Bedding Shopping

There was a time when bedding for horse stalls received little attention or discussion, especially in the agricultural Midwest. When horses provided the power for planting and harvesting crops, almost every farm had a field of oats. The oat
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There was a time when bedding for horse stalls received little attention or discussion, especially in the agricultural Midwest. When horses provided the power for planting and harvesting crops, almost every farm had a field of oats. The oat kernels provided nourishment for the horses and the straw provided bedding.

It isn’t that simple any more as horses have been removed from agriculture and have become recreational animals. Today, there are a variety of forces and motivating factors at work concerning bedding. Oats, for example, is no longer a staple crop on many farms. Also, the spread of horses into urban areas has spawned a whole new set of concerns about the handling of horse manure. In addition, concerns for problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or heaves) have stimulated the development of new, dust-free bedding products. As a result, providing safe, clean bedding for horses has become an industry unto itself.

Straw–oat, barley, and wheat–is still used in many barns across the country, but there are other options. They include wood shavings, shredded paper, hemp, cardboard, wood fiber, wood pulp, wood pellets, kenaf, peat moss, and a combination of earth and clay. In this article, we’ll take a look at each of them

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Les Sellnow was a prolific freelance writer based near Riverton, Wyoming. He specialized in articles on equine research, and operated a ranch where he raised horses and livestock. He authored several fiction and nonfiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse. He died in 2023.

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