Mucking out straw beds

chestnut cob

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Anyone have any tips for mucking out straw beds?

Rhyn's going on straw now - I've always kept him on shavings before now and haven't mucked out a straw bed for absolutely years! I think I've forgotten how to do it!

Had him in it for a while this afternoon and he weed.... on shavings that's fine because firstly I usually deep litter anyway, but also because it's obvious which bit of the bed is wet. On the straw I couldn't find the wet bit to take it out!!!


Oh, he'll be getting a full muck out everyday on the straw not deep litter, if that's makes any difference.... Thanks
 

Snowberry

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We've not been on straw for years but Rhyn will love it as he can eat it if he gets hungry!! LOL
I love a nice clean straw bed, looks much nicer than shavings!!
Sorry not much help eh?
 

chestnut cob

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LMAO! You know him so well SB!!


I've always preferred shavings but I'm so anal about my shavings bed being clean and level that it takes me hours to muck out!! It has to be totally level or I spend ages patting it down! At least I won't have that issue with straw, and I must admit it did look nice and cosy when it was down!


Hmmm.... looks like I will need to watch someone at the yard muck out for a refresher course!!
 

Bossanova

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Use a fork- fork clean straw up onto the banks or into a spare corner, fork dirty stuff to front. Once all clean stuff is out of way sweep wet stuff to front and put in barrow. We then use disinfectant and sweep again then put bed back down. New straw goes on banks.
 

lordflynn

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what Boss said

this weather I try and let floor dry out as often as possible and a bit of cheap disinfectant really helps with the smell. like a good straw bed, especially in winter!
 

JAK

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And once you've mucked out CC, as per Boss's instructiuons, you can amuse yourself for hours being 'anal' by making all your banks absolutely square & perfectly level, then glare ferociously at anybody who dares to so much as breathe on the bed (or anywhere near it!), as middle daughter does!

I get quite worried sometimes when she still has a fork in her hand, in case she returns from the muckheap &, heaven forbid, finds somebody scuffing dust or breathing germs on it!
She is nowhere near as bad with the Easibed beds - no idea why she turns into an over-protective, paranoid monster over straw beds but she does!
 

rach1984horse

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I think straw beds are great. I love them. Am too picky for shavings.

If you have a tidy horse the more straw you have in the easier it is to clean. I agree with Boss.

Muck out, bank up the clean stuff, sweep floory, I disinfect once a week as can leave the bed up all day to make sure floor is dry. Older stuff goes on the floor and clean stuff into banks.

Used to work somewhere where they put clean on the floor and old in the banks. Their banks took up half the stable within a couple of weeks and they used silly amounts of straw. They said it was because they didn't want their horses sleeping on dirty beds. If it was dirty it would be in the muck heap.
 

chestnut cob

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Rhyn is most definitely NOT tidy!! He's messy and filthy and wet!


Not sure how long we're going to last on straw but if he's getting a full muck out every day he should be ok. I wouldn't fancy deep littering straw....
 

Honeyb060674

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I deep litter Honeys bed and shes one straw, its not that bad once you have a base down (and as long as you haven't got a box walking weeing machine!) I go through top layer with a fork, poo shift, chuck the clean stuff to the front, slightly dirty stuff up on bankings (they stay up better with a bit of weight!) bed back down and chuck fresh stuff ontop. Shes much safer this way as I don't end up with bare floor. The only downside is digging it all out...12 barrow loads!
 

chestnut cob

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Thanks


Rhyn doesn't box walk but he does wander around a lot in the night I think. Most of the bed always ends up under the door, hay everywhere, wees like nothing I've ever seen! So I don't think that would work for us, I like deep litter on shavings but still not convinced on straw!
 

spotty_pony

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My pony had a deep straw bed all through last winter and it was fully mucked out everyday! I love seeming them in a cosy bed with deep banks.


My advice is muck out the middle of the stable everyday and the wettest bank and then alternate every other day between the other two banks. Hope this helps x
 

RachelB

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I do the same as Boss (except slower, as I'm always told!) but I take the droppings out with a poop scoop first, I can't stand it all falling about the place through the fork! And always put clean stuff on the banks, then they can muck that bit up the next day and it keeps everything fresh, as everything comes out every few days. It's easier on a smaller bed (like the 1/4 beds we have, ones that take up half the stable are more of a pain). If you have the drainage in the stables (we have loads of drains in the walls), disinfectant is highly reccommended with geldings, they stink otherwise!
And yes, you can have as much fun as you like afterwards making the bed nice and fluffy, and squaring the banks off and keeping them level!
 

allijudd

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[ QUOTE ]

I've always preferred shavings but I'm so anal about my shavings bed being clean and level that it takes me hours to muck out!! It has to be totally level or I spend ages patting it down!

[/ QUOTE ]

i am anal about my straw beds with my banks exactly aligned and the right depth and the middle niice and firm and level......

if it helps i start in a front corner and pick up poos with gloves and hands, its easier and you find out where the wet is...you can tell!

then i get a fork and go back to the start and throw the clean straw to the outside working in a square shape and take out the wet straw...i then let the floor air with disinfectant and later put it back down ensuring everything i put to the outside is then used in the middle pulling down one bank. I then add new straw to that free bank....doesnt actually work this way if horse eats bed as they will go for the new bank...

jeez that really does sound anal......
 

Fiona

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Tip to stop poohs falling through prongs on pitchfork - pick up the straw immediately under the pooh as well, and shake pooh off over barrow, if clean the straw can be thrown up onto the bank and used again.

Also making sure bed is deep enough - if a vertically held fork will go through it to the floor (then its not - deep enough that is). The slightly soiled straw helps the bed to stay together, a v new straw bed is actually harder to work with (so hang on in there)

One rubber mat at the door might be a good idea, then you don't need the straw bed to come as far forward.

This takes me back - it must be 12 years since I mucked out a straw bed.

Hope you get used to it.

Fiona
 

chestnut cob

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Thanks Fiona, me too! I've gone on to straw because my livery is only £2 a week more if I use straw, but if I use shavings it will cost me a fortune compared to it (think 10 bales to get a good bed in november, then at least 1 bale a week even on deep litter
).

I'm sure it'll be fine. I've mucked them out for other horses in the past when I was riding at the riding school I went to so I'm sure it must still be in there somewhere!
 

chestnut cob

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hehe!


When I do a shavings bed (bear in mind this is with a deep litter system where I take the wet out at the end of the winter and not more often!) I get annoyed when the wet builds up in some places and leaves you with hills and valleys in the bed! I have to shave bits off where it's higher and put them on the valleys, then cover with fresh stuff. I pat the bed down when I've finished to make sure it's all level, then do the banks. Even though I deep litter I have to keep fresh on the banks all week - hate to see anything on top but fresh, white shavings!
 

hotpot

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i find mucking out a straw bed is much quicker than shavings and much nicer to look at as it looks cosy and warm, alas i have had to go on shavings as there is no room to store straw at the yard i am in i find its a lot more expensive 5.65 a bale times 2 a week sometimes 3 to 1 pound a bale of barley straw which if you wanted to put 5 bales in a week and it still does not come to a bale of shavings i guess you can guess which i prefer.
 

aran

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aran is far better on straw - he is disgusting (Lucy_spring calls him the cement mixer - she you'd to love mucking him out when he was on box rest!). he doesnt get banks just a deep bed across half the stable. i spent a while working out the orientation of the bed and the location of the water and hay so now while he stands eatting his hay all his droppings miss the bed therefore he has a lovely clean straw bed to sleep on - lovely! only takes 5 mins max to fully muck-out - scoop out droppings, fork clean straw to corner, sweep out wet, put some verkon down if its a bit smelly, air, bed down.
 

Capriole

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i hate straw and much prefer shavings, unfortunately this winter i am going to have to use straw.

i am one of the obsessives
for both types, but fro straw i have to have absolutely square and level flat topped banks
 

evsj

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Get the right fork!! I invested about 23 quid in the most brilliant fork for doing a straw bed. The distance that the tines are apart is critical - about 1.5 inches is best. (Problem is that it is so good, it keeps going 'walkies'!!) Don't use a shavings fork or one of those 3 or 4 pronged straw forks - RUBBISH! If you have the correct drainage you should be able to do semi-deep litter which just means that you let a thin layer at the bottom of the bed knit together with a nice thick, dry, fluffy bed on top. Avoid breaking the base to take it out every day as the bed won't knit together and provide a stable surface to protect your horse from the concrete floor. It takes a bit of getting used to but I swear that I could easily do my horses 12x14 bed in 10 mins and just one barrow-load of muck. Sadly, have had to move to a new yard with smaller box that just wasn't practical for straw so am trying Bedmax. If I get a bigger stable, though, I will go back to straw - love it!
 
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