Bedding – Wood Pellet

Overview
Wood pellets are sawdust that has been compressed into a small pellet and shipped in bags that are convenient and light because they are dry.
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Discussion:

An appropriate amount of pellets are added to the stall and then they are soaked with water from a hose so they expand from a pellet into sawdust.

ADVANTAGES –

  • Light weight small bags make them easy to carry.
  • Easy to clean the stalls.
  • Economical. The piles and wet spots are easily found and removed while the somewhat clean sawdust remains. A little amount of pellets are added periodically to replace the removed sawdust. The newly added pellets are then watered to expand the pellet into sawdust.

DISADVANTAGES –

  • The bedding is wet after soaking the pellets to expand them. Having a horse lay on wet bedding is not good due to the odor the soaked pellets release The wet bedding also conducts heat away from the horse into the ground which is not anytime, especially in cold weather.
  • The wet sawdust becomes dry very quickly and the dust in the sawdust becomes airborne and covers everything. Maintenance of the barn and horse becomes a never ending cleaning process.
  • Horse owners usually do not bed the stalls deeply with pellets causing an uncomfortable place for the horse to lay down.
  • Pellets that do not become expanded become ball bearings under people’s feet. While working on horses, I have actually lost my balance as my foot unexpectedly looses frictional contact with the floor and I move like a wheeled chair across the hard surface of an office floor. Very scary and very dangerous. I assume horses do not have this problem, but I can imagine that there are a few when getting up from sleeping have their hooves slip as they push themselves up.

Overall, I personally do not like wood pellet bedding because of the dust they create. As a veterinarian, I don’t like slipping on the hard pellets and the dust that quickly finds my eye and lungs.

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