Deep litter muck out or not??

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10 March 2014
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Ok, money not being a massive issue only time, is deep litter a quicker mucking out? My horse is rather messy so I've always done a full muck out everyday but its so time consuming as he's very mucky. The only reason I haven't deep littered as I thought he'd be too messy for it and it would end up being a horrible wet bed that he's standing in, possibly warm enough to cause thrush on his feet? He's on straw, would shavings be better? Considering putting EVA rubber mats down and having a thin layer of shavings with very high banks.. So whats everyone's mucking out time and rough weekly cost? And how does straw bedding work with rubber mats? Hope that all makes sense lol! Thanks :)
 

Toffee44

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Deep litter does not work on matting. I have matting down, straw on top have about a 8" bed when fluffed up. Go through a big square of hay a month when in.

If stable drains well or is dirt floors deep littering or semi deep littering works well.
Prefer semi deep litter. Let a base build up only to a few inches and then take put raising damp patches or take out if gets too high, take wet out weekly whilst leaving a base with my mare used half a small bale of straw a week but then a) started on massive bed 2) well draining stables. Deep litter uses about the same amount if straw and I dread that muck out the whole lot time of year.


Not much time really 20-30min including feed, water, hay amd horse in.
 
Joined
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Yes I did think it wouldn't work with mats. I'm thinking the best option for quickness would be matting down with a thinish amount of shavings say 3 inches? The stable doesn't drain well at all so maybe deep litter would make things worse? Thanks ����
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Deep litter can work on matting.....but not with straw (in my experience)

Have sucessfully done this with shavings & also the comfybed (the latter now just been stopped being made)
Put in a good deep bed at least 6 inches deep, level it well & skip out daily if being turned out, or 2 or 3 times a day if not.
Make sure you level the bed over every time you skip out. Also add fresh as it will pack down over the 1st 2 weeks or so.
Have dug one of my boxes out only 2 weeks ago, it was put down at the end of September, tho the resident was out for 8 to 12 hrs a day (my work days permitting).

On work days I'd skip out & throw/sprinkle a bit of a bank down over the top if needed, as weekends or day off, I'd take a bit longer.....

Never stunk and on digging out, there were 3 large barrows to go on the heap, 4 to go in the field shelters and 2 went across the yard into a stable as was pristine :)
 
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JLD

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My Pony is deep littered on aubiose on matting and it works really well, I had to get pony done before 3 very small children woke up and I had to get them and me out the house by 7.10. It literally took me 5 min to skip out and level, then again in evening. I took it all out after 3 months, was 5 barrow fills. Pony only in over night in winter and then always with access to small yard so not too hard on his bed.
 

putasocinit

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A mucky horse on a thin bed will be even muckier, shame poor horse, dirty floor, thrush, amonia, a mucky horse can be clean on a deep bed, semi deep littered, look at bed, breathe, remove poo, pull clean straw to the sides, remove wettest wet in the middle, put back straw moved to the sides into the middle, bobs your uncle, do a big muck out at the weekend if necessary. Dont go searching for the poo that fell off your fork, a few little dungs wont hurt, wet bedding will
 

Whoopit

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I have a messy ned as well - deep littered him on straw a few years ago and it didn't work out for us so he then got a maaaasive straw bed and mucked out everyday - only used a bale of straw a week. Worked well. Current yard is shavings only so he has matting and a bag of shavings a week.

It's a case of trying things and finding what works best for you.

My mare - just headache. She isn't messy, nice pile in one corner, but she likes digging digging digging!😀
 

Tnavas

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Love deep litter beds and they are easy to make but you do need to start them off right

First make sure the floor is clean and dry
Shake a good layer of garden lime onto the floor - this assists with keeping the ammonia smell under control
Add a deep layer of shavings at least 15 - 20cms thick, pack it down well
Add a layer of straw at least the same thickness.
Top up with a sprinkle of fresh straw each day and the bed will look lovely.

Only pick out droppings, do not disturb the bed by removing wet patches as this exposes the urine to the air and is when it starts to smell of ammonia.

Try to remove dung as much as possible, especially in the early days as the bed needs time to settle and compact.

How it works
Straw is good drainage and urine soaks through fast and leaves the top layer dry
Shavings are highly absorbent, the urine will soak into the shavings and spread through them, heat then starts to build up and the bed is dried by this.

I've worked with beds in the past that have been down years.
 

cauda equina

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I have a wet / messy horse ( he churns his bed , stirs in the droppings ) semi deep littered on Aubiose and EVA mats . It works really well , just skip out / level the bed daily and take out the wet stuff every 2 weeks , it's only about 1 barrow load . You do need to start with a good deep bed . Agree with others that straw and mats do not work
 

BellaBoyzie92

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My gelding is very wet, and he just eats his straw bed so i used to have rubber matting down and had a big shavings bed with banks, go in once/twice a day to skip out, generally it was still neat so left it as is then once a week I'd pull the whole thing out, remove wet and put a bale of shavings back in.
Took out 1.5-2 barrows of wet but it never smelt, would leave it all up to dry for the day then relay with big banks for the night time.
Worked fantastically :) I've never tried deep littering for more than a week as he's just too wet I worry he would ruin the whole bed and get thrush.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Dunno whether OP you are on a yard or not, but on my place I do NOT permit deep littering, for the simple reason that a few years ago now a livery deep-littered hers............ and then left - and hadn't bothered to clear out the bedding before she left, so muggins here had to do it.

Never again!

So just flagging this up really; coz at my place I wouldn't allow anyone to start a deep litter bed for this reason.
 

abb123

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The thing with beds is that everyone has their own way of doing them with their own standard that they work to and then each horse is different.

You need to have a play around and work out what works best for you and your horse.

I've had deep littered shavings bed, deep littered straw, mats with deep beds of shavings and straw, and mats with small areas of shavings and straw.

I found that a compromise worked well for my mucky pair. I had rubber mats with a straw bed at the back that was about third/half a stable and about a foot or so deep when new fluffy straw was added. I would just skip out in the week and brush the mats out and then have a good clear out at the weekend when I had time. This meant that my week time muck out was about 5-10 mins per stable and about 20 mins at the weekend.
 

PollyP99

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My Pony is deep littered on aubiose on matting and it works really well, I had to get pony done before 3 very small children woke up and I had to get them and me out the house by 7.10. It literally took me 5 min to skip out and level, then again in evening. I took it all out after 3 months, was 5 barrow fills. Pony only in over night in winter and then always with access to small yard so not too hard on his bed.

I thought I had a lot on in the mornings, respect to your schedule!
 

noodle_

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my mare is an absolute minger...

i used to be on full matting and shavings... that ended up with a poo stain horse and stunk

now on straw (no mats)...big bed due to her hocks.... with banks and takes about 10/15 mins to muck out on a slow day :)

i personally dont like deep litter - it may be warmer but its horrible!
 

SuperH

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I semi deep litter on straw, no mats.

I take out poo every day, hardly takes any time at all and is easy to find them even in deep straw. If there is a bit of wet creeping forwards or very close to the top I throw that out too. Then on Monday, Wednesday and Friday they get fresh straw put on top. One of mine is very messy but this way with a nice deep bed she is much cleaner and doesn't trample poos to death as it falls through the deep straw and is contained there.

It doesn't smell and I would happily sit in the bed and stay dry.

Have to confess, I don't muck the wet out by hand, when I change the whole bed my husband scoops it up for me with the forklift when he does the cattle sheds.
 

mynutmeg

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My very wet girl is on aubiose - she gets skipped every day and a full muck out on wednesdays and saturdays with one bale a week in. Very quick and easy to muck out (10 mins a day on skip days and 15-20 on full lift days)
 

WandaMare

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I don't find deep littering saves much time and when you do eventually have to do the massive clear out, its such heavy smelly work it puts me right off.

I use shavings or a mixture of something like comfybed and shavings on full mats. I might leave the wet for a day or two if its not showing through the top of the bed but generally I take most of it out every day.

I found putting a thin layer of shavings down each day really expensive because you have to throw most of it away each time you muck out. Its better to have a thick bed so the wet soaks down to the bottom and the bed stays more solid and compact.

I have two stables to do each morning and each take me 5 mins and I use one bale of shavings per horse per week. They are out in the daytime.
 

erwina

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Used to have a very dirty mare on straw, changed yards to a 6inch bed of shavings and the difference is amazing, only take out half a builders small barrow a day or less and the most of it is actual poo. A sprinkle of shavings is a false economy as you usually have to take the whole lot out. Only downside needs a big initial outlay of shavings but that's the hardest part.
 

Tnavas

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I don't find deep littering saves much time and when you do eventually have to do the massive clear out, its such heavy smelly work it puts me right off.

I use shavings or a mixture of something like comfybed and shavings on full mats. I might leave the wet for a day or two if its not showing through the top of the bed but generally I take most of it out every day.

I found putting a thin layer of shavings down each day really expensive because you have to throw most of it away each time you muck out. Its better to have a thick bed so the wet soaks down to the bottom and the bed stays more solid and compact.

I have two stables to do each morning and each take me 5 mins and I use one bale of shavings per horse per week. They are out in the daytime.

Why are you finding it doesn't save you time?

One place I worked I had 10 horses to muck out in an hour - all on deep litter, they take no more than 5, max 10 mins to skip out, level and put down some clean straw.

We rarely ever dug out the boxes, they stay cleaner if the lower bed stays totally undisturbed - especially good if you have concrete floors under the bed as the horse is less likely to scrape its hocks when it gets up. The bed is always dry and warm.
 

WandaMare

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I just find that scooping out the wet shavings only takes a couple of seconds so deep littering didnt save much time for mine. I dont brush up the whole bed though so the shavings do settle and provude a good firm bed.
 

Tnavas

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The problem with shavings beds that are dug up daily is that they never pack into a deep bed and the horse is always at risk of scrape injuries as the bed moves about too easily
 

WandaMare

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Yes they can do, but I don't find that because I use shavings plus a wood fibre bedding which sticks together well and provides a nice firm bed. Its still in place the next morning so it seems to be working fine. I also have rubber matting to prevent injuries.
 
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