As shavings are so mega-expensive this year we thought we'd try something different in the field shelter. I'm trying to narrow down the choices that are in stock at our local merchants just to make it easier. From my googling Equisorb (hemp) is looking the best so far, mainly because it says it works best when the under-part of the bed is disturbed as little as possible, and we deep-litter so could be ideal. Has anyone tried it?
Also, Megazorb is described as wood pulp. Would it start off as little hard pellets like that wood-based cat litter you can get? If so I'm not sure that appeals. Also their site says to use 10 bags for initial bed which seems a bit excessive to me. But if any of you are using it and find it brilliant please let me know!
Just bumping for you - we are on lowly straw, although my chooks have lemon flavoured Bed-Down Excel (straw and shavings) which I always think would be nice for the horse but am not prepared to fork out the extra £££ for.
Thanks Mitchy. I used to love a nice deep straw bed with banked up sides but it doesn't seem so easy to get good stuff round here at the moment, and we have limited indoor storage (all stuffed with hay!) so something in plastic packaging makes more sense atm. Plus dhorse likes his food a bit too much. I can imagine finding a very round horse and a bare floor come the morning!
I used hemp this earlier this year when shavings were in short supply round here. Personally wasn't very keen as even though we've got rubber matting and only do a half-bed, we seemed to get through loads of it. You'll probably be fine to deep litter it in the field shelter though.
You've just made me go and check the last invoice for the shavings. Now £7.35 a bale which I think has gone up about 40p in a month. How much are they by you? Didn't realise the price was starting to rise again.
What about Easibed? As it's more like woodchips I find it tends to move about less. At my feed merchants there's also some similar stuff called Comfybed which is currently on offer at 4 for the price of 3 and that's around 6.50 per bale. It's made locally so may only be a regional offer though.
I've had experience of using cardboard and it was horrible. Was many years ago and the horse was quite messy, so may be different now. Easibed is tiny little chips and I have to say it's my preferred choice of horse bedding. My ponies have always been ok on it .
Def not cardboard then! Must admit it was way down my list anyway as it sounds like it would get soggy patches. So that's a vote for Easibed, nice to hear that someone else has got on all right with it before I fill up the shelter and then get stuck with it all winter. How much will I need to get started I wonder? How does the size of a bag/bale(?) compare with shavings?
£9.50! Eeek. Agree with Snorris, the cardboard can be pretty nasty and soggy.
Easibed come in quite small bales but it does tend to fluff up a bit after a few days from what I can remember. Have to say, though, I always thought it seemed a bit hard and wasn't too keen on it. Although the horses never seemed to mind!
Field shelter is quite roomy but I haven't measured it. No we haven't started with Easibed yet, we are still conferring and decision-making. . It's a tricky business getting my family to all agree on something you know. . Anyway, we are now debating if it will actually work out more expensive if we have to buy loads of bags of another bedding, when 3, possibly 4 bags of shavings makes a lovely deep bed and lasts ages (floor is packed soil on chalk, very well drained).
I think I will go and look at how big the bags are and decide from that.
Hi we tried the hemp but for stables not outdoor shelter but didnt think it was worth the extra money and swapped back. It only really worked for the cleaner horses (that dont kick their poo everywhere and soak their beds!), though we did also try mixing it with shavings which was slightly better than just on its own so this may be an option for you? Personally I would always use straw unless horses have dust allergies - cheaper and warmer than shavings, especially for an outdoor shelter.
Thanks Ohnelly. I wasn't sure about hemp as I've never seen anyone using it. Maybe there's a reason for that . I do like straw but have nowhere dry to store it atm.
Anyway, I went to the farm to buy chaff yesterday so I had a good nose about in the barn at all the different bedding. They must have wondered what I was up to in there . There's some stuff called Bedmax that looks just like shavings to me but £2 cheaper so that looks like the way to go.