Wood pellet bedding……very confused…..help please!!

Wizpop

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So, really hoping that some of you can bear to trawl through this post and offer some advice. I’ve used wood pellet bedding in the past with a wet and mucky horse with no problem but I’m truly confused this time!

Horse is new to me and from the start was really messy in his stable- not overly wet, but mixing droppings thoroughly into his bed every night. I was on chopped straw at this point. I then moved him to another stable as he was unsettled in an enclosed box. He’s much happier now he’s in a barn type stable but it is quite a bit smaller than his previous stable and he is standing on his bed all the time.He has a window at the back which he likes to go and look out of as well as the doorway and is a really nosey character!

So I put down a pellet bed- quite deep- on rubber matting - intending to take out the wet patch daily and sift out droppings from the top layer. This worked well for 3 days although I noticed the top of the bedding was getting damper and damper. I’ve tried turning the bed every day, which is quite hard work as it is quite compacted with him standing/ walking around on it. Ive also tried just fluffing up the top. So, I’ve now got a bed that’s permanently damp which I don’t like the idea of him lying on.

Today I’ve taken out 2 barrowloads of damp bedding and put down another bag of pellets ( 4th this week), mixed them in dry, and put a bale of shavings on top in desperation.

if anyone has any thoughts as to why the bed is so damp on top I’d love to hear- could it be condensation ? Stable has 3 stone walls ( old building) or due to lack of ventilation?? Or moisture from the mixed in poos?? im sure it’s not wee as that’s all in one place and solid. Also, when I dig down, some parts underneath are dry with the pellets still intact! Help please bedding experts!!!!!
 

Birker2020

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18 January 2021
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So, really hoping that some of you can bear to trawl through this post and offer some advice. I’ve used wood pellet bedding in the past with a wet and mucky horse with no problem but I’m truly confused this time!

Horse is new to me and from the start was really messy in his stable- not overly wet, but mixing droppings thoroughly into his bed every night. I was on chopped straw at this point. I then moved him to another stable as he was unsettled in an enclosed box. He’s much happier now he’s in a barn type stable but it is quite a bit smaller than his previous stable and he is standing on his bed all the time.He has a window at the back which he likes to go and look out of as well as the doorway and is a really nosey character!

So I put down a pellet bed- quite deep- on rubber matting - intending to take out the wet patch daily and sift out droppings from the top layer. This worked well for 3 days although I noticed the top of the bedding was getting damper and damper. I’ve tried turning the bed every day, which is quite hard work as it is quite compacted with him standing/ walking around on it. So, I’ve now got a bed that’s permanently damp which I don’t like the idea of him lying on.

Today I’ve taken out 2 barrowloads of damp bedding and put down another bag of pellets ( 4th this week), mixed them in dry, and put a bale of shavings on top in desperation.

if anyone has any thoughts as to why the bed is so damp on top I’d love to hear- could it be condensation ? Stable has 3 stone walls ( old building) or due to lack of ventilation?? Or moisture from the mixed in poos?? im sure it’s not wee as that’s all in one place and solid. Also, when I dig down, some parts underneath are dry with the pellets still intact! Help please bedding experts!!!!!
Sounds like it could be condensation. We get it on our yard. We have a massive barn type structure, three barns side by side with open bits in between. The stable mats are all wet as is the concrete floor throughout the barn. Its a pain but maneagable.

I'm watching this post with interest as my horse is quite wet compared with the last one and I want to see what people suggest as I was thinking of getting some wood pellets to put under my shavings bed.
 

Sussexbythesea

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I think pellets just do absorb moisture from the air. In summer they conversely get very dry and dusty. Personally I don’t worry about it as it’s not like in the wild they have bone dry surfaces to lie down on. I think very dry bedding isn’t good for their feet either and is potentially dusty. I never fully turn my bed and just take out the really wet patches out.
 

Lacuna

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I think pellets just do absorb moisture from the air. In summer they conversely get very dry and dusty. Personally I don’t worry about it as it’s not like in the wild they have bone dry surfaces to lie down on. I think very dry bedding isn’t good for their feet either and is potentially dusty. I never fully turn my bed and just take out the really wet patches out.
Agree with this.

I used to take the worst wet patches out once or twice a week and replace them with a new sack of pellets over winter. I also never used to soak the pellets as much as they recommended (usually about half a bucket of water per bag so they just fluffed up a bit) and didn't get so manky so quick.

I never turned the bed either after setting it up (about 8-10 bags) and don't know of anyone on our yard who did. There was one lady who had an oldie who put some shavings on the top to make it a bit softer but non of the other ponies seemed particularly bothered. My boy always had a dusty tail so obs lay down on it quite a bit
 

Polos Mum

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Could the roof be leaking - is it worse in rainy weather - or even a leaking water pipe ?

I lift my wood pellet bed daily while they are out to let the floor dry and mix wet with dry bits and to fluff it up for the 2 y/o who sleeps a lot so always compacts it really hard
 

ycbm

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Are you sure it's not coming up through the floor? Blocked drains or an underground spring can do this.
.
 

milliepops

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i have one that is boxwalking a bit at the moment, been on box rest for a while. his bed is fairly revolting. it doesn't matter what I put in it, it turns to mush within a few days. i think he will settle when he can start turnout (and when his nutty neighbour gets kicked back out, as he winds the whole yard up).

something i find works well if you have a direct path between areas that the horse walks between, is re-siting the bed so it sits away from the gangway. not sure if that's possible OP? One of mine used to run up and down the side of the stable when left alone so i moved her bed around so she was just walking on rubber mats and left the bed undisturbed. My messy one does tours of the stable at the moment so i'm resigned to just dealing with the mess :p
 

Wizpop

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15 April 2015
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“Sounds like it could be condensation. We get it on our yard. We have a massive barn type structure, three barns side by side with open bits in between. The stable mats are all wet as is the concrete floor throughout.”

Im thinking this could be the case although the mats and concrete aren’t wet.

“Could the roof be leaking - is it worse in rainy weather - or even a leaking water pipe ?”

Nothing leaking and pipe work seems OK.

“Are you sure it's not coming up through the floor? Blocked drains or an underground spring can do this.”

All seems fine here.


Thanks for all your suggestions and comments. I take on board that outside they don’t lie on dry ground - I’d tried to rationalise it that way already-but I suppose I’ve just got used to a comfy dry bed and others on the yard on pellets have much drier beds. I suspect that it might improve with the drier weather and less moisture in the air ( very hopefully!!)
I only turned the bed over in desperation to see if doing that would make any difference- It didn’t and was really hard work so definitely not doing it again!!
Ill see how it works with shavings on top although not hoping for a miracle!!
 
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Couple of tips that might help :
Regardless of bedding, a small bed is always a false economy. So make sure the bed is at least 2 inches or so thick.
Take the wet out every day and turn the whole bed over , including the banks. This makes it more fluffy and won't make it feel so "claggy ". Also, put a layer of unsoaked pellets at the bottom.
Personally I don't like just pellet beds as they're too absorbent and absorb moisture from the environment.
I use a pellet base with a shavings bed on top - the wet filters through the shavings mostly and gets absorbed at the bottom by the pellets , and if the bed is deep enough , you won't get any wet on the surface. The problem with using just pellets is that the wet is absorbed as soon as it hits the bed surface, rather than being filtered down to the bottom.
 

J&S

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I use Easi Bed, the wet goes striaght down and then spreads evenly under the surface and drains out of the drain hole. The surface stays very dry.
 

Pinkvboots

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Sounds like it could be condensation. We get it on our yard. We have a massive barn type structure, three barns side by side with open bits in between. The stable mats are all wet as is the concrete floor throughout the barn. Its a pain but maneagable.

I'm watching this post with interest as my horse is quite wet compared with the last one and I want to see what people suggest as I was thinking of getting some wood pellets to put under my shavings bed.
I use pellets under shavings it's brilliant I just scatter a stubbs scoop of pellets where they wee then lay the bed, I do have very thick beds with very clean shavings but it does save you chucking so much out and I just lift the wet every other day it never soaks through.
 
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