This morning I was mucking out ddpony, who is on shavings and I wondered if I was actually doing it the easiest or best way, so thought I would ask the more experienced tack room members.
Currently, I don rubber gloves and pick up the large poos, then go over the top with a shavings fork, before turning over (right down to the rubber mat underneath, removing the wet bits and clumps, before tidying up and doing some banks.
I put new sawdust in (a large block), once a wek and take everything back to the sides, sweep out an allow to air, once a week.
It takes me, around half an hour ro do a fairly large box, hay and water.
Does this sound the easiest way or is there a better/ quicker one.
Well, you get a bag...and put some muck in it! it's then handy for freecycling, selling at the gate or shipping to the allotments. Pick muck up with gloves, don't disturb bed, put it in the sack. It's dead simple. Sweep back every week or so and take out the wet, either put in gateways or muddy spots or pile it somewhere till it dries a bit and burn it!
No. Empty feed sacks, bedding sacks, compost sacks, sheep feed sacks scrounged from friendly farmers... When people take muck from the gate, I have a sign up saying please return empty sacks. People often bring back extra. When we deliver to the allotments, they save the sacks from the last load and we pick them up.
Last time I had a shavings bed the pony had COPD (RAO nowadays) so I couldn't deep litter, it had to be really clean every day so there was no ammonia. I still managed to give him a deep bed on 1 bale a week, the secret is to not be stingy when starting the bed in the first place. I used to pick up with gloves first as you can get all the little bits (I'm fussy) and all the bigger poos without losing any clean bedding. Put the really clean stuff to one side with a shavings fork, takes about 30 seconds, then you come to a different layer of stuff that is brown and stained but not actually wet. If you scrape it a bit with the fork (or I had a plastic snow shovel that was good) you can bung it at the front out of the way and it will leave the wet patch to be shovelled into the barrow. Normally, because of the COPD I'd sprinkle with some disinfectant and leave up all day to dry, but otherwise you can then brush back the 'brown but dry' bedding to make the base, which will then become the next day's wet patch, and pull down clean stuff on top. Each day I would pull down a bit more of the banks so the top of the bed had some fresh and when I put the new bale down at the weekend I would make new banks with it. If the bed was looking a bit thin towards the end of the week I found that giving the banks a proper shake up helped as they get quite packed down underneath. It sounds as if it takes ages but it doesn't really once you get the hang of it, not more than ten mins or so (depending on how long you spend artfully arranging flat tops to your banks and 'patting' the bed with the fork to make it nice and level ). I don't mind straw, it always looks so cosy when it is deep and fresh, but it doesn't seem so easy to get decent stuff nowadays, plus you need to have somewhere dry to store it.
I'm a huge fan of a deep litter bed. Before I had children i.e when I had more time I guess, I used to remove droppings and wee daily (was quite neurotic about it and hated it if anyone else cleaned out and it wasn't to my exacting standard!). After my first child was born I had to relax a little and started to leave the wet and just collect droppings and top up with shavings - great, it creates a lovely deep bed with suprisingly no smell of wee. Ideally it needs removing anually (a good days work) but mine has been down longer and is fine. Can't reccomend it enough.