Monday, April 7, 2014

Pellets vs Shavings

This weekend was time to continue the grand experiment, comparing shavings with pellets for bedding material.  Air temp was conducive to this oh-so-scientific research.

I had actually tried a small experiment without divulging to you dear readers.  It was semi-successful.  I didn't use enough pellets, and although they fluffed appropriately, they barely covered the shed area.
Anyway, I'm now starting with about 3/4 of a bag.  Off we go with water in tow too.  This greater quantity dictates a different method.

Donkeys had been on a walkabout and followed me down the driveway to the shed.  As I've mentioned before, single file is apparently Rule #1 in the donkey manual (to which I am not privvy).

Step 1 -- put about a gallon of water onto the pellets.

They start to expand immediately.
But, wait.  I busied myself for the 20 minutes or so I had read was necessary, came back and there are still many unsoftened pellets.  A little more water (had to steal it from the water trough).  Wait...  Still hard pellets.  More water.  Wait...
At this point I'm not happy at all with the results.  I return to the house, telling Rick its a failed experiment.  Shavings it is.
 The next day we have a eureka moment.  This is what its supposed to look like.  Reminds me of cornmeal, same consistency.  Easy clean-up, no waste.  Exactly what was advertised.

So, conclusion?  Next year I'd definitely consider using them in the early cold weather season and at the end. Michigan's cold temps won't allow for the in-between frigid months (water would freeze before softening pellets).
More importantly -- waiting more than 20 minutes for absorption is the key.

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