Last winter was wet, VERY WET! If you follow my blogs you may recall I had a few flooding issues with my stables, they are at the bottom of a hill and with last year’s amount of rainfall meant my stables were flooding for a pass time!
I was bedding them down with shavings, nothing special, just your average shavings, but building thick walls to try and prevent the water seeping in. Well that was a total failure, all that happened was the shavings turned to mush and floated away!
I went through bed after bed, costing me an absolute fortune each time.
Previously I had had some excellent results with five star pellet bedding, but due to the untimely demise of the companies owner, the business unfortunately was left dormant for a long time.
I loved the pellets, the fact that they were labour saving and money saving, plus amazing absorbency, they were excellent. After the loss of these pellets I tried others, but not one of them could match up to the standard of the five star, so I resorted back to shavings, however after losing so much money and time (and my temper!), I searched for an alternative.
After some research, and speaking to people, (word of mouth is a powerful thing!) I tried out a bedding called Aubiose.
Aubiose claimed to be as good, if not better, than other bedding, so I changed one stable to find out.
I chose the wettest horse, Rocky, and the wettest stable, well if you are going to try something, try it to the maximum eh?!
After a few days I had noticed two things, the first was that the banks I built to block the rain water from seeping in had worked (yey!) and secondly the Aubiose had indeed acted in very much the same way as the pellets had previously, absorbing all liquids, being soooo easy to muck out, reduced my time and muck heap and my stable now once again resembled a stable rather than a swimming pool! I then changed all my stables to Aubiose.
At last I felt I had found a bedding that actually did what it claimed to!
So what is Aubiose?
Aubiose is Hemp which is 100% naturally grown product, and composts down quickly and easily.
How does it work?
Aubiose works by soaking up liquids in a small area, at the base of the bed. The layer that forms over this wetness reduces the chance of wet bedding being mixed in with the dry. The top layer of the bed remains warm, soft and dry for the horse.
How to make the bed…
To create the initial bed, starting with a clean stable, you will need approx. 8 bales for a 12 x 12 stable, although I only needed 7, (already saved money!!) lay the bed as you would any bed, banks etc as required, then like with pellets, the bedding needs watering to activate the sponge like properties of the hemp, I used a hosepipe but you could use buckets, approx. 1 gallon of water per bale used. Don’t be put off by this, it is to create the baser of the bed and the top will dry out giving you a lovely soft dry layer. Again this is very similar to the pellets. The hemp then acts very much like a jay cloth, it soaks up liquid and it dries out again!
You can use the Aubiose as a normal bed i.e. muck out daily, or as I prefer to do, as do most people I spoke to, we deep litter it as it is so absorbent that you don’t need to remove the wet daily. In fact I only removed the wet on a monthly basis, and Rocky can wee for England!
Unlike pellets, the bedding does not turn dusty in dry weather, so you don’t need to keep watering it. In fact I have just returned Rocky to his stable (he has been out 24/7 since spring), and the only thing I needed to do was lightly rake the top over. This stable has not been touched for some months and still the bedding was absolutely fine.
How do I manage the bed?
Simply remove droppings daily, the more frequent the better, but daily is fine, then rake over the top layer to smooth it. If the bed is beginning to look wet in the wee spots, simply rake the dry Aubiose away and dig out the wet. Add more bedding as and when required. I go through approx 1 bale a month to give you an idea.
How do I get rid of the muck?
The Aubiose creates a fabulous compost, so you should have no trouble getting your muck heaps removed, again, unlike other bedding, Aubiose is natural so farmers and allotment holders are keen to have it.
Rocky has now had to have his stable renovated, so the bedding had to be moved. I was interested to see how wet the floor would be, (when I do wet removal, I don’t disturb the whole bed) yes the floor was damp, but certainly not “wet” the Aubiose had taken care of that! Also the amount of waste bedding was an absolute minimal, we moved just under 1 large barrow of waste bedding out, the rest was kept for the banks. Not bad after 6 months use!
Rocky has now had his stable done and a whole fresh bed of Aubiose put down, (the older clean bedding is used under the banks to catch any escaped rain water!) and I shall be enjoying the benefits of it for a long time to come!
Here is Rocky's new bed:
Visit the website for Aubiose here: http://www.aubiose.co.uk/