Last year I used pellet only, this year I went through summer (stabled each night) with shavings - as the weather turned damper I moved onto a pellet shaving mix... I found myself spending £80 a month for a bed that still kept going damp and icky. It was for economic reasons that I took the plung and went for straw - however, a big square bale costs me £30 and lasts for six weeks -six weeks of clean, dry bedding with a full muck out daily.
If it were me in your position - severe MF bordering on cellulitis, I would order in a big bale of good quality straw - do a full muck out and disinfect now, and put a big fresh bed down, fully muck out twice daily from now on. Remember - your horse is on box rest so in there 24/7 - that is a lot of a build up of urine and dung to only be mucked out once a day and again - once daily will create more of a breeding ground for bacteria and increase the risk of infection.
All the sounds dear to a horseman were around me - the snort of the horses as they cleared their throats, the gentle swish of their tails, the tinkle of irons as we flung the saddles over their backs - little sounds of no importance, but they stay in the unconscious library of memory.
Rest In Peace Ebony my horse of a lifetime 16.06.2012
SECRET SANTA CLOSING DATE: 31/10/2016
You can achieve this with shavings - and for me I think the bed stays cleaner. But I do absolutely accept that it costs more.
I confess I do absolutely love a proper old fashioned straw bed - like we used to do them. Cross hatched and banked. There is something really magical about bringing them home in the winter and into a hock deep clean soft paddy bed. Ok - I was a kid. The pony was small and I only had to muck out on weekends - but its my perfect childhood memory!!
As an adult no-one seems to cross hatch any more. - or bank. The blasted ponies eat the straw and the whole thing is heavy, gets smelly too easily and takes ages to muck out. In contrast I get get a super clean fairly fluffy shavings bed which takes a fraction of the time and doesn't smell unless I really make a mess. To keep it clean enough for a mud fever box rest is going to cost a bit in shavings. I have a mud fever prone cob and although we haven't had to box rest for about 7 years because we have his management sussed now - we had to do so serially for 2 winters before that. Straw if wonderful. But if you can't manage - shavings do almost as well. But not deep littered for this.
I know how you mean as we had old stables like that - the solution was to just cover the whole damn stable lol
I'm with those who advise against deep litter for severe mud fever/ cellulitis. You want the bed as clean as possible so, depending on finances, I'd either go for shavings or straw and have a nice, deep clean bed.
O difícil está feito, e o impossível só leva mais tempo - Salgueiro Maia, 25 de Abril 1974
I'd go wall to wall and put a six inch high board in the doorway.