Straw, Shavings and Wood Pellet users!!

Undecided

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Joined
8 June 2012
Messages
502
Hi all,
I am currently undertaking a research project at uni looking into the development of three different types of bedding, focusing mainly on their absorbency. If you or a friend use or have used any of the above products for your horses, could you state what type, the brand and why you use it (reasons you started using it, pros and cons). Put as much info down as you like!

Thank You!! :)
 

MerrySherryRider

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Joined
23 September 2004
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9,439
I have rubber mats and have used all 3 types. Favourite is straw. Makes a nice bed, its warm and easy to muck out. horses like it and will lie down more on straw.
Only stopped using it as the price went up to £2.50 for a small bale.
Pellets are too dusty. Have used them under shavings in leaky stables in targetted areas though. which works quite well.

Currently using shavings which are £7.50 for unnamed brand or Thoroughbred shavings at £7.80. Use 2 bales a week per horse which costs marginally more than straw, as I'd use around 5-6 small bales of straw a week.
Storing straw is a problem and it's bulkier to muck out than shavings, so I prefer shavings. The beds are cleans and fresh too.
 

HeresHoping

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Joined
27 July 2012
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2,320
Location
Between the Moors and the Dales
Straw. From the local farmers. Small bales.

Reasons:

1. It is by far the cheapest option for a messy gelding at £2/bale (small). I have found that the bigger his bed is, the cleaner it is. I now buy two - sometimes three - bales per week as opposed to going through 2 - 3 bales shavings per week at three times the price.
2. It rots down much faster than wood pellet or shavings, enabling the YO to spread across the fields in October after just a year on the muck heap as opposed to two.
3. He doesn't dig it up and expose the rubber matting. Which he does with shavings/wood pellets for some reason.
 

PolarSkye

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7 July 2010
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9,492
I use straw . . . if the bed is deep enough, it's absorbent - makes a lovely, warm, insulating bed, it's environmentally friendly/has a low carbon footprint and is (relatively) cheap.

I started using it because it was the only type of bedding my restless gelding couldn't churn up and turn into soup overnight . . . and stayed using it because it is so much more cost-effective than shavings (haven't used wood pellets). I make a very deep bed, with big banks . . . a good foot deep on the base, and do a complete muck out every day. In the morning, there are no wet patches showing.

Hope that helps.

P
 

xgemmax

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Joined
5 November 2012
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966
Location
Kent
I have used straw before and didn't like it - it doesn't absorb wee so it smells and I find i end up smelling of wee all day after mucking out! Plus side is that it's cheap

I now use shavings, put in one bale a week (usually hunters) and they make a big fluffy bed and only get half a barrow out a day :)

Can't comment on wood pellets as have never used them
 

Foxy O

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Joined
13 March 2013
Messages
515
I have rubber mats and I use shavings on top, the cheapest ones I can get from Wynnstay stores and I buy them in bulk (50 bales) as I get more of a discount that way and free delivery. I used to use straw but with my old horse my clothes used to really really stink after mucking out the straw bed whilst with shavings they don't smell so bad. I muck out fully every day and skip out in the evenings. I find the quantity I throw away is less than if I used straw the the muck heap doesn't build up to fast.
 

fatbird

Active Member
Joined
27 April 2007
Messages
36
I've used all three and am a firm convert to wood pellets.
Straw took me ages to muck out, was not at all absorbent so very smelly and the whole bed had to be gone through every day as some of the droppings always fell down into the bed.
Shavings were better, more absorbent and form a better bed but more expensive.
Pellets are best by far for absorbency and therefore for lack of smell. They are cheap if you buy in bulk (I add a bag a week to each of mine, costing less than £4 per stable) and form a good firm bed. I remove very little bedding each day so the muck heap is small and if they get dusty in summer just need damping down slightly (or mix in less new bedding). I wouldn't use anything else now.
 

Dollysox

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Joined
22 July 2010
Messages
1,034
Location
Fareham, Hampshire
I've got two horses and use different bedding with each. Dolly is on straw. She is clean, easy to muck out and we don't get through very much so it is quite cheap (and I like the cosy/warm look it gives the bed). Our yard owner prefers us to use straw if possible as it rots down very quickly.

Jasmine is on Bedmax shavings on top of rubber matting with Megazorb under the mats. She is filthy and drags her feet through her bedding, blitzing any poo to smithereens. I can't put her on straw as she eats it (and as she has laminitic tendencies I can't then control her feed intake); in the pre-laminitis days when she was on straw we had to dig out the middle of the bed and replace it every day, which started to use a lot of straw. I use Bedmax because the shavings are giant, which makes sifting out the poo easier and leaves more of the bed behind. We get through two or three bales a week, depending on how dirty she is. I'm currently investigating moving her on to either wood pellets or Aubiose as the beds are very firm and compact and might be better from the foot dragging point of view.
 
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