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Best Bedding for Foaling?

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  • Best Bedding for Foaling?

    I've always heard that straw is the best bedding for foaling out, but its really hard to find around here for some reason (any ideas)?

    What is the best bedding for foaling / what do you guys use?

    Kat
    Rural Property Specialist
    Keller Williams Realtors

    TexasEquestrianProperties.com
    Email Me for Horse Property!

  • #2
    Originally posted by IrishWillow View Post
    I've always heard that straw is the best bedding for foaling out, but its really hard to find around here for some reason (any ideas)?

    What is the best bedding for foaling / what do you guys use?

    Kat
    The big flake ultra-dry Suncoast shavings are very good and actually preferred over straw at Va. Tech and other vets schools (e.g., I've been told Cornell). My mare had a high risk pregnancy (placentitis) last year, so I foaled her out at Va. Tech and learned this there. The shavings are very clean-- they say cleaner than straw-- wonderfully absorbent, and have none of the dust which makes ordinary shavings a poor choice.
    http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by IrishWillow View Post
      I've always heard that straw is the best bedding for foaling out, but its really hard to find around here for some reason (any ideas)?
      Use hay. Shavings can and do harbor psuedomonas, sticks to wet foals, gets in eyes, and most importantly, can be dusty. So, if you end up with a batch of dusty shavings with psuedomonas, you could end up with some really nasty problems with your neonate. Stick with straw or hay.

      FWIW, I KNOW that there are many breeders that have successfully bedded and foaled on shavings with no issues. However, the intent is to minimize risks. I've foaled out literally 100's of mares and rarely have a problem. But, I attribute much of that to doing everything possible to make sure things "do" go right. We foal on straw. We dip navels with chlorhexidine. We run IgG tests on every foal. We vaccinate at least 30 days prior to foaling. We attend every foaling. And so on. Would everything go okay without doing all of the above? Probably most of the time. But things aren't a problem until they ARE a problem. Good luck!

      Kathy St.Martin
      To subscribe to our Newsletters, go to:
      http://visitor.constantcontact.com/e...=1102379037302
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      Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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      • #4
        I'm one of those breeders that uses shavings because we cannot get good straw around here and the mold/mildew in straw is a concern. We do bed the stall deeply with HAY over the straw - wall to wall. The mare grazes it down and we add more. We do only use kiln dried shavings.

        I suppose if you have good straw sources you can use straw but we don't.
        Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
        "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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        • #5
          I prefer to use timothy, or other grass hay over straw. I learned to do this almost 30 years ago, from the manager of Buckland Farm. He bedded on Timothy, and "hayed" with alfalfa.

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          • #6
            Straw...and I won't compromise unless I have to. My babies stay on straw also even after foaling. I have a week old client foal that I was forced to move to shavings as we were dealing with a colicky mare...vet suspected she was eating bedding but now we know it is ulcers... Anyway, this poor baby has shavings in his eyes, nose, ears and stuck all over him after laying down. How that can be comfortable for a young foal I have no idea but straw makes a nice clean and warm nest for foals and it doesn't stick to them and is not irritating.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Straw

              Do you just buy it at your feed store? I cannot find plain straw anywhere!


              North Texas / Dallas area.. if anyone has any grand ideas!
              Rural Property Specialist
              Keller Williams Realtors

              TexasEquestrianProperties.com
              Email Me for Horse Property!

              Comment


              • #8
                What about a posting in the hay forum for straw/foaling bedding wanted. Most of our hay guys around here carry both straw and hay. Straw is easy to come by here, so I've never considered bedding foaling stalls with anything else
                Epona Farm
                Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                • #9
                  Due to not being able to get straw here one year, I bedded on coastal hay.
                  "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hay is usually more expensive than straw, but with less waste, it more than makes up for it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We normally use straw but we had a foal come yesterday 3.5 weeks early and quite unannounced, so we used some orchard grass hay we had left in the loft, and it actually works quite well!! Mom even has plenty to eat once she runs out of alfalfa
                      Signature Sporthorses
                      www.signaturesporthorses.com

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                      • #12
                        We disinfect foaling stalls prior to foaling and use Woody Pet (autoclaved wood pellets individually bagged over rubber mats (disnifected) and then straw on top. I would use cheep dust free hay if I couldn't get straw. Love the pellts underneath, help with absorbing liquids and help with foal standing since they are broken down well before foal arrives. We also use the diluted iodine for navels and have always (many, many years). We tried chlorihexidine one year and it was the only year we had a problem with a navel (actually two with problems, luckily they ended up okay) so I am sticking with the iodine since I never had a problem with that. It may have just been a coincidence but since I have had good luck with the diluted iodine I plan to continue with that.
                        www.lazyjsporthorses.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IrishWillow View Post
                          Do you just buy it at your feed store? I cannot find plain straw anywhere!


                          North Texas / Dallas area.. if anyone has any grand ideas!
                          You can buy straw bales from plant nurseries and landscapers - just make sure it is fresh and clean (no moldy or old straw).

                          I've used wheat straw and oat straw (HATE cleaning straw bedded stalls LOL). With a few unexpected early births, we've had just sawdust down and it worked okay. We don't use shavings in our normal stalls - we use medium grade sawdust. I have found my best foaling combination to be a light layer of sawdust, with a thick layer of straw on top. This combo is highly absorbent.
                          Susan N.

                          Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

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                          • #14
                            We've quit using straw - and now just use fresh bermuda grass hay. It's cleaner and the momma's love it... they can eat no matter WHERE they're standing over the foal. I find it easier to clean too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Streufex anyone?

                              Has anyone tried the Streufex (cleaned straw-pellet) bedding? I am considering using that with straw over top of it. The Streufex is not supposed to be dusty like the wood pellet products. It just became available locally.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We prefer oat hay but it's been a bit difficult to find this year. We also like to put a solid base of pellets underneath (but we foal out lots of mares so we need to keep the stalls dry from Jan-May!)
                                It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by KnRponies View Post
                                  Has anyone tried the Streufex (cleaned straw-pellet) bedding? I am considering using that with straw over top of it. The Streufex is not supposed to be dusty like the wood pellet products. It just became available locally.
                                  Horrible stuff. Its the dustiest stuff I have ever seen. They had it years ago in the receiving barn at Laurel. By the time you came back from the race to cool out your water bucket had a layer of scum on the top. Its totally disgusting crap.
                                  McDowell Racing Stables

                                  Home Away From Home

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                    Horrible stuff. Its the dustiest stuff I have ever seen. They had it years ago in the receiving barn at Laurel. By the time you came back from the race to cool out your water bucket had a layer of scum on the top. Its totally disgusting crap.
                                    I think you're holding back here. Tell us what you REALLY think of the stuff <LOL>!!

                                    Kathy St.Martin
                                    To subscribe to our Newsletters, go to:
                                    http://visitor.constantcontact.com/e...=1102379037302
                                    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                                    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      ljshorses - Why are you disinfecting the stall before foaling? The mare has built up antibodies to whatever is in that stall - by disinfecting you may be changing the situation and allowing some new "bug" to grow?
                                      Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                                      "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I realize your comment was directed at the poster who mentioned that they disinfect, but I wanted to give you my answer as well. We also disinfect for a very important reason - bacteria. Antibodies are well and good to ward off many infectious strains, but they don't combat everything. Although we have had a few foals born outside, if we decide to let a mare foal in a stall, we prefer to eliminate as much bacteria as possible. I think if you consult many vets, you find it is pretty much the standard as rubber mats or continuously used stall dirt floors can harbor a lot of bacteria. If you've ever seen a crop of foals with Rotavirus, you might start believing in disinfecting as much as possible. I'm a firm believer in an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - particularly when it comes to foal diarrhea LOL.

                                        Here's a great guide for anyone interested in knowing the best way to disinfect a foaling stall: http://equisearch.com/horses_care/he...gstall_012507/
                                        Last edited by bludejavu; Mar. 25, 2009, 12:01 PM.
                                        Susan N.

                                        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

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