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Corn Cob Bedding - my experience

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  • Corn Cob Bedding - my experience

    My husband picked up a 900 pound bale of corn cob bedding from Rural King last month and I wanted to share my experience using them. I was reluctant to try them because of another thread where it didn't go so well...but it was only 90.00 so I thought I'd give it a try.

    I have 5 stalls and used cobs in 3, shavings in 2. The corn cob lacks that "pine fresh scent" and have a musky, odd scent; it isn't foul but it does take some getting used to. The horses nibbled them at first but that lasted a few mouthfuls and they were over it. I asked my vet about the safety and he said it's 100% fiber and won't hurt them anyway. Even the goat didn't eat very much of it (the pony ate more than anyone, he was the last to transition to cobs for my fear of discovering a pinto balloon in the morning - but he seemed unaffected and eventually quit eating them altogether).



    Pros:
    Side by side, the cobs absorb WAAAY better than the shavings.
    There was no "cement dust" or "silt" at all, as described in another post.
    Easy to rake and pick and I wasted less clean cobs than shavings while picking.
    They came in a large bale that stays in a cube - easy to store with no stacking.
    No plastic packaging to open every time.
    No shavings in tails.


    The cons:
    They can be slippery like small pea gravel if they dribble into the aisle.
    A full stall of cob didn't seem as comfy as shavings...but everyone behaved normally in their stalls when they were in them. I don't stall for any longer than overnight, and that's not every night anyway.
    I didn't perfect a way of scooping so when I got to the bottom of the bale it hurt my back to scoop them out - this would be no issue if we had a place to store them in the same way bulk shavings are stored (in a pile), but I don't.
    The 900 pound bale was not an issue for us, but it could be if one doesn't have the right equipment....unless you have them load it on your truck and just dump them like shavings (slicing the bale open would do it).

    So overall, I really liked them. It's hard to get past the lack of scent (pine) in a stall....but as far as price and absorbancy, they are better than shavings for me. I wanted to share this info in case anyone else is considering using them. Hope this is helpful!

  • #2
    How do you think they would work in a run in shed? It's been a long frozen wet winter and and a cold wet spring so the shed could use some freshening.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think they would work just like shavings would in a shed. We use them (although we make our own) in our barn which currently has around 21 horses. They're less dusty than shavings too.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yes, I think they'd be fine in a run in! I forgot to mention that they aren't as dusty - another person on another thread must have had some processed differently than what I have because she said hers were horribly dusty.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had some a while back for the bird cage (overkill for budgies) but I actually liked them in the cat litter box. Just wish there was a step between the expensive bird size bag and #900

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          • #6
            Don't they sell it by the bag (pellet bedding size bag) at Tractor Supply?

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
              Don't they sell it by the bag (pellet bedding size bag) at Tractor Supply?
              I'm sure they do...just not sure if it's as cost effective.

              Comment


              • #8
                I was thinking for Alagirl who wants to use it for cat litter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  also, "World Best Cat Litter" is corn cob based. I think it runs about $20 a bag. Super effective at absorbing. Never really thought about using it for horses. Makes sense I guess, since their stall is basically one giant litter box

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the review. I just bought 2 bags at TSC, because they were out of Equine Fresh pelleted bedding. It was either that or shavings and I cannot stand shavings and the amount of waste (for environmental reasons AND I am lazy and don't want to drag more wheelbarrowfuls out!)

                    I haven't used them yet because I have been keeping my guys out when the weather is nice - no sense in wasting bedding when it is getting ridiculously expensive!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KateKat View Post
                      also, "World Best Cat Litter" is corn cob based. I think it runs about $20 a bag. Super effective at absorbing. Never really thought about using it for horses. Makes sense I guess, since their stall is basically one giant litter box
                      lol, yeah, saw that, but I consider corn kernels food, not something to poop in

                      I think you can get cracked corn cheaper than that...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'd be interested in an analysis of the corn cob bedding vs wood pellets. The pros about ease of cleaning apply to the pellets too, so I'd be interested in learning which one tops out over the other. If there is a lower dust-factor with the corn cob bedding over pellets (mine don't pee munch, so the stalls get dusty, even with watering down), then I would be interested in transitioning.

                        I have one on stall rest right now...could make for a semi-entertaining project? Not like I have anything better to do!
                        "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We got some of the corncob stuff free to compare it to pellets and we hated it. It didn't break down the same and didn't absorb any pee. So bad we almost didn't use the rest of it.
                          http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I tried the corn cob stuff from TSC. I thought it wasn't as attractive (not that it matter that much in Poop LOL), but had a funky smell once it was wet, and seemed to pack down, get cement-y. After a couple days it just was icky.

                            I much prefer soft wood pelleted bedding. I found that SS now seels their own labeled brand that's actually American Wood Fibers product. It's cheaper than almost anything else, and works great. Not sure if you could get bulk from AWF. Used to you could.
                            "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                            Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We tried corn cob pellets and didn't care for their performance. Not a big pellet bedding fan anyway but the added thing about the corn cob pellets is the smell. It smelled like wet corn mash on the bottom of a week old water bucket. We clean 7 days a week on mats so it wasn't our cleaning methods. But before you entered the barn, you were hit with this cheap moonshine smell!
                              ...don't sh** where you eat...

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I wonder if the consistency depends on the processing method? Ours are very absorbent, not dusty or "cement like" whatsoever, rather chunky in fact. And they aren't actually corn alagirl ...just the ground up, dried corn COB.

                                There were a couple kernels here and there though (I have seen 2 in the 900 pound bale).

                                As for the wood pellets - I would like to try them again but hated the dust and the heaviness when wet, but I'm willing to compare it to the cob if I can get a good price. I don't think they absorb close to what this cob bedding is absorbing (having using WP in the past). I like the smell of wp so much better.

                                The smell of the cob is different but not nearly as bad in my barn as winfieldfarm described for hers. Although I have only 3 stalls bedded in cob, and my horses are only stalled no more than a night. I think it would be kind of icky for a large barn with horses stalled. I can imagine it would smell quite potent then.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  One BIG Caveat

                                  I tried cobs for about 6 months & was liking them a lot.
                                  No smell, the ones I used - Beck's - were not dusty & cheaper than shavings.
                                  Wet spots clumped and picked out easily....

                                  All that said:
                                  One of my horses developed SAD w/heaves around month 3.

                                  A friend told me she had researched cobs & found they caused similar symptoms in dairy cattle from bacteria that grew on the cobs.

                                  After 3 months on Ventipulmin I removed the last of the cobs from my stalls & 3 months after that (w/o the meds) horse's lungs were completely clear.
                                  Vet told me if he hadn't seen him at the first sign he would never guess the SAD had happened.

                                  So those of you wanting to try cob bedding, please keep an eye on any horse that might have or develop respiratory issues.
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by lcw579 View Post
                                    How do you think they would work in a run in shed? It's been a long frozen wet winter and and a cold wet spring so the shed could use some freshening.
                                    We bed sick pen, weaned heifers and close up cows on it (due to calve in a couple weeks) and I like it much better than straw. It keeps them up off the ground better and doesn't seem to get as "icky". We scrape and clean our sheds once a week and re-bed, so I don't know how well it would hold up without regular maintenance.
                                    Originally posted by The Saddle
                                    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                                      I tried cobs for about 6 months & was liking them a lot.
                                      No smell, the ones I used - Beck's - were not dusty & cheaper than shavings.
                                      Wet spots clumped and picked out easily....

                                      All that said:
                                      One of my horses developed SAD w/heaves around month 3.

                                      A friend told me she had researched cobs & found they caused similar symptoms in dairy cattle from bacteria that grew on the cobs.

                                      After 3 months on Ventipulmin I removed the last of the cobs from my stalls & 3 months after that (w/o the meds) horse's lungs were completely clear.
                                      Vet told me if he hadn't seen him at the first sign he would never guess the SAD had happened.

                                      So those of you wanting to try cob bedding, please keep an eye on any horse that might have or develop respiratory issues.
                                      Thank you for that info. We are using the same brand (Beck's out of Atlanta, IN). I do have a horse with seasonal allergies and she is one of the horses I still have on shavings because I remember reading *something* and so I've been reluctant to put her on anything that may trigger her allergies. It's been a month though and this week she began coughing, but this is normal for her at this time of year (we put her on meds spring an fall). It will be difficult to tell wether it is seasonal or due to the cobs. I wonder if having them in the barn, but not in her stall will still be an issue?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        pelleted corn cob bedding

                                        I've been using corn cob pellets from Best Cob for about 6 months now. You can find some info on their site at www.bestcob.com/retail-products/horse-bedding. As far as dust is concerned, I'm yet to see anything, as far as bedding is concerned, that doesn't have some kind of dust, eventually.
                                        That said, the corn cob pellets are def the way to go. They absorb a ridiculus amount of urine [ advertised to be about 13 times as much as wood chips ] and picking manure out of it is a snap. After urine hits it, it dries out fast and eventually leaves little lumps to pick out with your manure fork. I take these " lumps " and throw them out in my arena area, which, when it's extremely wet, is also know as my sacrific area because it can turn into a mud hole in the early spring. Mother nature washes out the urine and the sun dries it back out faster then plain old mud. It mixes well with the dirt and is great for adding substance to the dirt for when it rains. You can also take it right out and spread in your pasture. You can use it as mulch on your plants or garden and it compost in about 6 months when mixed with your manure.
                                        Beleive me, this stuff has it all over anything I've ever seen in the last 50 years. There really isn't any waste as once you've taken it out of your barn you can use it else where, beside the manure pile!
                                        You really should put down about 8 bags of the pellets for a 12 x 12 stall. You can lightly mist it with water if you want it to start getting " fluffy " sooner, which I did the first time I used it. Now I just empty out the bag and, in about two days, some of it will start fluffing by itself. I've still got complete pellets in the bedding that have been in the barn for the last two months. I might average adding one bag a week and that's with three stalls, which are opened, except at feeding time, to make a 12 x 36 foot area. The " kids " have two areas inside the barn which they like to stand or lay down in. These are also the areas they like to pee in so they're the only areas where I really need to pick up the " urine clumps ". The rest of the bedding, which they tend to move to the outsides of their bedding areas, I just rake, with the manure fork, back into the areas they like to lay down in.
                                        One other thing I've found out is you can't expect just the bedding to take care of the ammonia odor. I lightly sprinkle a product called PDZ which I also get at TSC. I use about a bag every two weeks and it cost around $10 a bag. The corn cob pellets cost $6.99 a 40 lb bag at TSC.
                                        Give it a try folks, you'll love it and it will def take care of a ridiculus bedding bill and has a whole lot more uses. I have no idea what a corn cob bale is so I can't comment on that.
                                        One last thing, Best Cob uses only water and steam for producing the pellets so there's nothing that's not natural used in their production process. Their bedding doesn't have a " smell " of it's own.

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