Deep lit­ter bed­ding sys­tem Mix­ing bed­ding Bed­ding for a horse that box walks

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QWhat are the pros and cons of a deep lit­ter bed? Nora Wansworth, Fife

ADeep lit­ter­ing is when the soiled ar­eas of bed­ding are re­moved daily but the bed it­self isn’t lifted. This al­lows for a deep bed with a dense base that de­vel­ops over time. Many own­ers find this is an in­valu­able time saver when jug­gling horses, work and fam­ily life. It can also be more eco­nom­i­cal, with only a small quan­tity of clean bed­ding added on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to freshen the bed, rather than adding full bales after ev­ery muck out. A key con­sid­er­a­tion in the longevity of a deep lit­ter bed is the type of bed­ding used — poor qual­ity bed­ding that breaks down eas­ily can in­tro­duce high lev­els of dust into the stable en­vi­ron­ment and have a neg­a­tive im­pact on health, par­tic­u­larly from a res­pi­ra­tory point of view.

Fight­ing am­mo­nia

One of the big­gest chal­lenges to man­age is the build-up of am­mo­nia gen­er­ated by the soiled bed­ding. If this is left in the stable and the bed gets wet, it can have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on both res­pi­ra­tory and hoof health. An­other as­pect to con­sider is the dig­ging out of a deep lit­ter bed — many own­ers deep lit­ter through the win­ter and dig out the beds in spring, which al­lows the stable to be thor­oughly cleaned and dis­in­fected be­fore the process restarts the fol­low­ing sea­son. Man­age­ment of the stable en­vi­ron­ment and the use of a good qual­ity, dust-free prod­uct is the key to a good deep lit­ter bed. A bed­ding that is dust-free and made pri­mar­ily from pine helps to con­trol the level of am­mo­nia, which in turn gives the best chance of avoid­ing health is­sues.

A well-man­aged deep lit­ter bed can be very ef­fec­tive for both horse and owner

Bed­dingLUCY WARD re­gional sales man­ager for Bed­max Shav­ings Ltd

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