Do you use shavings?
When Mama Tess was around, I gave her a new bag of shavings daily – mostly because she needed her bedding to be full, fluffy, cover a large area and be super soft. I wanted her to always be comfortable.
Choosing the shavings for my Queen (MT) was quite the ordeal. It totally reminded me of buying sheets… thread count, cotton or poly, blends, seasonality, design, deep corners?, color… you name it, the choices were very specific to her and my predilections.
But once I found the perfect type (size, feel, price), I never varied. It was AMERICA’S CHOICE all the way. Big, fluffy, soft and 12 cubic feet per bag.
MY NEW SHAVINGS ORDEAL
Recently, I’ve moved to a new city which is 5 hours South of my old city. That means that not all of my previous shaving choices are available because it depends upon the lumber companies in the area and the types of wood they are cutting, etc. per what shavings choices are available in this new area.
So, I’ve been trying to find my very favorite shavings, America’s Choice, to no avail. Waaaaah. Now I have to figure out a new type of shavings for Norma Jean, Dodger and Gwen to share. They are my oldsters and they lie down more than the others.
GOLDILOCKS. TOO HARD, TOO SOFT, TOO LARGE, TOO SMALL, TOO DUSTY…
Yeah, I know, what’s the big deal? Shavings are shavings are shaving.
Oh, so not so! Shavings are all different – just like bedsheet selections. Different sizes, different coarseness, different tension in the packing, different dust levels, different size flakes, different types of wood, different types of preservatives – Ahhh a world of choices for Goldilocks!
Said differently, here are my issues…
Density of packing: Oy. I want to be able to use my knife, cut open the plastic and let it explode out and all around the stall/area. Easy to disperse. However, many of the companies compress the flakes so that the cubes are smaller (for stocking, I’m sure). For me, when I cut open the plastic on these densely packed shavings, I may as well have a block of cement. I cannot kick it apart without breaking a toe. Forget using a rake to break it open (it will break the rake. I end up having to use a shovel or a pic axe. Ugh.
Coarseness: I like soft shavings. I’m not sure how they make soft shavings, but I think ‘soft’ equates to expensive. I find that if I want softer shavings, I have to spend a bit more. That’s OK. There is nothing worse thane spreading out shavings and then having your horse scratch a cornea.
Wood TYPE: This depends upon where you live and what kind of lumber is milled in your area. We are lucky that we have cedar which I love. We also have pine.
DUST: Of course, for my purpose which is sleep, not absorption, I like no dust. Since my horses lay their heads down on the shavings, I want it to be dust free.
PRESERVATIVES: Yes… this is important to me because I’m using shavings as a bedding. I think if you have a horse in a stall, or if you are using it for bedding, shavings clean of preservative would be the best.
TONIGHT’S TEST TRIAL
There was one local feed store left that I hadn’t tried to purchase shavings. So, I decided to get some hay delivered and add two bales of their finest shavings – per a conversation I had with the kind girl at the desk.
I got this bag. Long Beach Shavings, Co. I wondered if they were from Long Beach, CA, but that seemed unlikely. So, I went to the website which is clearly marked on the wrapper.
The shavings bag says it is a product of Canada… but the parent company is from Texas. I guess it is all about networking suppliers.
Anyway, this bag was easy to open and the shavings puffed out fairly well. Not as well as America’s Choice, but it didn’t take a pic axe to spread them – I used my rake easily.
They aren’t as soft as America’s Choice, but they are good enough. Pine. There is very little dust.
As I perused the website to find the contents of the shavings… I saw this. Hmmmmm. Made in California by way of Canada? Not sure how it all works. But, I do like the shavings.
RESULTS PRETTY GOOD! EQUINE SATISFACTION TBD…
I was happy with the ease of use and spreadability. I think they will be easy to clean and they feel fairly soft.
Tomorrow, I will know. If Gwen, Dodger and Norma are covered in shavings, it was a good purchase!
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