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  1. #1

    Default Bedding and hay troubles

    I am so bored of winter!
    This year is the first year I've had to stable (after three years of free access to a field shelter, which I am sorely missing ) and to make matters worse the fields are under water so even if the beast wanted to go out she can't

    So long story short, she's having to be in her stable all the time. She is a very large girl who takes great pleasure in destroying her stable (normally by walking a big circle and turning 90% of her bed into a poo pancake). I'm going through 2-3 bags of bedding a week even though her bed only covers about 1/4 of her stable! I'm using Equinola (chopped straw) which I really like but isn't surviving being bombarded by Shire poo for hours! I was thinking about using a wood pellet base with the chopped straw on top but I'm open any suggestions that might survive a bit better

    The hay is also an issue now... when she was able to be turned out in the day she had slim pickings in regards to grass but could do a little bit of grazing. Then when she was coming in I could give her 2 hay nets and she'd manage to make them last the night. She desperately needs to lose some weight before spring but is an absolute eating machine! I was going by the 2% rule (around 12kgs of hay) but she just wolfs it down and I reckon to make it last she'd need 12kgs during the day and then another 12 at night!! She has half in her hay bar and half in the smallest holed hay net (I think its an eliminet??). I'm at a loss of how to get it to last longer without her becoming a hippo!
    Any help much appreciated Thank you!

  2. #2
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Hants, England
    Posts
    1,706

    Default Re: Bedding and hay troubles

    The holes in the Elimenet aren’t very small I don’t think. I use Martsnets and also have Tricklenets are they are much smaller. You could mix some straw with her hay, but do take care as some will colic on it.

  3. #3
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    W. Yorks
    Posts
    19,055

    Default Re: Bedding and hay troubles

    I have had Shire and Clydesdales, and a Westphalian Draft horse. I am not at all surprised that your Shire is making a mess of her bed, I would expect to use a bag of bedding everyday if the horse stays in all day. I would give her a bigger bed - cover the whole of the stable floor, which will cost more to start with but will be less messy over time. I found that big trugs of oat straw chaff kept my Draft horse full while allowing her to lose weight with rationed hay.
    "Don't LET him do that"

  4. #4
    Veteran SEL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Buckinghamshire
    Posts
    2,910

    Default Re: Bedding and hay troubles

    I'm using wood pellets with my Ardennes draft as he is revolting in a stable. I'm deep littering them and although the colour has gone a disgusting shade of brown, its dry enough. Two bags a week, but next winter I'm putting rubber matting down too.

    Soaked hay for the draft x who is a fatty and needs at least 2 haynets a night.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bedding and hay troubles

    Try mixing sawdust through the equinola - found a mixture helped with my big, dirty mare when on box rest. Get some boring, tasteless, chopped straw chaff (topchop zero). Give her her hay ration and a couple of scoops of the chaff. She won't want to eat it (probably, even my greedy thing doesn't want to eat it) but will snack on it if she's hungry so you don't have to worry so much about having hay in front of her all the time... Or you can soak hay and give her more.

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