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If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that I have finally turned my back on straw and have started using cardboard bedding from Bedkind. I have been using it for about a week and a half and so far I really pleased with it.
In the past I have had Scottie on shavings and I absolutely love them! But at my yard we can’t have wood based bedding, so I have been limited to straw based bedding. I have tried various brands of chopped straw and standard bales of straw and I just hate it.
I never would have said that Scottie was a dirty or wet horse. But on straw he certainly is! It’s horrible to muck out and it’s not unusual for me to lift his bed to find a puddle of wee. It also stinks!
Scottie has also had an on and off cough since being at this yard. Since the cough disappeared when we went away, taking the hay with me, but remained if I was at home and soaked they hay, I thought it might be the bedding causing the cough.
Scottie also likes to eat his straw bed. Some nights he would hardly touch his hay but half of his bed would be gone in the morning. So for multiple reasons, I hate straw bedding and was looking for something new to try.
Cardboard seemed like a good thing to try as we are allowed it, it’s dust free and can be good for wet horses. So after seeing another girl on the yard using it and getting on well, I decided to try it for myself.
The main reason I went with Bedkind was that it was the brand the girl at the yard was using. But after a bit of Facebook research, I found that not all cardboard bedding is dust free or absorbent. But several people were really pleased with their Bedkind bedding.
The second reason is that I live in their free delivery area! So with my introductory discount for signing up to their newsletter, it worked out at about £5.50 per bale to have a pallet delivered. Perfect!
We have quite big stables at our yard and I only have rubber mats at the front, so I decided to use 6 bags of the cardboard bedding to get started. Halfway through moving all the bedding around I thought that maybe 5 bags would have been enough! But it is always nice to have a slightly bigger bed than you need, especially when trying a new bedding.
How am I finding it?
So far I am loving it! The mucking out is really easy. The poo comes away from the cardboard really easily and the wet stays in nice patches at the bottom. I think your horse would have to really dig the bed up to spread the wet around.
If I spend a bit more time sifting through the bed, thoroughly separating the wet and clean I take out less than half a wheelbarrow. But on a standard muck out, digging up all the wet but not taking my time, I take out just over half a wheelbarrow. This is about on par with how I do on shavings and half of what I take out on straw!
The cardboard is quite light, so if your horse moves around quite a bit, you might have a lot of buried poo. Scottie doesn’t move around too much, but I usually have 1 or 2 buried poos a night. But they are fairly easy to find and remove.
The only issue I can see you having is that if your horse is really messy and tramples mess everywhere, your bed might get damp and heavy. Scottie has a spot right at the front of his bed where he poos while eating and stands in it. I end up removing this small patch as it’s easier than trying to separate it all. But it’s only a small patch, 1 foot square ish. However, if your entire stable looks like this it might not be a great bedding for you!
Finally, I have only put in 1 extra bale so far and the bed is still looking good, so I am hoping I can stick to 1 bag a week. I also haven’t heard Scottie cough in the past week. So it will be interesting to see if his cough returns or not.