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Straw Bedding

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Foaling and Immediate Post-foaling Issues » Straw Bedding « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Singing Ridge (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 07:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In the past we have used wheat straw bedding for our broodmares. This year, wheat straw has been almost impossible to find. Question: would I be better taking wheat straw that has some dust or oat straw? I hate the idea of using dusty bedding, but am worried about my mare eating oat straw.

Thanks
 

Rooty (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We have had 4 mares foal on shavings with no problems. I think I'd rather do that than have the mare eating the straw. We usually use wheat straw too.
 

Debbie Burnett
Yearling
Username: Horselady

Post Number: 52
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 01:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My foaling facility uses shavings in the stalls. The owner says its less expensive, more absorbent and smells nicer. She only puts down a bed of straw in the foaling stalls when the mares are due to foal. Once the foals are up and around and back into the normal stalls, they are all on shavings again. Shes been foaling for 20 years and swears she would never go back to straw.

I don't know how easy shavings are for you to get, or how expensive shavings versus straw would be, but it seems to be the way most facilities are going up here in Canada :-)
 

Kim k
Weanling
Username: Kimk

Post Number: 48
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 04:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We use oat straw all the time..
We do use shavings in the summer time from time to time-- you must be careful with shavings--best is kiln dried wood and of pine nature, hard woods are not good on the feet, especially if its not kiln dried.
During foaling season it is a must for straw. Most people don't relize how much problems sawdust or savings can be. It is reccommended that you use straw for foaling.We start bedding with straw (if not already using it) at least a month ahead of time. We normally keep the mare and foal on staw for a good couple of weeks to a month before going to sawdust/shavings. There are many infections that can be caused by dust/shavings. In the winter time too it is much warmer for the animals to be laying on a bed of straw instead of sawdust. It may be a bit harder to clean , but I like to know that my horses are comfortable in the freezing cold.

Alittle dust in our opinion, will not be a big deal, if you bed down without the horse in the stall--will not be as dusty , sometimes sawdust/shavings is alot more dusty too....

For us, as expense, Straw is alot cheeper as we share crop when we get it. We provide the labor for another farmer to get the straw he needs into the barn and we get one for one wagon. For every wagon he gets in the barn we get one. Shavings when bought from local feed stores/farm stores is expensive, boughten by the bale... A semi load of blown shavings the last I looked into it was like 1200.00 bucks, ?? don't remember for sure.

In our opinion we would use alittle dusty straw wheat/oats for foaling befoe we would use dust/shavings.. It also serves as a duel purpose too and if a horse needs to be munching on somthing while standing in a stall and has already had its alotment of hay for the day, it won't hurt them to consume hay.

Kim
 

Singing Ridge (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for everyone's input! We lucked out yesterday, and found some really nice and soft wheat straw.

I am in British Columbia, Canada, and with the huge number of mills nearby, we use kiln-dried shavings as our regualar bedding as it is *much* cheaper and easy to get. However, with the risk of umbilical stump infection with shavings, not to mention the dust that is present in even the best shavings, I would never use it for foaling. We usually switch back to shavings once the foal is two or three weeks old, and the stump is safely dried up.

Eve
 

Debbie Burnett
Yearling
Username: Horselady

Post Number: 54
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Singing Ridge:

I am in Ontario. The boarding facility I use also uses straw. My fiance has a farm, so we can get all the straw and hay we need for the horses. We want to use shavings in the stalls in summer for the reasons I stated above, however, like Kim, the foaling facility keeps the foals on straw for a month or so before moving them back onto shavings with mom.

Come winter, we will be bedding exclusively with straw since it is warmer and in abundance on the farm in a good bumper crop year.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10084
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 09:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A few words of caution concerning the use of sawdust or shavings for foaling :-(:

First thing to consider is that a retrospective study done by USDA-Aphis of 7,320 equine foals reported born alive during 1997 on 1,043 operations, 120 foals were reported to have died (by either euthanasia or natural causes) within the first 2 days of a live birth. One of the leading common denominators between those that lost foals was foaling out on a bedding other than straw or hay.

The reason that foaling on wood by-products rather than straw or hay is potentially harmful is multifold:
  1. Wood products are generally "wet" (kiln-dried excepted), so it will naturally be more efficient at harbouring pathogens;
  2. Wood products commonly carry Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae, which are significant pathogens dangerous to the foal,
  3. Once in the stall, wood products will become contaminated with manure and urine, making it wet and pathogen-harbouring (and this of course even includes kiln-dried products). Straw when wet will generally be more completely removed than will wet shavings or sawdust - by nature, the wood particles are smaller and more difficult to move - hence a continued damp environment will be maintained encouraging pathogen presence.
If one desires use of wood product bedding, in view of the above, I would strongly encourage its use only after the foaling process has occurred, and after the foals umbilicus is thoroughly closed and dried.

Do not put straw (or hay) over the wood product bedding and think that you are satisfying the need for the suitable bedding. The first thing a mare will do when she lies down to foal is sweep the straw out of the way with her legs (when she stretches with a contraction) and the foal will be born onto the shavings!

Consider also, that the concerns about wood-product beddings are not only aimed at the foal. During the foaling process, there will be a certain amount of "to-ing and fro-ing" of the foal as it moves out of the mares vagina slightly with a contraction, and reverses direction a little once the contraction is passed. If using sawdust or shavings, as the foal moves out, being wet it will tend to have the bedding stick to it, and then when it slips back into the vagina it will take some of the [pathogen-contaminated] bedding back in with it. The end result is a greater degree of reproductive tract contamination in the mare post-foaling.

Wheat straw is definitely the best, but I would sooner use oat straw than wood products. To prevent (or at least significantly discourage) the mare from eating the bedding, a very light spray of a pine-based disinfectant after putting in the new bedding will be enough in most cases to discourage the mare from eating it. Kinda ironic when you think about it... :-)
 

Kim k
Weanling
Username: Kimk

Post Number: 49
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 07:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos... That is interesting on the pine-based disinfectant.... If the horse does consume the straw have you seen a problem with using the disinfectant ? Are you duliting it or are you using it straight out of the bottle ?? I have this mare that will consume the bale of straw and leave not much for bedding !! . And believe me she is not under nurished, she just likes any straw that we use. If the disfinfectant would work that would be great to have some bedding in her stall.

Thanks Kim
 

J.R.Hamilton
Neonate
Username: Cobbreeder

Post Number: 4
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 09:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The concern of using shavings with a new foal ..their intersnasal passages are still wet and the concern is for them breathing in dust and shavings into their lungs...regardless of what straw you use...if you keep enough hay in front of your mare.... she'll probably leave the straw alone. I'd rather the mare have a mouthful of straw... than have a newborn foal have a respiratory sysstem at risk. esp after waiting 11 months plus for the foal to arrive. I usually keep my mares and their new foals on straw straw for at least a week. As to the remaining tissue upon foaling .. remaining intact horn and placenta... it's all on it's way out and usually takes care of anything trying to travel "in" while birth is taking place.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10097
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 09:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kim K: We generally dilute the disinfectant.

J.R. Hamilton: I agree with the concern about inhalation of dust particles, and it is another route for access of the Klebsiella and other pathogens.

I'm afraid I can't agree with you about the idea that the passing placenta will "take care of anythign trying to travel 'in'" during its passage. It will remove larger objects like the shavings and sawdust itself, but it will not remove the mocroscopic pathogens that were dragged in with the shavings or sawdust - and the pathogens are the major concern.
 

Kim k
Yearling
Username: Kimk

Post Number: 73
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 10:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Jos for the info.I have to agree with you Jos on the issue of the pathogens.

JR Hamilton: We put a full bale of hay in front of this mare and it is gone. She is a nice big mare, well built, and throws big big babies. She consumes a bale of hay within 8 hours at max. If left in a stall with straw she will eat it too--which I really don't have a problem with to some degree, thats why we use it for bedding through out long winters and foaling, but it gets to the point that she will consume the straw just as fast, maybe two days on a stall bedded down with two bales of straw. Just looking for a way to keep some bedding in her stall...It is not a matter of the mare having enough to eat or keeping hay in front of her--we can't do it she would become a fat horse, she is already a big mare. On top of the hay,and straw she also gets 8-10 pounds of grain a day. And now baby is crepe feeding a good pound, pound and a half a day at about 8 weeks old. Thank goodness, she is on sawdust now for the summer. I won't have to deal with it for several more months now.

Kim
 

Dee
Neonate
Username: Dee

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 29, 2006 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We had one mare foal in the past(2004)but, we used shavings and the shavings were fine. It cost less and does smell better. I hope I been some what of a help!
 

Kim k
Breeding Stock
Username: Kimk

Post Number: 581
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 11:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dee,
NOtice that foaling on shavings can pose a problem. We foal on straw as do most breeders. Shavings or sawdust can create health issues.
Kim
 

Dee
Neonate
Username: Dee

Post Number: 10
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 11:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Like what kind?
 

Joie Roddy
Neonate
Username: Joie

Post Number: 8
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 08:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dee,
See the above posts...
 

donna
Neonate
Username: Hooked

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 02:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Haven't visited this site in awhile, but found the info interesting. I have a mare due in the next week or two and as of yet I still have her stall bedded with shavings. As she is stabled durning the day and out at night(for now), I pick out her stall 2-3 times a day and air dry the wet spots on the floor over night. I had planned to use straw over a thick layer of clean shavings, but guess that may not be OK. This is my second foal from this mare and I used shavings/straw last time without a problem. One thing I do is sprinkle the shavings with water when I bed the stall to elimate some of the dust. Does this create more of a problem with pathogens? In general my barn has excellent air quality and I have fans going at the moment for the mare when she is in.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1470
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 06:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the issues with the use of wood products is that they are moist, and therefore more likely to harbour pathogens. Adding moisture to the bedding is going to increase the magnitude of the risk.
 

cathy Cook
Breeding Stock
Username: Razmacat

Post Number: 321
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - 07:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Donna. do you keep your mare in a stall all the time? You realize it is very important for mares to walk around, right? They do this in order to move their foal into position. I don't bring my foaling mares in a stall until about 7 at night. Shoot I know some farm who make them break their water outside then bring them in!
 

donna
Neonate
Username: Hooked

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, August 02, 2007 - 07:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos..I plan to clean out all the shavings and replace with straw.Thx
Cathy, no my mare is only "in" during the day to avoid the heat and bugs. She is turned out on pasture over night. She (as with the others) are very bug sensitive and my turnouts don't have any shade. During the summer months this is their normal routine and trust me, my mare wouldn't have it any other way. I'm watching her very closley and when she shows any signs of wax, I'll keep her in. Thx
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1478
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Thursday, August 02, 2007 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

FYI, not all mares develop wax, and even if they do it might be as much as a month before foaling or as little as an hour. If you're keeping your mare out at night, then you need to develop some other method of monitoring/evaluation in order to avoid missing the foaling!
 

cathy Cook
Breeding Stock
Username: Razmacat

Post Number: 325
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Thursday, August 02, 2007 - 03:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL I have one mare who only develops a bag within one hour of foaling!
 

Gina McMahon
Neonate
Username: Moonlitpaints

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a question, not sure where else to post it. I normally use Equine Pine for my bedding over top of my rubber mats, but I use straw for foaling. Last year I had 2 foals. The problem I ran into was that with the water breaking and the mare moving her legs around during foaling, by the time the foal tried to stand he was slipping on the wet rubber and having a heck of a time. He just couldn't get any traction. So I put even more straw in for the next mare with the same problem. It just ends up getting pushed aside and the foal slipping around. Any suggestions on anything that I can put directly on the mats to minimize slipping without compromising the safely of the foal. Last year I ended up with what looked like rugburn on the foals legs from trying to get up while on the mats.
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 137
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 06:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's a good question Gina. I also have rubber stall matts, and did't think about the slipping problem. A Paint breeder friend of mine uses kiln dried animal bedding pellets. "Jo's" is this safe to use under the straw?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1652
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 07:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd take the rubber mats out. Aside from the issue of traction, one of the other potential and significant problems with rubber mats is that they are going to harbour moisture and therefore all kinds of pathogens underneath them - thereby increasing the potential for pathogenic insult to the foal.

Wood products as a whole are a "wet" product and therefore also harbour pathogens. I recognize that the pellets don't start off wet like say fresh sawdust from the mill, but the management of them usually results in a damper bedding over a period of time unless the stall is stripped each time (which would get very expensive fast!).
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 382
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 08:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I learn something new everyday! My friend's mare foaled with straw on rubber mats and like Gina stated, the foal couldn't get up. She struggled for an hour without standing on her own, we ended up helping her. Two weeks later she was diagnosed with a "bone infection" of some sort and had to have 2 shots twice a day for two weeks. Now I know why! Probably got some sort of pathogen from the rubber mats like Jos stated. My foaling stall does not have rubber mats at this point but when I do eventually put them in I will remove them for foaling.
 

Gina McMahon
Neonate
Username: Moonlitpaints

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 10:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the suggestion but unfortunatly my mats have 12 inches of rock under them for drainage so removing them is not an option. Come to think of it, both of my foals needed me to help them stand, and the one ended up going to the equine hospital with swollen joints. The vets could not tell me what kind of infection he had, I wonder if it was from the mats somehow? Now I am really worried! Is there anything out there I could put over them?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1653
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2007 - 10:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The mats - being waterproof - will allow an accumulation of moisture underneath. This is where you are going to see an increase in pathogenic presence, with the potential result of overall greater pathogenic presence in the stall. If you can't remove them, there's nothing much you can do.

It is probably worth contemplating that considerable strain is put on the foal's joints by struggling to rise repeatedly if the footing is slippery, and that too may cause problems.
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 139
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 01:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jo's, I also can't remove my mats, because under them is concrete. What if I immediately remove the wet straw. Will the baby be able to get up then?
 

Gina McMahon
Neonate
Username: Moonlitpaints

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 09:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ohh, now I see what you were saying, it is UNDER the mat that is the main problem. I guess I will just have to dissinfect really well before hand, bed really deep, and possibly move the foal to end of the stall where the water did not break for his standing attempts. It is so ironic that we spend all this money for stuff to keep our horses comfortable and we just end up messing with mother nature and causing more problems!
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1654
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dry straw is slippery. The combination of dry straw and a slippery sub-surface is what the issue is. If the concrete underneath is suitable, you're probably better off correctly bedding the stall with straw having removed the mats and exposing the concrete. Most of the stalls of horses I worked with in Europe in the past were concrete with correctly bedded straw above it.

I can't put it any other way - I don't like rubber mats in foaling stalls. They are likely to cause problems.
 

Zoe Urquhart
Weanling
Username: Landtober_babe

Post Number: 23
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can`t work out how rubber mats are comfortable for any horse, I have had no experience with them really though.
We always bed with straw, we have no limit in how much we give at foaling times, they get it as deep as they need and more added up they are digging down, works really well for us, Also we use wheat and barley straw and don`t have any problems with mares eating too much. I would imagine shavings would be a bit yucky for the mare when she is trying to dry her new foal as they are bound to stick and taste rotten on top of the health risks.
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 140
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 07:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jo's, wouldn't it be cold and hard, even with lots of straw for bedding?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1655
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 09:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

About 10-15 years ago there was a sudden enthusiasm for rubber stall floors, which to be honest I could never completely understand. They may be marginally softer that a dirt (or concrete) floor, but really not that much. I suspect that a goodly portion of the sudden enthusiasm for rubber mats was related to anthropomorphism rather than any actual researched data! :-)

There may be situations where a rubber mat could be beneficial - if there is a requirement for a horse to stand unmoving for extended periods of time for example - but I suspect those benefits would be more significant for horses with lameness issues than a good sound horse (and that leads us to a question as to whether we are breeding less sound horses, but let's not go there for the moment! :-)).

Do rubber stall mats do damage? With the exception of the factors noted in my previous post, probably not (other than to the wallet!). Do they do any good? It may be questionable in many situations. For me a well-bedded stall is going to provide more cushion than any stall mat - and another of the significant issues I've seen with stall mats is that people that use them then tend to not bed down the stalls adequately, believing that a stall mat is a substitute for bedding. It's not in my book...

Which would I rather sleep on? A rubber stall mat with minimal bedding, or a concrete floor with adequate bedding?

It's a no-brainer in my book. I'll go for the adequate bedding any time. :-)
 

Kay B. Jones, Topi due 3/1
Yearling
Username: Kaybjones

Post Number: 59
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 07:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nobody around my immediate area of Texas has STRAW. Some have suggested shavings of course but i've read against that. Some one said hay. Is that similar to the straw. How deep? I've got a sandy clay floor. I may just let her foal outside in my barn area ( about an acre of grass). One lady said her foals always did much better foaling outside, got up sooner, and were stronger.
 

Kay B. Jones, Topi due 3/1
Yearling
Username: Kaybjones

Post Number: 60
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 07:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I went back and read the posts again, it does say straw or hay. Our hay is coastal bermuda. Again, how deep should it be? Thanks.
 

Marilyn Lemke - Dora due 7/31/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Marilyn_l

Post Number: 538
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 08:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My husband went and visited Throughbred farms and they bed their mares that are ready to foal 12-18 inches. I would say you could bed 8-12 inches. At least that's what we did.

Dora had her foal in the stall with rubber mats and the foal had a very hard time getting up, even with a good amount of bedding. It was very slippery. We eventually had to help the baby up. After that he had an easier time, but it was still slippery. I'm not sure what we'll do this time. The stall mats has lime underneith the mats.

I guess I'll have to figure out something different. It was not the ideal foaling situation with the mats.
 

Paul Liberty
Nursing Foal
Username: Sptxthrill

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I use shavings in our stalls and then switch to straw. We also have rubber mats in the foaling stalls and yes it does get slippery, but I am right there cleaning the wet stuff out and replacing it with clean dry straw. We get our straw shipped in from Nebraska cuz you can't find it anywhere around here. I also bed the stall really deep with the straw and it helps to not be so slippery. I don't like shavings for a newborn foal as it could cause respiratory infections in the newborn foal. They are kept on straw for at least 2 weeks then switched back to shavings.
 

Kay B. Jones, Topi due 3/1
Yearling
Username: Kaybjones

Post Number: 61
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 08, 2007 - 09:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you for the info. Helps with the decisions I need to make. Come on March 1st. No really, I'm beginning to take a breather and enjoy this last part of her pregnancy. Its getting exciting watching her get bigger and see some lumps and bumps on her flank area.
 

Phyllis Schroder
Weanling
Username: Shadowbend

Post Number: 36
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 03:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kay,
I'm also in Texas and straw is extremely hard to come by if at all. I've just used bales of my regular coastal or jiggs hay and spread it liberally and it's always worked fine. Of course, you replace and add to it daily cause they also eat it but it works.
For those with rock or concrete floors, is it possible to get some 60/40 sand clay mix and place it atop the rock or concrete? Even if temporary, it could be removed at a later date.
It's some extra work to do but it's not that bad and well worth it. You could even leave it and just get it level so later you can just place the matts over it instead of removing it.
 

Kay B. Jones, Topi due 3/1
Yearling
Username: Kaybjones

Post Number: 88
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 08:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks , Phyllis. I think that's what I'm going to do. We've got quite a bit of hay this year so no problem there. I'm getting really ansy. We loaded her in the trailor today to make sure she will fit Wed. to go to the vet to get caslick open. She got in fine but the bars are hitting her sides so I think I will keep the sides open and just tie her so she can't move tooo much. 34 more days.
 

Crystal Gerszewski
Neonate
Username: Spot_collection

Post Number: 7
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 01:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a problem, I hav concrete floors and I can't find straw! I know shavings are dangerous. But th college I went to had rubber matted floors and bedded with a little bit of shavings, and a ton of straw, that way the baby could still get grip from the shavings when trying to stand but the foal wouldn't touch the shavings when being born because of the thickness of the straw. They have never had any problemsand they have had mares foal there for years and years.
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 443
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Crystal I have concrete floors also with rubber matts. My repro vet, who foals out lots of mares every year, uses the animal pellet bedding under the straw. You have to sprinkle them down first with a little water so they will break down a little and puff up, then put down a deep bed of straw. If my vet uses them, then thats good enough for me. I wouldn't use the shavings though. Here is the link for the brand I use http://eaglevalleyabm.com/index.html
 

judy cervantes
Breeding Stock
Username: Judy1

Post Number: 112
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HI CHARLENE,ARE YOU GOING TO LEAVE YOUR RUBBER MATTS DOWN AND PUT THE ANIMAL PELLET BEDDING ON TOP THEN THE STRAW??
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 459
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 01:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes. That's the plan.
 

lindsey francis at least 6weeks left
Nursing Foal
Username: Madhouse1985

Post Number: 15
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 07:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the stables at the yard where i am have rubber matting in most of them and concrete in the rest i made sure i got a stable with concrete i dont like rubber mats at all. we have to use shavings at my yard unless you have an infoal mare then we can use straw i like straw best my horse always had a really deep straw bed (when i used to use it) and i would take the droppings out every day leaving the wet in but putting more straw down so the wet formed a base and stopped my mare from slipping and remove the wet 2 times aweek. the livery yard owner has 5 or 6 mares due to foal this year and she dose the same as me when she brings them untill they foal then they remove all the wet and soiled straw and replace it with fresh then within 3 days the foals live out untill sold (my mare and foal will be in every night for the first month)
 

Rebecca Kate Smith, Skeetles due 2/29
Yearling
Username: Beccasmith

Post Number: 63
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 02:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

charlene -- i am planning on doing the same thing. i use the pellets now as my normal bedding. I LOVE IT! i'm going to bed the straw down on top of the pellets, about 2 bales for my 12'x10'.
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 466
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Rebecca, That make me feel better knowing that someone else is going to do it this way also. My mare's stall is a 12x24. How many bales of straw do you think I will need? I love the pellets also, they soak up the urine way better than anything else I've ever used. How is Skeetles doing? Do you think she is getting close?
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 776
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 02:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have also recently switched from shavings to the pelleted bedding and I love it! It absorbs so well and it's cheaper than shavings on top of it. I use straw for foaling and I love the look of straw but it's a pain to clean. It's been awhile since I've used straw but I want to say it took 2 bales to bed the 12x24 stall deep to start with and then obviously would add a little every day when I cleaned.
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 468
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 03:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Tracy. 2 bales is about what I was guessig it would take. Are you going to disinfect Tali's stall before you put the straw in? What kind of disinfectant are you going to use? I think I'm gonna use the Nolvasan solution.
 

Rebecca Kate Smith, Skeetles due 2/29
Yearling
Username: Beccasmith

Post Number: 64
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 03:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

charlene -- i'm not going to disinfect skeet's stall. i want her to get used to all the things that could be there so the baby gets those antibodies in the colostrum. skeet doesn't seem to be getting any closer. she does have loose piles today, so possibly
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 471
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 03:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rebecca, I never thought of that. I wonder what everyone else is going to do. Disinfect or not? All the foaling books I've read say to disinfect the foaling stall 1 month before their due date. Let us know if she starts showing any more signs.
 

Kay B. Jones, Topi due 3/1
Breeding Stock
Username: Kaybjones

Post Number: 105
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 04:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm a novice but I don't plan to disinfect. Topi , my mare has been in this area for over a year and how can disinfecting keep it sterile for a month?
 

judy cervantes
Breeding Stock
Username: Judy1

Post Number: 116
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hi kay,what you say makes sence,if what they are suppose to do is build up antibodies and they are the only horse that has been in that stall wouldnt it be a good thing to NOT disinfect??
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 778
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 06:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've never disinfected the stall before and I've never had any problems. I usually move the mare into the foaling stall about a month before she is due and that should be enough time for the mare to build up any antibodies she may need.
 

Crystal Gerszewski
Neonate
Username: Spot_collection

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 06:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have also never disenfected my mares stall, I'd say the only reason I would is if there was a horse in there that was sick recently otherwise I don't. Also it's a little tough to disinfect a stall wen it's 20 below, hehe.
 

Linda Bauer --Rebel due 4/5/08
Weanling
Username: Llazyt

Post Number: 28
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 06:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have read quite a few articles that just say move the mare into the foaling area at least 1 month prior to build up antibodies. I have only foaled out 4 mares but I have never disinfected and haven't had any problems. Just wait and see this will be the year it bits me in the butt, just because of the other issues Rebel is having
 

Marilyn Lemke - Dora due 7/31/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Marilyn_l

Post Number: 960
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 06:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I had my last foal, I did disinfect the stall. If nothing else, it looked really nice and clean when I was done, so that made me feel good. My foal didn't get colostrum, the mare leaked it all out before he was born and didn't get the plasma infusion for 5 days afterwards. I was thinking by disinfecting, it may have kept him healthy before getting the plasma. I'm not sure, just a thought.
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 779
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 09:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Marilyn, my last foal also did not get the colostrum and needed a plasma transfusion. I didn't disinfect the stall and she was fine. My feeling is, you probably don't need to disinfect the stall (unless a sick horse had previously been in it) but it probably doesn't hurt either :-)
 

Diana Gilger
Yearling
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 57
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, February 11, 2008 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've been breeding horses a loonnnng time, and I have NEVER disinfected a stall. What I do is, completely clean out ALL bedding and let the stall completely air out before foaling.....then on the night of, just put fresh straw down in a clean dry stall.
 

Marilyn Lemke - Dora due 7/31/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Marilyn_l

Post Number: 961
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was a heck of a lot of work, but I'll probably do it again because I'm that anal. (thought wise) lol
 

charlene birdsall, Baby due 4/2/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Charlie67

Post Number: 490
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Marilyn, I'm glad to see I'm not the only anal one (lol). I'm just paranoid, and just don't want anything to go wrong with this foal. I've spent way too much time and money for something to wrong now, and besides my vet recommended doing it. I sure wouldn't hurt
 

Dianne Edwards
Breeding Stock
Username: Mamaedwards

Post Number: 389
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My brother in law brought me a load of cypress shavings, is it okay to use them in the stalls? I have seen post that suggest using pine. They seem to be damp, can I sun dry them and use them or should I just put them in a flower bed and get dry pine shavings. My two mares are about 6 weeks out so could use them for awhile then clean them out and replace with others closer to the due dates. I bed over with straw/hay when they get closer and did not disinfect for my other 4 foals, moved them in about a month out to build the antibodies. I have red clay floors in the barn. Any advice on the shavings would be appreciated.
 

Marilyn Lemke - Dora due 7/31/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Marilyn_l

Post Number: 963
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 06:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It certainly wouldn't hurt to disinfect the stall. I'm like you Charlene, I have way too much emotion, money and sleepless nights tied up in this foal to take any chances.

Thank you girls for telling me about your experiences, it eases my mind hearing you never had problems.
 

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Breeding Stock
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 786
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dianne, I don't know anything about cypress shavings. As far as I know cypress is not toxic to horses but I'm not sure, maybe google it?



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