Nobody likes to keep throwing their money into the manure pile or have a dirty, unkempt horse stall. Bedding and mucking your horse's "apartment" seems like an exercise in futility - you clean it, it gets dirty, you clean it...
Maintaining a clean indoor environment for horses is crucial to ensuring their health and well-being. Dry and absorbent bedding is a must for reducing ammonia and to prevent the horse standing in damp quarters. Ammonia is released from decomposing urine creating a terrible odor and fumes that burn your eyes. It, along with chronically damp stall substrates, lead to hoof issues, skin disorders and serious respiratory illness. Ammonia isn't safe to be around.
To help keep stalls dry and bedding cleaner as well as making your horses, you and your wallet happier, here is a helpful tip that is easy, money saving, and beneficial.
- Purchase wood pellet bedding made for animals. This bedding is specifically processed from softwoods.
- There are softwood pellets sold to the stove market. These are good as well and will be marked 100% pine and spruce or fir.
- Hardwood pellets are not very absorbent and there is a slight risk of them containing toxic black walnut sawdust. Avoid all hardwood and hardwood mixes.
- Purchase medium to fine milled wood shavings; these are wood shavings products made for horses and livestock.
After cleaning your stall of the manure and the wet spots, sweep away any extra bedding from the damp area. If you have time to let the wet area dry, do so but this is not important. Take a scoop of the wood pellet bedding and add it to the area or areas where your horse urinated. You will want to add enough to ensure an even coating of pellets. Cover the pellets with a layer of the wood shavings. Do not leave the pellets uncovered as they are slippery like ball bearings! The shavings disperse between the pellets creating enough of a buffer to stop them from being slippery.
Pellet bedding on it's own can be dusty and some horses are sensitive. Using this practice also greatly reduces that dust.
When your horse urinates next time, it will puff up the bedding pellets, working just like cat litter. The bedding pellets' absorbent qualities prevent the urine from pooling and spreading thus soiling the wood shavings all around. Your stalls will require far less shavings in the long run and you'll be able to easily remove the wet spots, keeping he stalls much cleaner.
Using this method gives you the odor-reducing and drying actions of wood pellet bedding with the traditional lofty texture of the wood shavings. It really is the best of both worlds. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
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