Is this disgusting and unhygenic or am I completely wrong

Bosworth

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I have a livery who has been breeding some lovely quality horses for a few years now. She moved to me as she desperately needed somwhere to keep her horses due to unforseen ciircumstances. I don't /won't use straw - all my liveries are on wood pellet but she has insisted her in foal mares need to be on straw. Fair enough - but she never removes any bedding or droppings, just piles a little bit more straw on every day and leaves it like that. She plans to foal down in these stables. I have questioned her about it as I just think it is unhygenic and I would never in a million years leave a horse standing in [****] let alone plan to foal down in it. She says it keeps the bed lovely and warm and it is the way it is done in professional studs. Help me out here I am unhappy with the situation but I would like some of your knowledge and expertise here.

Thanks
 

LynneB

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lots of people deep bed through the winter and yes the heat from it is excellent. The breeder I bought my original foals from did this. I would always make sure there was plenty of clean on top though so they were not laying in it if mine were on a deep bed.

I would never ever foal down on it though, I like them on a nice deep bed of clean fresh straw for that and sorry, it is straw all the way for me too
smile.gif


Mine live out though, so not an issue most of the time
 

Bosworth

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I have no problem with a deep litter bed - just all the droppings are left in it and it only has a handful of straw chucked on top each day.
 

dorani

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This is what is known as deep litter. It is indeed a very effective ,warm and long favourite type of bed used by the vast majority of stud farms for mares and youngsters. stallions usually kept more on the type of bed you are used to. the really big breeding studs have huge barns were all the youngstock winter and it is mucked out by tractor in the spring when horses are turned out to grass. This system is used at the ILPH.
 

the watcher

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My yard deep litters on straw (and she is correct that this is the best medium for foaling down), but the difference is they hook out the droppings and worst bits of wet before spreading more straw over the top. What she is doing is not uncommon in farming circles for other livestock - however if your stables are wooden it might lead to rot, which would be a problem for you.

I can't bring myself to do it, I have the in-foal mare on deep litter shavings (but will top dress with straw when she is close to delivery) and the yearling is on straw which I semi deep litter - there is a base but I pick out droppings and worst of the wet every day
 

Bosworth

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No it's not what's known as deep litter - deep litter is actually where the droppings are taken out daily, and then lots of straw is spread across it , the beds are dry, they are clean and warm and tehre is no smell, The horses stand on top of a true deep litter bed not knee deep in [****].

And I have no issue with the foaling down on straw. Its the overall conditions for mares standing in [****] and foals being born in it.
 

hairymolly

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I used to deep litter my pony and really like a big straw bed but I would skip out every day and remove any wet bits near the top then put more bedding down. By the end of the winter the bed was huge. To me just chucking some new straw on the top without skipping out is rather stinky.
 

S_N

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Absolutely unacceptable IMO to keep a horse on a bed as you describe, as I agree, it is a far cry from deep litter! Deep litter beds need proper management and can take as much time to do a full muck out, depending on the horse. To consider foaling on a properly managed deep litter bed is IMHO putting both mare and foal at risk, let alone in the conditions you describe! If foaling inside, then the stable should be fully emptied, steam cleaned and thoroughly disinfected - stables harbour more harmful germs/bacteria than any field and seeing as foals are born with virtually no immunity to anything, as mares do not have a transferable placenta, it is our responsibility to give them the best start as possible. If she has foaled on this kind of bedding previously, then IMHO she has been extraordinarily lucky!
 

jamesmead

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A lot depends on what is underneath the straw. If enough bedding is used and the bed isn't on rubber matting or the likes, no, you don't have to remove droppings; its the droppings that help consolidate the bed and create the warmth. This IS deep litter; nothing wrong with it for overnight accomodation for horses, if done properly as long as your floors drain and your stables are properly ventilated (which should be the case anyway, of course).

IMO it gives the best bed for a horse to lie on; like a good mattress; its hard to replicate that with anything else.

As Motherhen says, it can be very hard on wooden walled stables, though.
 

not_with_it

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A woman on my yard did this last year when her mare was in foal. She does it with all her horses, personlly I dont like it, especially not on straw. It got to the point where the doors and walls in the stables were starting to bend due to the amount of dirty bedding she had in there.
I do a full muck out each day and it doesnt take me long.
 

koeffee

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its not exceptable, i deep litter my stallion but i skip out daily, and muck out totally once a month. its your yard, things should be done how you want, if she doesnt like it she could move on??
 

kerilli

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sounds disgusting and unhygenic, definitely. that's not deep littering, that's being a lazy cow! not good for horse's feet or lungs imho.
check with vet but i'm 99% sure they advise that foaling down stable be as clean as possible.
 

Resupgirl

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Nothing wrong with deep littering, personally it drives me mad I have to dig!!! But yes most the studs I have been to do tend to use this method especially the farm, barn keep types.. Also keep goats next to the foals for company too! These are animals at the end of the day and I know we all make a lot of cleanliness but I think a mare would feel much more comfortable with her own smell round her than a load of disinfectant! Even though I did disinfect my stable a week before etc as I was worried about germs etc. A hard call its your yard only you know what you will tolerate and not. But go gently and perhaps you can compromise.
 

Fahrenheit

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My youngsters are kept on deep litter straw in winter BUT my foaling beds, also straw, are mucked out to the floor thoroughly every day and kept clean! Every stud I have been too also foals on clean very deep straw beds!
 

Alec Swan

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bosworth,

in the view of many, and I'd include myself amongst them, deep litter is perfectly acceptable. I would add to this, as have others, that it depends upon the duration. Leave a horse on deep litter, for perhaps four months, with perhaps half a bail of straw a day, and it wont be long before you would need to shut the top door to contain the animal!

The real point is that, as keoffee has pointed out, who's yard is it? It's yours. If you want horses mucked out, then that's the end of it. Most of us, when faced with the alternative, will very soon get back in line!

The final point is that I would NEVER, short of an emergency, allow a mare to foal on deep litter. There is no doubt that Joint Ill is passed through a dirty environment , via the open wound of a recently torn navel. Whether I have mares foal in or out, I always immerse the navel in iodine. It certainly gives a degree of protection, and being of an acid (?) form, it dehydrates the navel quickly.

It would be interesting to hear how you progress!

Alec.
 

levantosh

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I've worked in one of the best TB studs in the UK and if we left beds like this we would get the sack!!!

Mares are foaled down in a power cleaned stable with fresh straw, once foaled the stable is removed of all straw power washed again ready for the next mare.

I would never let a mare foal down in such filth. I always try and keep a clean bed down in case a mare foals early or in an emergency situation.

I personally keep a stable bedded down with straw for my mares in case of weather like we are getting (as they come in at night) and deep litter for a week, but none have foals at foot, the weanlings are in seperate stables that get mucked out every day.
 

kerilli

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d4e5f6 is right, it doesn't actually matter at all what she CLAIMS to have seen done on other yards (and i've never seen deep litter, genuine or the filthy version described above, at any of the stud farms i've visited, which included those with 200 + stables, where they'd have gotten away with it if they thought they could!), it is YOUR yard, so if she wants to keep her horse like that, she needs to do it elsewhere...!
 

Bosworth

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THank you guys. The problem it - it is a friend - or should I say now she was a friend. She got drunk and berated me badly last week for not knowing anything about foaling - I never pretended to I own a livery yard and I event. i do not want to breed as to be honest I prefer to buy in as I don't have the stress of foaling/ getting in foal. If I say i don't want it deep littered I get told that i know nothing about it and their way is how all the good TB studs/ sports horse studs do it. But I can't see them foaling down in [****]. just can't see anyone with valuable animals wanting to foal down in that mess. as several of you have said.

I am going to speak to her this week. I have been tolerant to a point because they ahve had rather a raw deal recently but I am feeling rather used and abused at the moment and we did them a huge favour taking in 15 horses when we were told 9. So I think its time they actually found themselves somewhere to rent and take all their horses with them. Then they can be in charge of their own place and do as they want to be, the money that are paying me is not covering the stress and mess that they are causing.
 

Alec Swan

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bosworth,

whether deep litter is acceptable, or not, really isn't the point, is it? YOU DON'T WANT IT, and that's the end of the matter.

Consider this, were she ACTUALLY a friend, then would she have spoken to you as she did? I certainly don't treat my well intentioned, and generous friends as she has treated you, under the "affluence of incahol", or not!!

Further more, so she had a raw deal previously, did she? I can't think why, can you? If her current performance with you is anything to go by, then I would bet that there will be a legion behind me who would risk a fairly safe bet, as to the truth.

You're going to speak with her next week. So would I!! Quite simply, both she and her horses would be gone, and importantly, I'd consider it a lesson well learnt.

I genuinely wish you well, and should you have any further problems, then suggest that she contacts those who have offered previous posts. That I would like to see!!

Alec.
 

kerilli

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must admit i totally agree, my first thought on reading that she's had a raw deal, and that she had to move suddenly due to 'unforseen circumstances' was - "oh yeah, so her attitude ****ed another YO off, did it?!"
if you think she CAN be reasonable, tell her how it has to be on YOUR yard. if not, tell her to go, and why...!
tbh i think she sounds like a right cow who i wouldn't want on my yard!
wink.gif
 

Bosworth

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Not quite like that - she was the owner - well she rented the yard and the land lord threatened them with physical violence as he wanted to take the property back for his brother in law- so the problem I think is because they are on a yard - not on their own, so they can't just do what they want.
 

kerilli

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ah, okay, that makes sense. sorry!
if she's not used to being back on someone else's yard again, maybe you need to say nicely that this is how it needs to be... that you would be utterly devastated if the newborn foal got joint ill and died on your yard, so you have to insist that if she's going to stay, the stables are kept clean to YOUR standards...
 

Rollin

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I am not a professional breeder and I semi-deep litter on straw. That means that ALL droppings are cleared every day and boxes are deep mucked 7-10 days depending on how much they pee.

I have two mares due to foal end Feb/early March. Their boxes will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected two weeks beforehand and then properly mucked every day.

I would persuade her to do a deep clean. One of my mares produced a super filly this year, when I bought her she had lost her previous foal to infection probably through umbilicus. Not worth the risk for the want of mucking out.
 

toffeesmarty

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If they are not skipped out now and maintained using correct deep litter management what the hell will the stables smell like in the spring/summer - and what effect will the flies have on your other horses?

If she really thinks it is ok to foal down on **** I would be concerned about her attitude to other aspects of horse management and her approach to horse health and welfare. I don't think it matters if you breed or not - you recognise what is healthy and have standards which should be met while she is on your yard. Do you have a contract she had to sign? If so what does it state about stable cleanliness? Our YO stipulates poo picking etc on mine.

This is a difficult situation to find yourself in so good luck and I wish you well but as others have said it is your yard.
 

JanetGeorge

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[ QUOTE ]


The final point is that I would NEVER, short of an emergency, allow a mare to foal on deep litter. There is no doubt that Joint Ill is passed through a dirty environment , via the open wound of a recently torn navel.


[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto - and I don't know of ANY responsible stud owner who would foal down on dirtydeep litter beds (or even well maintained deep litter!)

But as others have said- it's your yard - and your stables. If they are timber boxes, then dirty, wet-underneath, bedding will rot them VERY quickly! It also attracts RATS - who love the warmth and the availability of food! I would suggest she changes her management - or her yard!
 

Touchwood

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Echo everybody else, foaling down in a dirty bed is a recipe for disaster! All our foaling mares are on deep, and very clean straw beds, and the boxes are disinfected before they come in at night for foaling (and then again after each foaling).
 
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