The Disadvantages of Straw Bedding for Horses
Straw has traditionally been used for horse bedding in the UK for centuries now. But why? Well, one may argue there are many reasons, some of which include: being widely available; easy to muck out; cheaper than other bedding alternatives, and providing a warm comfortable bed for your horses. This all sounds great, but straw bedding has many disadvantages that aren’t so pleasant.
In this article by P.H. Winterson & Sons, we’ll take you through the disadvantages and explain why other bedding alternatives such as shavings are better than straw bedding. After reading this, the chances are, you’ll want to consider switching your horse’s bedding!
Dust and Mould
Straw bedding is a byproduct of harvested cereal grain crops such as wheat, oats, and bailey. Similar to hay, a bale of straw needs to be regularly checked for mould or moisture. Depending on the quality, it can be quite dusty. Mouldy or dusty straw shouldn’t be used as bedding because it can cause respiratory problems for you and your horses. If your horse or you suffer from respiratory issues such as asthma, straw is not a suitable type of bedding. Whereas, shavings are a safer, dust, and mould free alternative.
Horses Can Eat Their Bedding
Some horses are tempted to eat their straw bedding. This problem leads to using more straw bedding than needed, which can be costly. There are many debates about how safe straw is for horses to eat. However, straw is a low-quality forage and if eaten in large quantities, it could impact colic (abdominal pain) which could be life-threatening for horses. On the other hand, shavings are inedible so horses won’t be tempted, they are used for bedding purposes only, and they have significantly lower health risks.
Difficult To Muck Out
Straw is non-absorbent, which is one of the main purposes of horse bedding. Because it’s lightweight, it’s more difficult to control the dust particles when moved around and put down as bedding. Straw bedding waste is bulky, and rarely odourless. The muck heap tends to be larger, heavier to pick up, and dispose of. For this reason, it’s much easier to muck out shavings than straw.
Equine Bedding from P.H. Winterson & Son
At P.H. Winterton & Son, we truly believe that switching your horse’s bedding will be the best decision you will make for the health and happiness of your horses. We deliver a range of high-quality, straw free equine bedding in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, and Cheshire. For more information, please get in touch with us.