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Hi,

What is the best bedding for minis? I use sawdust for my big guys, but cant get any right now. Is pine bedding, the kind you buy at Walmarts, ok for a mini? What should I use and if I get sawdust is that ok? I hate straw because my big guys tend to eat some. I dont want the mini eating the bedding and getting sick.

Linda
 

Matt73

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IMHO sawdust is probably the worst bedding you can use; it's so fine and kicks up a lot of "dust": a perfect recipe for CPOD -heaves-. Good quality shavings with little dust is good. But a nice, soft straw bed can't be beat. It is a bit more work to keep clean and, admittedly, I do prefer shavings -we have a TON of straw in the barn though-but, really, it's virtually dust free. My guys aren't out all day -probably 6 or 7 hours-, so a lot of time, potentially can be spent in their stalls. Therefore, I want something that is the most comfortable and safest with regards to dust. Eating wheat straw will do no harm and, in fact, can help alleviate boredom. There's no nutrition in straw.
 

Nathan Luszcz

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I hate straw and refuse to use it. Too hard to keep clean, and smells so terrible if you don't strip it all the time.

I like green sawdust or shavings. Shavings from walmart are fine I'm sure but will cost a fortune!

I'm currently using the "Better Bedding" product. I really like those! Our show stallions are bedded in it and it costs us about $25/mo for bedding per stall.
 

Minimor

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I'd go for the straw myself. I loathe shavings, for the exact same reasons Nathan hates straw! Yuck.

Yes, the horses do eat some of the straw but if possible I buy oat and barley straw--those two varieties make better eating, and yes, if I put a nice green bale in they do eat a lot of it, but I've never yet had one get sick on it.
 

MiLo Minis

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I like straw and use a nice short cut wheat straw - no dust and won't hurt them if they eat it. Bright and cheerful looking, inexpensive and makes the most comfortable bed. The wet goes under and they still have a nice dry bed to sleep on. I turn the horses out in the morning and push the clean stuff to the walls, remove the dirty straw and allow the stalls to air and dry over the day. Just before we bring them in at night we pull the straw back over the middle. Once a week they get cleaned right out and freshly bedded. One of my bales, small squares, deeply beds two 10 x 10 stalls for $3. Straw may get even cheaper in the future as there are plans to grow a lot more wheat here in Canada.
 

Alex

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My minis are boarded, and we have to use pellets.

Personally Id either use shavings or sawdust.

What not to use-- black walnut!
 

Adell Equine

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We bed down on paper shreads. We use to be able to get about 100lb bales, the people that did it aren't any more but we still have about 100 bales.

If you could find someone that did do double shreaded paper, it breaks down fast, light, has no smell. We love it.
 

Bren

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This is a great topic. I am a new mini owner and wondered myself what the right thing to do was. I have straw in her barn area now but also bought some pine shavings to put down thinking they may be easier to clean up. My mini however will not poo in her barn only her little side yard connected to the barn so I am lucky I guess. The straw is yucky to clean so I am thinking maybe just use it in her bed area.

Brenda
 
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eagles ring farm

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we use Woody Pet on rubber mats just love it we used straw and shaving in the past but have used wood pellet bedding for at least 6 years and would never go back

just love it

for foaling we do leave only a little woody pet under

and use a nice soft hay for bedding for a couple weeks on top

then back to pelleted bedding

it cost more a bag than shavings but after initial stall filling it is definitely cheaper

and has oder control so nice smelling barn
 
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NoddalottaFarm

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I am also glad this topic came up! We wanted to use those pellets that you add water to, but they are waaay too expensive here. There's only one store that sells them near us and it would cost a fortune to go get them. What I would like someone to explain, is the difference between "shavings" and "saw dust". When you say you use saw dust, do you really mean dust?! And how big are your shavings?
While we are at it, what do you do with your used bedding? It's AMAZING how fast it piles up!

Thanks!!
 
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Leeana

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We have concrete floors in my barn so i have to keep them bedded down thick with shavings. Eventually, i am going to get mats to put in to cut back on the amount of shavings i have to use.

My father has dirt floors in his barn and he uses straw, i have a stallion down in his barn that is bedded on straw and i really do not have much issues with either. I cannot use the woody pellets as like i said, i have concrete floors and i do not want them slipping around on the pellets.

Everytime we have my farrier out, he gives me the talk about the horses eating the wood shavings and internal problems, ...but i have not noticed them eating the shavings
.

We use to be able to get saw dust (no, not really dust ..its like micro shavings, not "dust" ..more like tiny tiny tiny flakes of wood") at the saw mill BUT the saw dust is left outside, year around ...in the rain ..in the snow, i started finding mold ext in the saw dust and it was the end of that.
 
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Relic

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For when it's cold and any new foals we use straw...any other time we use the pellet bedding as in the course of a week the pellets last longer and are cheaper in the long run then shavings. Storage on bags of pellets is only a fraction of the space shavings would require..for a 10x10 l dump 2 bags of pellets for the week and clean out the wet and poop daily and the barn smells a lot less then with straw or shavings...thought l love the fresh smell of shavings when you first open the bag and do get a few every summer to use in the trailer..
 

wildoak

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I don't know anyone in our area who uses straw. I do put hay down in the foaling stalls, but only for the first day or so when the foal is born. I've been using Northcutt pelleted bedding for the last year or so, like Woody Pet only better
but I think I have found the perfect mix LOL. I put down a couple of bags of pellets, then add half a bag of good pine shavings over it. Pellets are so much easier to use, less odor much less labor intensive. The shavings add a little work, but they do give a little more cushion to the stall. In the summer when flies are at the worst, I usually mix in a little bit of cedar shavings for the smell and the bug repelling properties. Maybe 1 bag to 4-5 stalls.

Jan
 

Laura

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I'm another HUGE Woody-pet or Eqiune Fresh fan! Yes, it costs a LOT intially, but it works wonderfully adn does the best job of any bedding I've ever used. Our stalls at the Huntsville farm (all the horses here are out) have mats in the front 1/2 of their stalls & pelleted bedding in the back 1/2. We also used to haul it to Nat's with us!
 

whitney

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I do like Wildoak does. I have 6x12 stalls for the minis with rubbermats over sand. 1 bag of woody pet and 1 bag of shavings keeps the stall clean, dry, and smelling good for 1 month. I pick stalls am and pm.
 

Reble

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We also use wood pellets, but do not soak them, just let the horses do the wetting down, and keep an area with no bedding dirt floor, where they have learned just to poop.

NOW with us, for foaling we do change to straw for about a week than back we go.

Hubby would never go back, so you know who does the cleaning here.

We buy a SKID which works out to $6.60 / 40 lb. bag. delivered. at our Purnia Dealer.
 

Magic

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We have rubber matted stalls, and we use pelleted bedding. Very easy to clean, stays smelling fresh and we use fewer bags of it than of shavings. We do foal out on straw but put a layer of pelleted bedding underneath for better absorption of fluids.

Bedding really is an individual preference, use what you like best!
 

jayne

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I too, after lots of experimentation with most bedding products, have gone to pelleted bedding. I did have to try out a few different brands until I found one that was not too dusty. My minis are in 8 x 12 stalls (mats over sand) and I use two bags of the pellets and they break down nicely. It kind of works out to be like a giant litter box...you just pick out the poops and find the pee spots and it's all nice and clean again. In the depths of the winter, those two bags usually last me almost two weeks. When I clean, I usually leave the edges and and area in the front of the stall (for their hay) without bedding, but make a nice big rounded mound in the middle that is about 6 to 8 inches deep. When I check on them at night they're all cozy sleeping on their bedding, but almost always poop around the edges, so they stay pretty clean too. And they love to roll in them if they come in wet.

One thing I don't like is when the urine seeps into the base material of the stalls. By using mats and the pelleted bedding, I am able to totally remove the urine and my barn always smells sweet.

Jayne
 
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