Ask The Expert: Bedding. Sponsored by Guardian Horse Bedding.
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Roger
Reply with quote  #1 
What do you recommend for underneath bedding to save on bedding and labor? I have 40 stalls that have a clay floor, and bedding and labor are two of my biggest expenses.
Claire Brant
Reply with quote  #2 

Roger,  thanks for the question.   

With a clay, dirt or aglime floor, I recommend the dense fiber of either a pellet or mini flake.   With the pellet, you can actually build a bit of a base that takes up the urine so it doesn't seep into the clay. 

 

With the pellets or mini flake you will experience greatly reduced consumption, reduced disposal and reduced labor associated with stall cleaning.  The fiber picks so easily and falls away from the manure that you won't throw good bedding into the manure pile.  It is so absorbent that your wetspot will consume much less bedding.  You'll need to be sure the stall cleaning staff is well trained in quick sifting and pulling out only the saturated wet spot - this will cut cleaning time down substantially.

 

 

If you are using straw or flakes, you should see a really dramatic reduction in costs associated with bedding and barn cleaning labor.   If you are dumpstering the manure away - by reducing disposal volumes,  you should be able to cut the hauling intervals in half.  If spreading on fields, again, use of labor and equipment - cut in half.  If you do spread, the finer fiber will compost more efficiently with the manure and the resulting compost material will be better for the fields.

 

My suggestion is to take a few stalls, strip them and give the pellets or mini flake a try.  If you can personally monitor the consumption, disposal and time to clean - I'm confident you will be happy with the results.  Please keep us posted - any questions as you reset the stalls, don't hesitate to ask.

 

 

 

 

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