Wood pellet users

chaps89

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How many bags of bedding do you put in and how frequently?

Madam is very tidy in the stable but exceptionally wet.
She usually does 2 wee's a night so I take maybe a third of her bed out each day?

I've put 4 of the 15kg bags in so far in the last 6 days and my bed still looks thin?! When it's thin I know the wee spreads more so it's definitely better to have a thicker bed as it clumps more. But I can't afford to be putting 4 bags a week in :eek: any ideas?

When she was on straw for a while (free with the livery) I would take 3 barrows out each day! That was years ago so her being wet is normal for her. She's been out on grass livery the last few years so not something I've had to worry about!
 
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If you start with a bigger bed you won't need to keep topping up as much. Just take out the wet patches. I think you'll find its better to put two weeks worth down at once and then you should make up over the following two weeks by using less, so start with at least 8 pages.
 

PapaverFollis

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The Beast has a moderare bed of pellets over rubber mats. I was managing on 2 bags every 8 or 9 days but I let it go a bit and chucked most of it and started again yesterday. I think I could do it on 2 bags a week but realistically having to start again brings my average up to maybe 3 or 4 bags a week! (She's a big 16hh and very wet and isn't tidy at all!) I would probably use less if I started with a thicker bed and dug all the wet out everyday. But there were a few too many days where I just skipped out poop and obvious wet and it just got out of hand... then the whole bed is wet.
 

chaps89

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The bed was totally new 2 weeks ago and very deep to start (10 bags). I think that's where I went wrong, I haven't kept it topped up enough.
I'm meticulous about taking every little last bit out each day but equally not wasting any dry bedding.
Think I will have to bite the bullet and put a couple more bags in to bring it back up then make sure I stay on top of it :-/
I tried just pouring unsoaked pellets into her off spot yesterday so I'll see if that made any difference too when I go up later.
 

Leo Walker

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Wood pellets are supposed to be pretty much deep littered. When they are in I use 2 a fortnight roughly, sometimes less. I take the droppings off the top every day and tidy it. The only time wet is taken out is if it comes to the top. If a wet patch is ever taken out then unsoaked pellets go back in the space.
 

chaps89

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How deep do you have the bed then LW? She is so wet I can't envisage what it would look like if I didn't take the wet out daily but maybe the bed isn't thick enough perhaps.
 

AdorableAlice

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I am a pellet 'virgin' and it has taken a while to get to the most efficient method. I also have some very differing health needs in the horses. All on rubber, one on just pellets, put a deep bed in, probably 10 bags to start with. The wet stays beneath the bed and is dug every 10 days with dry pellets dropped into the hole left and then covered over. I use 2 bags every 10 days (big horse). In the heat of the summer I was watering the bed daily and not convinced I liked pellets. There was dust on the horse and water buckets.

Alice is windy and I have to take great care with air quality. Pellets as a base and aubiouse on top. Her bed would only be dug once a month and stays dry and sweet smelling. 3 bags pellets used at the dig stage, 2 bales aubiouse a month. She is only 15.2 in a 12x12 box and a tidy mare. Aubious is expensive but it goes a very long way, is very absorbent and works really well with a pellet base.

Another one in a barn with pellets as a base under shavings, 2 bags when the wet hole is dug twice a month and another one with pellets under straw. I was dubious about the straw bed but it works so well. Large stable, 4 pellets watered and then a round bale of straw spread on top. No smell and no wet. We are on week 3 now and take out a full barrow of muck each morning, very little straw and none of it wet. The lot will come out next weekend and we will start again. I only have one that can live on straw otherwise it would use this method far more. Cost wise it is great, £10 for pellets and £20 for straw dived by 4 weeks to bed a 17h horse down, can't complain at that.
 

meleeka

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I started with a deep bed and add 2 a week maximum. One of mine is very messy. I don’t take the wet out every day but tend to do a patch when it comes to the top, then just put a dry sack down and cover it over.
 

PapaverFollis

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By having it too thin and trying to get the wet out. But I tried a deep litter arrangement with Easibed with her and it was beyond disgusting and incredibly hard work. So I got rubber mats and went for wood pellets but it still gets pretty gross. So I wonder if I'm doing it wrong.
 

Pearlsasinger

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How deep do you have the bed then LW? She is so wet I can't envisage what it would look like if I didn't take the wet out daily but maybe the bed isn't thick enough perhaps.
It sounds as if that is your problem. I haven't actually used pellets but I have used Megazorb which is similar. It is best to start with a deep bed and remove the muck daily, you should not be able to see the wet, which should drain to the bottom.
 
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Agree with comments above re depth. My horse is on box rest atm and I use one bag every other day. (Still much cheaper than shavings!) His bed looks great now but when it got thin it just looked damp and horrible as there just wasn’t enough depth to soak up the wet.
 

chaps89

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Ok. So I've done a full muck out today. Poured a bag of pellets into the pee areas. And added another 2 bags of wetted bedding to the bed. It's now fetlock deep so hopefully deep enough?
Figured I have nothing to lose by trying her on a semi-deep litter system, it can't cost me any more than it is currently!
 

Leo Walker

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Its about fetlock deep I think. Leo was a filthy disgusting horse who liked to trample round his stable, but pellets made a huge difference as it was so stable it didnt get mixed in.
 

Fiona

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Semi deep litter works well in my opinion, the only exception being if the horse is a box walker...

Both of mine can have the wet spot dug out every 7-10 days, with 1-2 bags of unsealed pellets added to the pew spots and the rest of the bed left undisturbed.

It is about 4 or 5 inches thick, on rubber mats, with banks...

Fiona
 
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I moved onto pellets back in the autumn and it has taken me that long to start to get used to them. My pony is in during the day and out at night so now I just take the wet out every other week. I then put in a bag of dry pellets on the floor in the areas he wees. The week I don't muck out if the bed looks low I add in a bag of dry pellets to the surface. I tried adding this bag soaked but found it didn't have the same impact on the bed.

The first few times I mucked out I was still thinking in shavings mode and if the bedding looked at all wet I took it out. This meant I took out far too much! I asked someone on the yard who's been using pellets for years and she showed me how to take out just the wettest bedding and mix the slightly damp back into the bed. After I've mucked out the bed settles.

I now have a bed which isn't that deep but which is compact and clean and gives my pony a safe surface to lie on. The concrete doesn't come through the bedding.

The main disadvantage I find is that the bedding is very heavy to move around the stable as you muck out. I still don't like the look of it. I will always prefer a shavings bed but they didn't work for this pony and the pellets do. I was spending £15 a week and his bed still didn't look great and he ended up lying on concrete. I'm now spending just under £5 a week.
 

SEL

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I deep litter both of mine on a base of wood pellets with easibed on top. I have one who seems to make a poo lasagne every night and the other digs his bed up. My beds are only ever white when a new bag goes down - for 5 mins!

The base is deep so it's dry on top and comfy to lie on. I would love beautiful white beds but with two messy horses I've had to learn to deal. Plus I've seen what they sleep in when they're out in the field!
 

ihatework

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Ok. So I've done a full muck out today. Poured a bag of pellets into the pee areas. And added another 2 bags of wetted bedding to the bed. It's now fetlock deep so hopefully deep enough?
Figured I have nothing to lose by trying her on a semi-deep litter system, it can't cost me any more than it is currently!
You should find a semi deep litter works much better, especially if your horse is tidy. Only dig out a chunk when it comes to surface, then fill with dry pellets.
 

chaps89

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It felt very odd today not doing a full muck out!
I love pellet bedding and I'm not sure any other bedding would work out any cheaper (plus it stays so clean and white!) so I'm definitely going to stick with it, but if this makes it more cost effective then I'm all for it.
 

KautoStar1

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I too am new to pellets, having previously used straw. Had to move off it as horse developed allergies.
I'm finding them a faff and not at all cost effective, although this isn't helped by the fact the horse is on box rest for the next month. I reckon I am using about 4 bags a week at the moment. I find mixing dry pellets into the bed or very lightly wetting them (much less than the half a bucket recommended) is best and I use the dirtier stuff to make up the banks. And then I take out the wet patches and turn the bed daily to mix in the dry pellets and make sure they get spread across the bed. I find he and I smell a lot less from not using straw and he lies down happily on the pellet bed. As he always wee's on a clean bed I have taken to catching it when I can - anything to keep it as dry as possible :)

What pellets are everyone using and what are you paying for them. They don't seem that much cheaper than shavings.
 

SpringArising

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I use a craptonne and it costs a fortune. I wish I could be happy to deep-little but I get through about five bags a week because I like it to be white and dry every day :confused:

My 'technique' is very similar to @KautoStar1. I take out all of the wet/poo every night, chuck it all up into banks to let the floor dry (rubber matting in a barn and I find it gets smelly very easily if I don't), pull it all back down, use the oldest stuff as banks, churn it all up and add extra pellets to the 'bed' section if necessary.
 

Auslander

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If you take the wet out every day, the bed never settles - they drag the wet around and it gets grubby very quickly. You need to bite the bullet and leave the wet undisturbed - only removing the wettest bit when it comes to the surface of the bed. If you can't bring yourself to do that, you'll never get the full benefit of a pellet bed.
I take the wet patch out once a week, sometimes less often, and my beds are clean, white and odourless. I use one or two bags a week to top up.
 

KautoStar1

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If you take the wet out every day, the bed never settles - they drag the wet around and it gets grubby very quickly. You need to bite the bullet and leave the wet undisturbed - only removing the wettest bit when it comes to the surface of the bed. If you can't bring yourself to do that, you'll never get the full benefit of a pellet bed.
I take the wet patch out once a week, sometimes less often, and my beds are clean, white and odourless. I use one or two bags a week to top up.
I dont think my situation is helped by the fact hes on box rest and so it gets wet and sludgy quite quickly. I'm pretty sure I'm not managing it correctly despite my best efforts. It is always clean and odourless though.

What pellets are you using ?
 

Auslander

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I dont think my situation is helped by the fact hes on box rest and so it gets wet and sludgy quite quickly. I'm pretty sure I'm not managing it correctly despite my best efforts. It is always clean and odourless though.

What pellets are you using ?
Yuk - poor you!

I'm currently using LCE pellets - which are great, but after a bad experience with their customer service, and the subsequent discovery that the bags are crap (and have ventilation holes in them, so you cant soak the pellets in the bags) I won't be getting them again. My favourite pellets are Platinum Plus and Snowflake
 

KautoStar1

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Yuk - poor you!

I'm currently using LCE pellets - which are great, but after a bad experience with their customer service, and the subsequent discovery that the bags are crap (and have ventilation holes in them, so you cant soak the pellets in the bags) I won't be getting them again. My favourite pellets are Platinum Plus and Snowflake

Yup, PP are my faves so far. I am getting them from Pets at Home.

I am struggling not to take the wet out everyday though. as I've never done deep or semi deep littering in my life, the concept is all a bit alien to me. I think once he's back out in the field it will be a lot easier. I maybe expecting too much from them given he is in 24/7 right now.
 
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I’ve always semi deep littered & found as long as enough dry bedding on top it doesn’t look or smell bad till you lifted it at the weekend. I am trying proper deep litter on my mare and am surprised how little is smells. I had to grit my teeth for the first month but now it’s stable I just pick the poo daily and then once week where she wees scrape off clean & then remove loose dirty down to the compacted bit & then level the base before putting more fresh on top. Has taken awhile but no chance of her being on concrete & top is clean. This is on miscanthus, 2 bales every week but think will end up just 1 as less dirty each week that goes by
 
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