View Full Version : Pros and cons of putting Harvey back on shavings
Smoke on the Water
17th November 2009, 12:52 PM
Harvey is currently on straw and has been for just over a year. The reason is because is a dirty dirty dirty horse! The biggest reason I changed him to straw was because he was going through his phase - if anyone - recalls of charging at the door. In doing this he used to mash up his bed so bad that I'd have to take the whole lot out and start again from scratch. It was costing me a fortune and was so despressing coming down to it every day.
Now straw is really getting me down because I take out three wheelbarrows full a day. And it is sooo heavy! Also when I get down to the yard the muck heap is full so I have to heave it to the top. It's killing my back - it actually hurts to take a deep breath in today!
So I'm debating trying him back on shavings. I've been recommended duo bed, it is shavings but has chopped straw in it. The reason being cos he doesn't do his running at the door thing anymore and trashing his bed. Also it'd be lighter for me!
BUT he does his droppings where he stands looking over the door, so he still mashes them up.
A girl on my yard has just done the same thing and her horse is pretty filthy too. It's working a treat for her.
So what does everyone think? Do you think I'd be wasting my money? I currently put three straw a week in which costs me £9. The duo bed is £5.50 a bale. How much of that do you think I'd need? Two bales a week would be affordable but any more than that and I think it would be too much.
Someone tell me what to do!
17th November 2009, 01:22 PM
Why not consider chopped straw? I'd never do deep littering as apart from it is not good for their feet or lungs, it's also a nightmare to clean out when you do. I had to have Spud on a deep littered bed when he was at my friends yard, and it was absoloutley awful. I'd never dream to see another horse on it.
I had Scottie on shavings, but because he is given a lot of water in his feed, he ends up being a very wet pony. Ive done shaving bed's for over 10 years now and love them, but with him, i was having to put in half a bale every other day.
I had him on straw also, but it just ended up a soppy mess [i personally dont like using straw at all, but Rowan is better on it and it provides good banks for scottie]
Once again i've changed him into a megazorb base, straw banks, and chopped straw ontop of the megazorb. It's worked an absoloute treat. Far easier to fork about as it's all quite fine. It doesnt matter that Scottie doesnt really keep off the banks as it doesnt look untidy if a few of the longer pieces get into the bedding. It's very light and easy to take out or move around.
I buy it at £4.50 a bale, and currently i've only got 1 bag of megazorb and 2 bags of the chopped straw as his floor, and it is working absoloutley perfectly. Very dry and tidy bed, saving me money, havent had to put in several bags, yet it provides enough of a bedding for an old horse
My Crazy Clan
17th November 2009, 02:42 PM
I would rather stick to straw, I find the earlier I turn them out the cleaner their beds are, take out all poo by hand then go through the wee, how many bales to you use? I find using more keeps it cleaner.
17th November 2009, 05:27 PM
I have one at work which is similar. All our stables have equimats and all the horses bar him have full shavings bed's but the does what you say and mashes the poo in. I have his bed with quite big banks and a thinish layer of shavings in the middle. I take most of the 'floor' bit out everytime i muck out and bring a some of the shavings down from his banks. I hate straw with a passion personally.
17th November 2009, 09:01 PM
we use duo bed at work and actually find that with the dirty horses you end up using more than the normal shavings
if he is messy i would go for more like woody pet or megazorb,
at the other yard i work on we use shavings and then somde special enzyme stuff that isput onto the beds once a week and removes all the amonia and stuff, its really odd stuff but makes mucking out quicker and easier and a damn site chepaer, the stuff its self is quite pricey but lasts almost a year and we use one blae of shavings a week and just take out the droppings, whihc works out much cheaper, and soo much easier to do
17th November 2009, 09:17 PM
I would just do thick banks around the sides and a thin layer on the floor. But if you worry about it being thin you could just leave a thin patch where he usually mashes. If he is mashing it into a bank i would consider rearrange the stable and having the banks on different walls and the "front" of the stable on a different side. I know that sounds weird but even having his hay in a different spot might make a difference too.
18th November 2009, 07:40 AM
Have you got/thought of rubber matting? You could just put one corner of shavings or megazorb, if he doesn't need abnks that is? Would save you lots of money long term and would def save your back and sanity! xx
18th November 2009, 12:12 PM
God he sounds exactly like my horse!
I considered changing his bedding as i was doing the same as you gutting it nearly every day and it was costing me a fortune, till i moved to a new yard where all the boxes had Rubber Matting, all i do now is have massive banks round the edge of my stable and litterally a thin layer of shavings on the floor! It seems to be alot easier and less time consuming! But all in all i think what helps most is turning him out early, bringing him in late and making sure hes got plenty of hay throughout the night to keep him busy instead of running around his stable lol! x
Smoke on the Water
18th November 2009, 12:49 PM
Ohhhhh! I think I'm going to have to stick with straw aren't I? Thanks for your suggestions everyone. Just to reply to some of your ideas...
One of the problems is that I can only have what the yard owner sells. She doesn't do the megazorb or anything like that.
I have rubber matting in but I'm soft and I know he lies down a lot so I like him to have a nice deep bed to lie on.
We only have a turn out paddock for winter, so I can only get him out of his stable for an hour or so and then when I'm riding.
I've tried moving his haynet around and the banks, it makes no difference.
Straw it is I suppose. I might this weekend but another two bales in and make it massively thick and see how I go. Maybe I need to up it to four bales a week. Will still be cheaper then two shavings a week. Could put half a bale a day down and a full one on a Saturday.
18th November 2009, 12:54 PM
It's so difficult when they have to live in through the winter. I do sympathise with you hun. At my old yard we had to do this and Zeb's stable was just a nightmare. He was also bionic when out hacking and would pull like a train if I tried to school him.
Now we're at a different farm and have fab grazing, he's still living out 24/7 and is happy as anything. The downside is that we have no facilities, no school, no transport and even though there's 90 acres of grazing the place is a mud bath.
Can't win can we!
24th November 2009, 05:02 PM
You could try using wood pellets in the floor. You do have to spray them when they first go down, but they are very cheap and because they are very fine, it's easy to find the poo! Hope you work something out.
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