Deep Littering help


Well-Known Member
7 November 2005
Would really appreciate some basic info on it....

What/how much do you take out/how often etc?

Is it economical?

How often do you change the bed?

Is it best done on straw?

Is it stinky?

Well managable?

Would it work for a messy horse who like to stir up his bed!?

Sorry for all the questions...advice and answers appreciated!
21 February 2006
Leigh, Lancashire
We used it while I was at uni and my dad had to manage two on his own!

We used straw (had very very big stables though). We did it by the following:

1) Put a huge bed in.
2) Take out all poos every day but no wee
3) Put fresh straw in daily
4) Regularly clear all the wet out disinfect and start again.

We deep littered on a weekly basis clearing all out every week although once or twice went a fortnight.

It does require good management though, you do have to remove all poo still and it means you have to be extra careful to keep the top properly dry. You also have to be more vigorous at monitoring your horse for thrush.

We did it due to circumstances though and now I am back to daily mucking out as do prefer it! (just because it is such hard work clearing it out!)

Edited to add: It is economical and it is good for comfort as your bed ends up really really thick if done well!


Well-Known Member
7 August 2005
I do it on shavings, and my horse has a clean, dry bed. Start off with a big bed of shavings (7 bales in my case) and for the first week, just skip out, and take any surface or loose wet off, but DO NOT dig and only remove anything on the top! Then add another bale of shavings, to top up the clean on top.

Second week I manage as a proper deep litter, therefore throwing up all the top loose bedding, (the "base" should be pretty compact from being left the first week) thoroughly cleaning ANY poo out, and again any loose wet towards the surface. Than pull banks down, bank back up like you would in a full muck out, just with the advantage of having a "base" of shavings that prevent your horse from reaching concrete. I just skip out in the week, making sure the top is ALWAYS clean, and you'll manage fine.

You've just got to be strict about how deep you want the base to get, and any deeper than that you take off. Then you get a constant, clean, low maintenance shaving bed without the need for matting/ more than a bale in every week or so. Hope that helps!!

chestnut cob

Well-Known Member
24 November 2004
What/how much do you take out/how often etc? - I took out just the poo (all the poo, not just on the top) and any wet on top. Basically treat it like a full muck out til you get to the wet layer, then leave alone.

Is it economical? - Yes. On a full muck out I use a bale of shavings every other day. Deep litter I use one a week.

How often do you change the bed? - I don't. I skim the top off the wet every now and then if it gets too deep, otherwise I just put fresh on top once a week. Dig out at end of winter. No point taking it out before, too much hard work and takes ages to bed down again.

Is it best done on straw? - No, yuck. I wouldn't deep litter on straw for more than mon-fri. Shavings I do all winter.

Is it stinky? - No, not particularly. Make sure you don't disturb the wet layer, that's where the smell comes from.

Well managable? - yes, dead easy when you get used to it. Put a nice deep bed down first though, I use around 9 bales of shavings to start my bed off

Would it work for a messy horse who like to stir up his bed!? - Ummm, depends how much. Mine is a filthy horrid wet pony but he's much cleaner on deep litter


Well-Known Member
15 September 2006
In a right mess
We use Auboise.

What/how much do you take out/how often etc? Just take out poo's and any really soggy bits (My mares very very wet) we don't take any out of the gelding.

Is it economical? Yes both in time and money. Half an hour to do two in the morning including changing rugs!
How often do you change the bed? I don't, I just put in one bag a week on top.

How often do you change the bed? I don't, I only clear it out if I have to move stables. Then I admit its a bit grim!

Is it best done on straw? Used to as a kid, but hard work to clean and disinfect out once a week.

Is it stinky? Auboise absords smells so no, but my mares can be a little bit smelly cause shes sooo wet.

Well managable?Yes definately. They both have a lovely deep bed so no fear of grazed hocks etc

Would it work for a messy horse who like to stir up his bed!? On auboise yes cause it ends up being a soild peat looking bed. On straw not so sure.


Well-Known Member
2 February 2006
Kent - Garden of England
I use deep litter on bedmax.......or at least I did until one of the little kids mucked-out my horse's stable last weekend and took it upon herself to remove the entire base I had built up thus completely removing a well draining, well-cushioned and well-managed bed in one go.

Oh, and then she used up my last two fresh bales after I had only topped it up the day before without asking if it was ok -leaving my (box-resting) horse on what is now the thinnest, bank-less bed she has ever been on until I can get to the feed merchants tomorrow!!

I am still slightly annoyed about it...I went away for one night (first time in three months) and asked the yard owner to do my horse that morning but because she was going to an event early she got one of the juniors to do my horse (in return for clipping her pony, or something).

Deep litter works very well for my mare who could pee for her country. The wet soaks down to form a knitted-together base that is both solid and stable and as long as you don't disturb it by digging it every day - smell free. Just take out the droppings and surface wet daily and periodically remove the stuff underneath. I will be going back to deep litter straw as soon as my horse can be turned out - I think it drains just as well but my horse will just spend all day eating it at the mo.

Oh, and let others know if you are using deep litter then if someone else mucks out for you, they won't destroy the bed!!


Well-Known Member
7 March 2006
Cambs/Northants Border
I semi Deep Litter - Deep bed to start, skip out poos everyday and any really obvious wet - don't dig too much or you end up doing a full muck out! I muck out properly at weekends. I probably add one bale a week after the muckout a maybe one mid week if it needs it. Never smells.