I've actually switched to bedding with straw, since it's way cheaper in the small amounts that I use. I figure if I'm just going to shovel it all out anyhow, I might as well save myself the cash

                    Plus trying to pick up sheep turds in shavings with a manure fork is an exercise in futility, but I can scoop them up pretty easily with a small layer of straw without having to switch implements.
                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                    -Edward Hoagland


                    • #11
                      How is the drainage in the stall?

                      If you have impermeable stall mats, it might be contributing.


                      • Original Poster

                        His stall has a 3/4" mat in it, but I don't know if it's a stall mat. Some of my mats are only 1/4" thick and look like prior conveyor belts. I'm eventually going to replace all of the mats, but that'll have to be done one at a time.

                        I think I'll use up the remainder of my shavings and get pellets next time to see if it makes the mess more manageable.


                        • #13
                          I got an ad for the strufex too

                          And have a question. Is it better with mats or without? I have mats, the farm we're buying next door, does not. Concrete and mats are expensive, how is it on dirt?

                          I miss cheap, bright straw stalls.

                          As for the little piglet the OP posts about, I've tried this.

                          Bed only in the spot the horse pees. For about a week or until it quits churning everything up like it's had a rototiller in there.

                          They'll usually pick a spot to both pee and poop. Once they do, Strip the stall, give Dobbin a bath. Rebed nice and fluffy. The first couple of days, if you can pick during the day (I usually do this step on the weekend) even better.

                          This has worked for me in the past except with one mare (they seem the worst)

                          Me: "Does she live in or out"

                          Seller: "She prefers to live out"

                          What seller really meant :"She's a pig, you will prefer it if she lives out.