Straw vs. Shavings

Discussion in 'The Corral' started by glf01, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. glf01

    glf01 New Member

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    What do you like to use? Cost wise which do you find better? It also depends on which part of the country you live in we are in Illinois.
     
  2. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    I use shavings...easier to store, handle,etc. runs about 5.30 per bale, but sometimes on sale I get it for 4.79 per bale. Hardly anyone has straw in this area anymore...it is a ton of work compared to shavings..you loose alot more of it than shavings when it comes to picking a stall. I think shavings compost better too... last I heard, the straw in the area was going for 3.00 per bale, but that was a few yrs back.
    Now if I were to have any foals again, I would use straw for bedding..the shavings are sometimes alittle to fine for the baby's ( breathing) JMHO
     

  3. miss_santana

    miss_santana New Member

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    I use shavings and pellets in order to stretch the shavings. They shavings are stupidly expensive ($7 a bale) and I've looked into doing straw. What I wanted to do was get straw and chop it in order to have it in smaller, more manageable pieces. However, by the time you figure in the cost of a bale of straw, cost to go get it, cost of some sort of shredder and the fuel/time/labor needed to chop it, it's not much better than the shavings.

    If I could find an economical way to do it, I'd still be very interested. As it is, the pellets help absorb a lot of moisture and let me pick out just manure.
     
  4. AKPonygirl

    AKPonygirl New Member

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    we use shavings up here.. straw will freeze and stab the horses (or whatever) and they will refuse to lay down. shavings will freeze too.. but not quite as bad.. and even when they do freeze.. they don't have as sharp of edges that straw does. both are expensive up here.. the other day.. I saw a bale of straw for $10... :eek: not sure what bulk shavings are..
     
  5. Ponythief

    Ponythief New Member

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    I hate using straw. I use Gaurdian swift pick shavings. They cost here $5.59 a bag.

    BUT tomorrow I have a load of bulk saw dust to be delivered, woohoo. I finally found a supplier here in our area and managed to get on his customer list.
    I have been trying all day to figure bags vs. bulk load and if I calculated it right I am going to save hundreds of $'s using bulk delivery.
     
  6. photofinish

    photofinish Senior Member

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    I miss my straw :'(. Barn I'm in right now I have to use shavings because there is less bulk for disposal. I cannot bring myself to use the bulk shavings (sawdust) here, it's either dusty or just too fine and they donpt lay down enough. The good SBS (big, fluffy) shavings here are $6.75/bag. The Wayne Davis shavings are $4.90/bag but they aren't packed as tight, don;t go as far. I can get gorgeous 3-wire (100#) straw here for $10.50/bale. Straw is much more economical, but I have to keep the barn owner happy!
     
  7. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    Don't aks me why - but I LOVE straw.


    When there is a "mess" in the stall you can push the clean straw away so easy and just pick the "icky" stuff out............


    I've used this for our older TB and it has worked GREAT! He loved to lay down in it and I was able to clean it out easy.....
    I have never used shavings.....


    But that is just me!
     
  8. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    I use straw, have used shavings though in the past.

    pros for straw: it doesn't bother my horse's nasal passages as much (provided you don't have nasty, dusty straw) -- Jessica's mare has a bad habit of snorting sawdust up her nose when she's sleeping (caught her at it at a show, quite interesting); the horses seem more inclined to "nest" in it and seem more comfy on the stuff than on sawdust; my husband loves it tons better -- he composts it for his garden, and what he doesn't he burns and then uses the ashes, so do his gardening buddies; they hated the sawdust, so I would end up having to burn the manure pile every year; finding good straw has been easier for me than finding good sawdust, and a bale of straw is cheaper than a bag of shavings at the farm store, plus the bale of straw goes farther (2 bales of straw gives my horse a bed up to his belly, 2 bags of sawdust bed half a stall to 4 inches); sawdust is dicey with foals and a horse with a serious wound -- straw isn't so invasive.

    cons for straw: you have to really work to keep the stalls dry (or in my case, my kids have to work really hard to keep the stalls dry) -- once a stall bedded with straw starts to get really mucky, there is no alternative but to strip it and start all over, so no slacking on the daily picking (so the kids aren't thrilled with the straw); you can't use a pooper scooper have to use an old straw pick, so a straw stall is a bit harder work to make good (poor kids); straw can be messier (it's a matter of taste -- I find nasty, used up sawdust pockmarking the landscape more loathesome, but icky wet straw has a distinct "perfume" that many don't like); it's not as easy to find and you do have to use a lot, which causes storage issues (the one thing I prefer with sawdust); you do have to use a lot because it isn't as absorbent; every once and a while you get the odd duck horse who likes to munch down on straw (although I've never had impaction issues with straw, nor did any of the barns I worked for that used it either).

    So, most of my issues with straw have to do with management (which, granted, is a major pain -- you have to learn a lot more about bedding a stall and maintaining it, and you have to work at it harder -- poor kids); most of my issues with sawdust/shavings have to do with health and disposal (sawdust/shavings is a horrible compost, and most gardeners/farmers won't touch it).

    The best bedding I have really ever laid eyes on? A barn I worked for used a rice hull/hemp fiber bedding -- that stuff was choice; the best I have ever seen. Absorbent, not at all dusty, relatively clean and good compost, easy to work with, fairly fluffy and didn't pack so horses were at ease on the stuff...oh, it was sweet. It also came from Canada and was expensive as all that, so once the cost got too prohibitive they went to sawdust and/or straw (for horses with problems with the sawdust) -- and it was a marked change for the worse all around. So the rice hull/hemp fiber bedding I'd have to call the Holy Grail of bedding -- the best, just unobtainable around here. :-
     
  9. Morganfan608

    Morganfan608 New Member

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    I love Guardian pelleted bedding....easy to clean, not a lot of waste (even w/some of my stall pigs) and it's easy on my manure pile. If manure disposal is an issue, I highly recommend it. 4 stalls worth of poop fit in 1 wheelbarrow load....Love it!
     
  10. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    What what is cost for the Guardian pellets ? inquiring minds want to know... ;)
     
  11. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    I have a supplier for bulk shavings--- varies in size per load but never just dust. This last load nice size absorbent flakes.

    I save hundreds of $$$$$ on bulk~~
     
  12. Ponythief

    Ponythief New Member

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    My delivery came today and oh does the load of sawdust look good, and smell good ;D I wanted to roll in it myself.

    Now we get to see how long a load will last me vs. buying shaving but if I figured it right I will save lots and lots over buying bags.
     
  13. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    how are you guys storing your bulk shavings?
    And is it shavings or actual saw dust?
     
  14. Ponythief

    Ponythief New Member

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    I had mine dumped right behind my barn so to access through the roll up door or the service door. I didn't tarp the ground, figured the tarp would hold in more rain/moisture than the ground would.
    Tomorrow I plan on using a Pontoon aluminium canopy frame up on post set in the ground and then I bought a big farm tarp to attach to the canopy and drape down the sides. Hopefully it will work, if does I will post a pic. :)
     
  15. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    Ours is dumped next to the barn on the east side out of the wind and thoroughly covered with a huge tarp which is kept weighted down. Stays dry~~

    Ours is a mixture, mostly medium size flakes. We put 2 dumpcarts in each stall (12x15)