Straw pellet bedding?

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Toz

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Jul 14, 2019
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Has anyone used straw pellets?
I’ve never tried them myself and don’t think I know anyone who has.
So the farmer who has my muck heap composts and sells it but can only take straw/non wood muck. So
I get free straw which I use for everything except Jake who I buy shavings for as he has allergies. He’s very clean and I’ve always figured a bit of shavings on the heap won’t hurt, and it’s never been mentioned until now! I am actually now being told no wood based bedding at all.
He has actually purchased half a ton of straw pellets to share between me and another lady who’s muck heap he removes so I can’t complain too much about having to throw jakes lovely shavings bed away but I’m a bit concerned they may get dusty? I found wood pellets dusty with a very clean horse, and I found soaking a pita.
Any reviews/tips?
 

carthorse

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Is his problem a dust allergy or a straw allergy? If it's a dust allergy then I don't see why they should be a huge problem, and although I've never used them I shouldn't imagine they're that different from wood pellets - when in regular use over a damp winter dust isn't a problem and in a dry summer it's just a case of keeping them damped down slightly with the odd watering can of water being poured over them with a sprinkler on the can, hardly a faff.

Otherwise you could talk to him and see if he'd be ok with hemp, miscanthus, or rape straw bedding. Or, depending on how you want your bed, there's paper or cardboard, though having done paper beds a few times I'd never touch them!
 

Toz

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Oh you see I love a paper bed! I’d have them all on paper but that’s a definite no, as is card. Still basically wood based. Its to do with wood taking nitrogen out of the soil.
I think I can use any of those things you mentioned. I’ve tried chopped straw (so the allergy must be dust rather than straw) he was fine on it but I hated it.
Flax I found a bit difficut to muck out simply because it seemed to coat the poo (!!) and the light isn’t great I’m his box so I just found getting the bits out impossible and HATE bits!
Ive never tried or even seen locally rape straw.
Do you wet the straw pellets and let them expand just the same as wood pellets?
 

Pete's Mum

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I use wood pellets, but dont soak the new ones going in once the bed was established - so they may help reduce the faff? It certainly did when I was maintaining a bed weekly :)
 
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carthorse

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I HATED paper with a passion! |Possibly not helped by the two horses I knew on it were both wet and messy so it was gross. When I've seen cardboard it looks practical rather than comfortable, but then I'd say the same about pellets too - I like a big, clean, fluffy looking bed lol. I only know one horse on flax and I don't like doing his bed, but then I'm not sure if that's him, the bedding, or how the bed is kept. I've seen a few on miscanthus and that seems ok, and chopped rape straw I've never seen in use so no opinion at all.

I've not used straw pellets, but I believe they work the same as wood ones. So to start the bed I'd wet them in the bag then spread out, but subsequent bags I'd ad dry and mix through existing bedding.
 
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Jessey

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No experience with straw pellets, sorry. I have used Miscanthus and found it pretty similar to flax, I really liked both though, once it had bedded in properly as it was very floofy and moved a lot to start with. I am another that dislikes paper bedding. I'll watch with interest though as I was thinking I might try to source some straw pellets, I want to try and encourage the neds to toilet in certain areas and bedding definitely helps but for the same reason your farmer doesn't want wood stuff I don't want to put it on my already poor land and regular straw would just blow away.
 

Toz

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Well as it’s free I’ll give it a try!
I’m going to run down his shavings bed though, no way am I just throwing barrowfulls of clean shavings away!
 
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Toz

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Having a day off and having run Jakes shavings down enough that throwing it away didn’t sting too much I’ve emptied the stable and put the bed in.
First irritant is that the bags are full of holes, purpose made by the looks not damaged but it meant I poured water in and flooded the stable, quickly emptied the bags out and have spent ages trying to mix them round to soak up the water.
Ive put 8 in and first impression is that it’s dark, looks dirty even before a horse has been near it. I confess to being a bit fussy about bed colour. I know it’s not important and it is clean but I do prefer a lighter coloured bed. Aside from cosmetics I find dark bedding harder to muck out in the dark with not great lighting so will see how that pans out. Secondly I’m resisting chucking another 8 bags in as it looks a really rubbish bed so far.... I’ve come inside for a coffee and bit of daytime TV (what else is annual leave for!!)
Hoping it looks significantly better when I go back our.
 
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Toz

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I’m feeling I may have to eat my words... I’ve never mucked out so easily and quickly in my life... and I’m pretty quick usually!
Still looks rubbish but..
 

Jessey

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I’m feeling I may have to eat my words... I’ve never mucked out so easily and quickly in my life... and I’m pretty quick usually!
Still looks rubbish but..
Well if it's that easy it's got to be worth seeing if you can get used to the colour :)
 

carthorse

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That sounds like the wood pellets. So quick and easy to do even if you keep a fairly big bed, but I'm afraid I never could get used to the look of them :( . I hope you can and they work for you, I'm never one to make a decision on a bedding until it's been down a few months!
 
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