Ask The Expert: Bedding. Sponsored by Guardian Horse Bedding.
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Katelyn
Reply with quote  #1 
What is the best way to control urine odor in stalls? We much every day and pick once a day, but sometimes, especially in warm weather, that urine smell can be really bad.
Claire Brant
Reply with quote  #2 
Katelyn,  thank-you for the post.  Ammonia is at the top of the list as far as environmental concerns.  It effects the health of the horse and the human population in a barn.  Ammonia control comes primarily through the ability of the bedding to absorb and surround the urine.  Proper depth of bedding is the first step to ammonia control.  While bedding pellets at a 4 - 5" softened fiber level will provide the best ammonia control - you can achieve with a base of pellets or mini flake pine dressed over the top with a larger flake and even straw.    While the extra depth comes through adding extra product during initial bedding of stall, your maintenance usage will not change and in fact, can go down by using a bit more to start.  If the bedding is too  thin, the urine spreads before absorption and has more surface exposed to the air.  With a deeper bed like in pellets - the urine is absorbed quickly from the bottom up leaving a dry surface.  This is the ultimate odor control and should work well for you.

Some barns are more conducive to ammonia levels for a variety of reasons and the odor can be stronger in breeding or competition barns where feed may be higher in protein.  Some supplements can cause a stronger odor as well.  So, in managing, first step again is a very absorbent bedding.  This will also allow for a dense wetspot that can be fully removed.   From there you can add bacteria targeted odor controlling additives in spray or dry form. 

There are many good products on the market today to fit any budget.  Zeolites like Sweet PDZ enhance absorbency to increase odor control and other sprays will inhibit bacterial growth to control odor.

Hope that helps. Claire

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