Wood Pellets For Horse Bedding
Thinking about swapping your straw or shavings for wood pellets?
Wood pellets are made from compressed wood, these are sold in 10kg or 15kg bags, to which you add water (or sprinkle it directly onto the pellets) in order to activate them. Here’s what you need to consider first…
Wood pellets can absorb up to three times their own weight in liquid. This figure was arrived at by independent testing and may not be true of all horse pellets on the market however, it’s significantly more absorbent than most other types of horse bedding.
From a veterinary perspective, one of the major pluses of wood pellets is that they’re heated to a high temperature during manufacture, meaning any bugs are killed off. You can be sure they’re not harbouring any nasties.
The beds don’t move about, and the moisture content is consistent, which is better for horses’ feet.
Also, the air quality is typically better with a wood pellet bed than other types of horse bedding, which is beneficial from a respiratory point of view
You can see the wet patches in a wood pellet bed easily, no need to scrabble about checking your banks and can remove them without having to take the whole bed apart, which reduces mucking-out time significantly.
Especially great If you have a large yard!
Most wood pellet companies offer the option of buying in bulk, and provided you’ve got somewhere to store it and have the capital up-front, this is a good way of making cost savings.
If you buy a ton or half ton, you could be paying under £5 for a bag of wood pellets, including VAT and delivery, which is significantly cheaper than most brands of shavings.
It can be easy to manage
It does take a while to get the hang of it, but once you’ve cracked it, it really is brilliant stuff, depending on the size of your stable and how much of a bed you want.
On average a 12×12 stable can take up to 10 bags to start, this will give you a very good bed with banks.
To start you can slit the bag open on the stable floor and pour about a half a bucket of water into each bag, go and have a cuppa for half an hour, then tip it all out and make a lovely soft bed with banks
The first week just take out any droppings, the wet drains down to the bottom of the pile and goes solid. Once a week take out the hard-wet patch and replace with a new soaked bag of pellets.
If you have a messy horse you can take out the droppings and the worst of the wet each day and just mix the rest of the wet with the dry, the clean dry bedding will soak up the little bit of wet bedding well.
After trying various types of bedding which all have their pro’s and con’s, wood pellet, whilst being initially more expensive as you normally need to purchase it in bulk is far cheaper by the bag overall.
In experience you use less of it, it is far quicker to muck out, no smell even when it is wet, and you end up with a much smaller muck heap.
It provides a constant soft base for your horse to stand or lie on and it is brilliant for horses with allergies due to the little dust content.
The whiter the pellet the purer they are, meaning they have less additives in them being less harmful to the environment and to your horse.