Barn floor

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ShelleyS

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My barn has a dirt floor. Should I layer the whole floor with straw or just an area where I know Molly and Pixie like to sleep? Any other suggestions for a dirt floor are appreciated!

Thank you all!

Incidentally, how do I post a picture with my postings? Meaning, included in the post.
 

Frankie

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I think you will get a number of responses with good and different ideas.

Our floor is dirt. It then has 2 inches of woody pet, and 2 inches of pine shavings on top of that. Through the summer, only woody pet. This time of year I add the shavings. Maybe just for my own piece of mine, but it seems to be warmer and dryer with both.
 

ChrystalPaths

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I love rubber mats but they are costly so if I had a dirt floor I would bed heavy with sawdust or shavings, take out the poop and pee spots daily and refluff then add bedding once a week to keep it deep. Just what I like, many use straw, lots of it but it is more difficult to clean and I find there is more waste of bedding.
 

lyn_j

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[SIZE=14pt]Im with Carolyn, I would not use hay or straw because they would eat it and not sleep in it.[/SIZE]

Lyn
 

tuffsmom

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We have the rubber mats covered with pine shavings, IMO it's the easiest to strip out and clean. The big horses have runs with pens, so there's never much mess in the actual stall, so I pick them out once daily and strip them about every 4-5 days or so. We used the sawdust for a while, but we didn't like it as well.
 

Danielle_E.

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We have rubber mats in all stalls and in the spring, summer and autumn we use woody pet, love the stuff and clean up is a breeze, half the time it take when it's shavings. In the winter because of our location and the cold temps I use shavings because I find the woody pet doesn't breakdown like I like when water is added. If you decide to use straw, which I hear is the warmest bedding to use in winter, be prepared for a bigger "manure" pile which takes longer to decompose because of the straw and also it will take more of your time to clean than lets sayd woody pet or shavings.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Only straw here, too. It's OK if they eat it- by me, anyway, it's lovely clean straw. It takes me 15 mins to muck out four stalls and I never take out more than one wheelbarrow- once a week I take it back to the floor (concrete in three, dirt in two others, but I find it's the constant cleaning out makes horses dirty anyway. Their instincts drive them to make "their" area smell of them- if you leave the bottom layer already doing that, and keep the top squeaky clean it works a charm!! Believe me, I have NO desire to make work for myself, if there were anything that worked better I would use it. Shavings, woody pet (which we can get here, now) etc, no, don't like it, not warm enough, dangerous if they eat it.
 

susanne

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I've used, at different times, straw, shavings and pellets -- on top of (also at various times) dirt and rubber mats.

My favorite combination was the pellets directly over dirt. As they break down, what is not removed blends into the top layer of dirt, creating great drainage (I also used the spent pellet shavings in my garden, where it does the same thing).

I found straw to be much more work and harder to keep really clean. Shavings do not soak up the wet as well, especially over mats. Pellets over mats are good, but you do want to wet them first, or else they are like marbles -- very slippery.
 

Frankie

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I think everyone uses what works best for them, but would like to share my stall mat story.

I have 6 of them, hated them so bad, they are now on the floor of my carport. And will stay there too.
I sooooooooo do not like them, and I really wanted them to work for me.
 

Gameela

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I have a dirt floor, the stable i work at has 17 stalls, only 5 of them are mats on top of concrete, the rest is dirt.

I *HATE* dirt floors with a passion!
My barn isn't too bad, but that's because i bed it heavily with shavings, clean it two times a day and pull out one wheelbarrow load every day from one stall (mainly pee and manure).

If you DON'T bed heavily, and the horses are in them a lot of the time, you'll create a lot of work for yourself. Tons of digging out pee spots, that never did out...and your left with a completely wet floor, that if you have time to air it out, might dry...but for me, I can't do that at work (not enough time), so the majority of the stalls always have large wet areas that spoil the shavings much faster. Mats arent much fun either, but, they do make the initial work load easier.

So, if you use shavings, bed it DEEP!
I'm afraid to use woody pet because I don't want my horse to eat it, don't want to try rubber or paper. So, I stick with shavings. sawdust is heavy, gets in your eyes very easily and just seems a lot dustier (go figure..)

I just found someone who used stall skins and so far I'm in love! A stall I used to dig BIG pee spots out of daily I no longer have to do...barely any pee at all....I like it so much, so far, that i'm seriously thinking of buying it to put down on my dirt floor.


BTW, come January, I will be switching out all my bedding and sticking with straw. Straw is definately harder to clean poop out of, I tend to waste a lot more when i use it, but, I only use it for foaling season, cuts down on dust, etc, which is better for a foal IMO.
 

Gameela

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I have a dirt floor, the stable i work at has 17 stalls, only 5 of them are mats on top of concrete, the rest is dirt.

I *HATE* dirt floors with a passion!
My barn isn't too bad, but that's because i bed it heavily with shavings, clean it two times a day and pull out one wheelbarrow load every day from one stall (mainly pee and manure).

If you DON'T bed heavily, and the horses are in them a lot of the time, you'll create a lot of work for yourself. Tons of digging out pee spots, that never did out...and your left with a completely wet floor, that if you have time to air it out, might dry...but for me, I can't do that at work (not enough time), so the majority of the stalls always have large wet areas that spoil the shavings much faster. Mats arent much fun either, but, they do make the initial work load easier.

So, if you use shavings, bed it DEEP!
I'm afraid to use woody pet because I don't want my horse to eat it, don't want to try rubber or paper. So, I stick with shavings. sawdust is heavy, gets in your eyes very easily and just seems a lot dustier (go figure..)

I just found someone who used stall skins and so far I'm in love! A stall I used to dig BIG pee spots out of daily I no longer have to do...barely any pee at all....I like it so much, so far, that i'm seriously thinking of buying it to put down on my dirt floor.


BTW, come January, I will be switching out all my bedding and sticking with straw. Straw is definately harder to clean poop out of, I tend to waste a lot more when i use it, but, I only use it for foaling season, cuts down on dust, etc, which is better for a foal IMO.
 

ShelleyS

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susanne said:
I've used, at different times, straw, shavings and pellets -- on top of (also at various times) dirt and rubber mats.
My favorite combination was the pellets directly over dirt. As they break down, what is not removed blends into the top layer of dirt, creating great drainage (I also used the spent pellet shavings in my garden, where it does the same thing).

I found straw to be much more work and harder to keep really clean. Shavings do not soak up the wet as well, especially over mats. Pellets over mats are good, but you do want to wet them first, or else they are like marbles -- very slippery.

479533[/snapback]

Pellets? What type of pellets? Where do I get them? I'm in Oklahoma and haven't even heard of pellets. Sorry if I'm being stupid!
 

ShelleyS

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Gameela said:
I have a dirt floor, the stable i work at has 17 stalls, only 5 of them are mats on top of concrete, the rest is dirt.
I *HATE* dirt floors with a passion! 
  My barn isn't too bad, but that's because i bed it heavily with shavings, clean it two times a day and pull out one wheelbarrow load every day from one stall (mainly pee and manure).

If you DON'T bed heavily, and the horses are in them a lot of the time, you'll create a lot of work for yourself.  Tons of digging out pee spots, that never did out...and your left with a completely wet floor, that if you have time to air it out, might dry...but for me, I can't do that at work (not enough time), so the majority of the stalls always have large wet areas that spoil the shavings much faster.  Mats arent much fun either, but, they do make the initial work load easier.

So, if you use shavings, bed it DEEP!
  I'm afraid to use woody pet because I don't want my horse to eat it, don't want to try rubber or paper.  So, I stick with shavings.  sawdust is heavy, gets in your eyes very easily and just seems a lot dustier (go figure..)

I just found someone who used stall skins and so far I'm in love!  A stall I used to dig BIG pee spots out of daily I no longer have to do...barely any pee at all....I like it so much, so far, that i'm seriously thinking of buying it to put down on my dirt floor. 


BTW, come January, I will be switching out all my bedding and sticking with straw.  Straw is definately harder to clean poop out of, I tend to waste a lot more when i use it, but, I only use it for foaling season, cuts down on dust, etc, which is better for a foal IMO.


479588[/snapback]

Teri,

I'm going to show my stupidity once again and ask, what the heck is "stall skins?" Where do you get them and what's the cost?
 

Marty

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Here's the link for stall skins. A good friend of my was endorcing them until she decided they are crap so they pulled her endorcment of course as soon as she began to complain. They do require a bit of engineering and I wouldn't have them either.

http://www.stallskins.com/stallskins.html

We have a dirt floor in our new barn.

There is a layer of gravel on the top of it.

Then a load of very coarse sand.

Topped with shavings.

I prefer straw, but they eat it and gorge themselves on the stuff, and it's very difficult to dispose of because it doesn't disinagrate like shavings will.

Where their feeding area is, under their buckets I will put a rubber mat that I can sweep off or just a piece of plywood so when they spill grain they won't eat a million shavings looking for it. I'll put the hay there too.
 

Whitewave

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I have dirt and I use pine shavings.....i pick stalls 2x day and once a week strip them down ,saving the good shavings and put lime over the wet spots.....Works great...Would not use straw as they tend to eat it..Winter using straw might not be too bad but during Show season....even a little straw is too much for my guys tummy...LOL
 

susanne

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Shelley,

By pellets I mean either Woody Pet or what we use instead, wood stove pellets (as you would use in a pellet stove).

susanne
 

rabbitsfizz

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I have never been able to understand this "they eat the straw" thing. If a horse is not hungry it will only ever pick at straw, especially laid as a bed. If a horse is hungry you feed it more, end of problem. I have also never been able to understand the theory that shavings rot quicker than straw- properly stacked there is NO way shavings can possible rot quicker than straw- one of the reasons I gave up on shavings and sawdust was that I had to burn them as they never rotted down, whereas our (state of the art) muckheap made mushroom worthy mulch in less than a season!! It was true, when I had the stallions on free sawdust, that I could pick up the poop of a full sized horse quicker than with straw, but when the bed went home, and it then looked and smelt AWFUL, it was SO much work getting it all out and laying a new bed that I gave up on it- the amount of bedding generated by a 15 hand stall kept stallion is enormous compared with a Mini
I have only once tried Hemp shavings- and then because I had them,not because I bought them specially- they lasted half the time of straw and went home almost overnight. I know if straw is expensive or not clean, then you go with what you can get cheapest- for me that will always be straw. Perhaps you just need a few mucking out lessons??
 

Tabitha

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I use straw too, both in the barn, which has cement floors, and in the sheds, which have dirt floors. Sure, my horses pick through & eat the choice bits of straw, but my horse are NOT hungry as they are well fed on hay, and they do not overeat on the straw.

I pick out stalls & sheds once a day--I don't find that it takes all that long to pick out all the manure & wet spots; I strip the stall as needed, which is usually every 4-7 days depending on the weather & how much the horses are inside. The one & only time I used shavings (summer time) if I didn't strip the stalls every day the smell was awful, and the FLIES--it was just revolting. So, I have to say I find straw to be much more fresh in the stalls, and far less work.
 

Marty

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QUESTION ABOUT STRAW PLEASE: (I don't mean to hijack this post, hope it's ok)

There is wheat straw and oat straw here. Which one is the one not to use?

I should EDIT and say I meant I bedded with straw in the past especially when all my quarter horses were up here and still alive. I was hoping that the straw would help keep them warmer so I put a couple of straw bails in each stall. They did get plenty of hay, but in the morning a lot of the horses had ate not only thier hay, but the straw along with it.

I tried straw again recently for Holly and Timmy's foaling stall. Again, there was plenty of hay in there and she was also eating the straw too. The straw is very coarse and I really got concered that she was going to colic on it or choak. She doesn't eat the shavings but I do have one that does. Eating shavings or eating straw......which one is worse?
 

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