There were two groups in this project, horses in stalls bedded with the control bedding material used on the farm (fresh sawdust) and horses in stalls bedded with wood pellets (Woody PetÔ ). The project period was two weeks, with horses maintained with their regular turnout schedule for exercise during the day. Five mares and five geldings were used in this project. Stalls were initially bedded with four buckets of bedding. The same volume of bedding was used for each stall using 20-gallon muck buckets as a measure. Although the pelleted bedding manufacturer recommended that a bucket of water be added to a freshly bedded stall, this was omitted for the project. The initial weight of the bedding was also recorded. All stalls had rubber mats on top of cement flooring. Average weight of horses used in this project was 1044 pounds (mares averaged 1018 pounds and geldings averaged 1069 pounds).
Each day the soiled bedding and manure were removed and measured by volume and weight. After one week, the soiled bedding and manure were removed and measured. The stalls were then completely cleaned and the remaining bedding was measured by volume and weight. The second week, the two groups of horses were reversed. Horses bedded on wood pellets the first week were bedded with the control bedding and vice-versa. Grab samples of the bedding materials, soiled bedding and manure, and “clean” material remaining in the stalls were taken for moisture and nutrient analysis.
The University of Maine Witter Research Farm horse barn was the site for this project. The services of a study student worker were used to bed, clean stalls, and measure bedding and manure.