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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    Location
    Strasburg, PA "Just west of Paradise"
    Posts
    3,969

    Default Pelleted bedding????

    Am I the only one that hates it?

    Not long ago the barn we are at made the switch to pelleted bedding.

    Aside from it just being dusty, we've noticed that it packs into every crevice of ours and others hooves. Is this common? One of the other boarder's husband seems to think the issue is the bonding agent that is making it stick and pack our horses hooves.

    Have others noticed any difference in brands of pellets? Or is this packing of pellet dust something that just happens?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    No you are not the only one. I've tried it twice now, two different brands, and I still hate it. I actually dislike wood products in general but it's more practical than straw (my preference) for most riding horses.

    I found the dust horrendous. It was giving me headaches to just pick out stalls and it did not save me any time or money either. The pellets are more expensive than bulk shavings and more dusty.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    13,570

    Default

    It is dusty unless you moisten it thoroughly. I know it seems WRONG but that is the trick to it. I use Guardian pellets over Stall Skins
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,593

    Default

    Pellets can be good or bad depending on:
    Style of use
    Climate
    Brand
    Mats or not
    Amount used

    Some climates they'll be dry and dusty, in others the humidity is too high during some seasons and they'll stay damp as heck.

    Some brands work better/worse depending on climate. Not all pellets are created equal.

    Bedding too lightly doesn't do bupkis

    If they're used directly on dirt, they mix in and can create a mess

    Sometimes people trying them will assume the ease of cleaning means they can speed through it or just selectively pick certain areas only. Not true, the sides need to be rotated to the center daily to avoid them turning into talcum powder. And they need to be cleaned thoroughly.


    FWIW...I'm in CT which can be either dry or humid but never either one for long. Stalls are matted. I use Woody Pet brand. I bed deep. My stalls stay immaculate and dry, but never dusty. The horses stay clean. There is *never* any urine/ammonia smell. It works fabulous as a thick cushiony support for legs, feet and sleeping for the horses and does a great job drying out feet if it's muddy outside and I've never had it pack into feet once. Also have never had a horse with thrush.

    I also save a ton on bedding because I add one bag per stall per week. This keeps the bedding fresh as new and nice and deep. If I used shavings I'd be going through a bag every 1-2 days to keep the stalls the same freshness, same level of clean and same depth.

    I don't have access to sawdust, which I also really like as a bedding.

    So could depend on a few things, but they don't work everywhere the same way.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2001
    Location
    Almost Aiken
    Posts
    2,740

    Default

    I love them, but I have a very open barn, live in a high humidity part of the world, and have an old and incontinent horse who dribbles urine. I don't use water on them at all, just pour a pile of pellets in his favorite standing spots, and stir them up every day.

    I've also found that the bedding, once it's reduced to the nearly dust stage, really keeps the flies down by absorbing all the moisture out of the manure.

    I also use them in the trailer if my horse is going to have to stand in it for a while. The bags take up much less room, and a light layer of pellets wil absorb quite a puddle and not leave a stinky mess to clean out.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2009
    Location
    Location: Indiana, but my heart is in Zone II
    Posts
    2,812

    Default

    I love pelleted bedding for my horses that are very messy in their stalls. I use it in its pelleted form kind of like kitty litter and then use some shaving on top. Then I can just scoop the wet part out. I have one guy who is just a slob and it works great. I have not had the dust issues or it packing in their feet ( and I am not brank loyal.)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,819

    Default

    I use a bag of fine shavings to 2 bags of pelleted. This ratio helps to keep the dust down. I tried the pelleted shavings by themselves. I didn't like the hard and unstable feeling. I tried watering them in, but found that they were really dusty, because my horses are not in everyday. I then came to the ratio of 1:2 bags of fine shavings to 2 of pelleted. The fine shavings help to soften the feel of the pellets without having to water them and then create a lot of dust. I find the pellets absorb urine really fast and isolate the wet spot well. The fine shavings and pellets are also easy to pick the apples out of as they are small and fall through the fork. I was using the larger shavings alone, but hated the extra work of getting the large flakes out of the manure to reduce waste. I ended up adding a lot of time and still having waste. I also found that the larger shavings didn't absorb urine as well, so it was left standing in a puddle under the shavings for alot longer than the pellets.

    We used to use saw dust from a local supplier. He had a small dump truck that fit in the barn and was able to dump the load in the storage area. Easy access no matter the weather. But they stopped using the small truck and were only going to deliver large loads. These trucks don't fit in the barn, and if stored outside even with a tarp, we'd end up losing a lot. So we decided to go the bagged route.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    I wanted to add that I live in a high humidity area and I still found the pellets very dusty. I find bulk shavings dusty also but not as much and you don't have to wet the bulk shavings down to keep the dust down. Straw, by far, is the least dusty bedding I've got but it does make a bigger muck heap at first (until it settles a bit) and it is a bit harder to store and handle.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 1999
    Location
    A place called vertigo
    Posts
    12,513

    Default

    I haven't had much luck with them. I find that they either get dusty or moldy, depending on the level of moisture I keep them. I think they work best for horses that are in the stalls more than mine are. If the stalls sit for 24 or more hours without a horse, I think they need to be damped and fluffed again.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    I put the pellets in the wet spots, covered in fine shavings, and my horses pick how long they want to stay in or out. I find this method to work best from a budget perspective, and I don't think it is any more or less dusty than shavings alone.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2006
    Location
    out west
    Posts
    3,400

    Default

    What are the good brands?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    I use Guardian pellets. I have also used Equine Pine and ABS brand with equal results.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2001
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Tried them for two months, 22 stalls in winter, hate them.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2006
    Location
    out west
    Posts
    3,400

    Default

    for those of you that don't like them, what do you think is better and how much more of an expense is it?

    I find that shavings are just as dusty and grindings are always sticking in the horses sides. The pellets when watered down are soft and no dustier then shavings. They also absorb a lot more urine.

    I am open to suggestions, but for the price and longer use I can't seem to think of something else that would be better!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
    Posts
    7,260

    Default

    I switched to Equine Pine when bulk pine shavings and then bagged shavings became simply ridiculous around here. I love them! I pick the stall thoroughly with a fine-tined pitchfork, get all the wet spots, slit open the new bag of pellets and dump half a bucket of water in it, wait for it to fluff up and then dump it. Stalls look great, smell great, no problems with dust. Thirteen stalls, some very piggy horses....

    Jennifer



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2003
    Location
    New York/New Jersey
    Posts
    3,508

    Default

    Hated it for the horses. Like it (so far) for the cats!
    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,619

    Default

    If you are having problems with dust then you are not keeping them moist enough. I don't like mixing in the urine so if/when they start getting too dusty I just spray some water on them while I'm filling water buckets.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,807

    Default Took me awhile to find an efficient way to use pellets ~

    I like the pellets ~ took awhile to find the right method for me ~ I dump a bag in a plastic wheel barrow and add 1/2 bucket of water - rake through it with the pitch fork ~ let sit til fluffy and them dump in stall... has cut my expenses drastically and my cleaning time -- just purchased 3 and 1/2 pallets of pellets today = all they had left - clearance sale - $4.00 a 40# bag........
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    for those of you that don't like them, what do you think is better and how much more of an expense is it?
    I think straw is way less dusty and more comfortable for the horse than any kind of wood product. Studies have shown that horses lay down more with straw than shavings also and straw is warmer. It may have more allergens in it and not suitable for a heavey horse but I personally love straw. I find it faster to muck also and it costs less to use than the pellets. It's about the same cost as bulk shavings and less if you can buy a large load at a time and store it.

    Straw takes a bit of technique to learn to clean quickly. Straw is not good over mats though and that is where people get so turned off by the wetness from urine. It's not as absorbent as sawdust or finer shavings.

    I'm at a point in my barn where I'm trying to figure out what to do...switch to 100% straw or stick with bulk shavings. I tried the pellets all winter and into this Spring and I just hated them. The dust was unbearable once the weather got hot and if you wet it enough to control the dust, the bedding packs down to a hard layer.

    I went back to the bulk shavings/sawdust mix and while it's less dusty, I still find it gives me headaches and there are lots of fine particles floating that you can see in the light from the windows when you are in there cleaning.

    So, I may switch a few of my horses back over to straw and see how it goes. I find it so much less dusty as a general rule.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    13,570

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    If you are having problems with dust then you are not keeping them moist enough. I don't like mixing in the urine so if/when they start getting too dusty I just spray some water on them while I'm filling water buckets.
    I wonder if some of the people who hate pellets have automatic waterers. Like you, I spray down the bedding when I fill buckets
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



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