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Managing Ammonia With Horses

Diatomaceous earth to manage ammonia levels can be a helpful tool in the upkeep and care of horses. DE is the fossilized remains of tiny algae organisms called diatoms. Mined and milled from thousand-year-old lakes and oceans, diatomaceous earth is made primarily of silica and other valuable trace minerals including magnesium, calcium, sodium, and iron. As a naturally porous substance, DE is a beneficial agent for managing and removing moisture from spaces that is not detrimental to animals and livestock that come in contact with it.

In addition to the other notable uses of using DE in maintaining a happy, clean barn. Adding it to your daily upkeep routine has the ability to maintain and neutralize the buildup of ammonia for both the comfort and health of your horses.

An all-natural solution for preventing ammonia

Diatomaceous earth (DE) reduces build-up and controls odours, Stall Dry bedding freshener is a non-toxic, non-caustic and completely safe formula for your horse barn. By absorbing offending odours and moisture, there is also a reduction in the growth of bacteria, viruses, and insects, including house flies and darkling beetles.

Safe to use on dirt, rubber, metal, wood, and concrete surfaces to reduce unwanted odours and save money. A mixture of clay and natural blend of food-grade DE. The Stall Dry formula is perfect for the natural reduction and neutralization of ammonia buildup. High concentrations of ammonia in the air irritates the sensitive mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth increasing the susceptibility of animals to various respiratory infections. Most studies implicate finer particulate and endotoxins in the air as the primary factors. Managing ammonia concentrations at the floor level is where it is much higher. Horses are exposed to a concentrated dose of ammonia when sleeping or resting.

When used as a daily part of your maintenance routine, you can even lower bedding costs and reduce cleanup time by reducing the moisture overall. Manure is more comfortable to spread and has improved fertility value when spread on fields, with the DE itself aiding in composting.

To use Absorbent Products’ Stall Dry in your horse barn for effective ammonia maintenance and control, simply shake a moderate amount of product on the recently cleaned stall floor before laying down fresh bedding.

Where to purchase Stall Dry

  • Purchase Stall Dry for managing ammonia levels in your barn, please visit any reputable feed and agricultural supply stores throughout the United States and Canada. If your local feed store does not carry it, please ask them to bring it in for you.

Click here to find a distributor in your area (US distribution only). If you are in Canada or are unable to locate a distributor in your area, please contact us!

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Diatomaceous Earth To Treat Goat Lice, Ticks & Fleas

Pest Populations Bloom In Early Spring & Late Winter

Goats can be host to two varieties of lice, both non-transmittable to humans as they are specific to the species but are highly contagious to other goats making them difficult, but not impossible, to eradicate. The two varieties of ticks goats are susceptible to are those that bite, and those who suck. Using food-grade diatomaceous earth to effectively manage and prevent a lice infestation can ensure your goats have a happy, healthy pest free life.

Early spring and late winter are when lice, tick & flea populations tend to bloom in numbers more rapidly. Whereas in the summer when you can keep your goat’s hair short, and the sun can keep pest numbers down – winter and spring infestations will likely take some additional intervention. While lice, tick & fleas are not life-threatening to healthy goats, they are uncomfortable and irritating to their skin, occasionally causing hair loss and potential anemia.

Symptoms Show Before The Bugs

A pest infestation is more often diagnosed by its symptoms rather than initial visual confirmation of the pests. If you part your goat’s hair, especially the hairs along their back, you will see small red headed bugs with brownish or yellow bodies. Biting lice variety will scurry out of view, the sucking lice will remain latched.

Pest eggs, nits, hatch about every 7 days, so treatment should be every 7 to 10 days as well until no signs of the nits or adult bugs are present. Take the time to choose the treatment you choose no only repels lice, tick & flea but also prevents the eggs from hatching and/or thriving.

Shaving To Control, Diatomaceous Earth To Prevent

To manage your pest population, shaving your goat’s fur as short as possible. With nothing to hold on to or to protect them from the sun, and the lice cannot survive. After shaving, clean out all the old bedding in their barn. Spreading a food-grade diatomaceous earth product like our Last Crawl™ Insect DEstroyer Insecticide Powder as a physical insecticide
that will not have any effect on the goats.

While no one looks forward to a lice, tick & flea infestation, these creatures are anything but indestructible. With a little preparation, regular treatment, and cleaning of their living spaces your goats will be able to live their best pest-free lives.

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Diatomaceous Earth To Aid In Composting

Diatomaceous Earth used in a home compost pile with tolls surrounding it.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a naturally occurring substance mined from specific lakebed deposits. Made up of fossilized single-celled planktonic algae called diatoms, the silica-rich shells of these microscopic organisms give this chalk-like substance exceptional porosity and abrasive property. With many commercial, agricultural and household uses, DE can even play a pivotal role in the health of your backyard compost pile!

Below is a collection of consumer tested application methods in which consumers have used diatomaceous earth like our Stall Dry product to help them with their at-home composting.

Unprocessed manure and compost piles can play host to the larvae of many types of flies. Most, like the common housefly, are harmless, since they do not often bite humans or animals, or carry harmful diseases. Outside of utilizing the pest control power of backyard chickens, the potential for a build-up of potentially harmful maggots could potentially contaminate your composting efforts. A simple sprinkle of a food-grade Diatomaceous Earth-based insecticide will keep your compost pile happy.

Due to its inert nature, Diatomaceous Earth can also be used as a chemical-free deodorant for your compost pile. With smells often being caused by an abundance of wet ingredients like kitchen wastes and fallen fruit, the absorbent nature of DE will allow you to deodorize the pile making it easier to integrate its use into your day-to-day life. 

As it only affects hard-bodied insects, peppering a light sprinkle of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth on the top-layer of your composting bin will allow you to manage pests and fruit-flies from your compost pile while still creating a nurturing and safe environment for your worms. Many people also find adding DE to worming compost can aid in some beneficial digesting and grinding of the food for the worms while benefiting the soil as it contains many good trace minerals.

*When using DE in your working compost be sure to use sparingly and do not mix in so that it does not pull too much moisture from the worms ecosystem.

Rodents like mice, moles, and rats can wreck your garden compost in no time, and if you don’t want to harm them, Diatomaceous Earth is here to help. Rodents hate the strong smells of essential oils like peppermint and lemon citrus and as Diatomaceous Earth is an excellent absorbent. These two ingredients can be combined to create the most potent organic rodent repellent that can keep the rodents at bay when sprinkled around the perimeter of your composting bin.

For a full list of items we suggest you add to your compost bin (in addition to DE) we have sourced a list from our customers on the blog. 

Now you’re ready to compost!

Please note: Stall DRY can also be added directly to the compost to help keep down the odor and absorb any excess liquid (just be sure not to add too much Stall DRY, as you want the compost to keep a wet/dry balance).

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To ensure a horse will be comfortable outside in cold climates, they should be healthy and have a thick, dry and clean hair coat. Healthy horses develop natural winter coat as the days become shorter and temperatures become colder.

Blanketing a horse may be  necessary when no shelter is available and temperatures or wind chill drops below 5 F (-15 C). 

If a horse is blanketed, it is critical that you have a properly fitted blanket for your horse. When the blanket does not fit properly it can lead to sores and rub marks, especially along the straps. When your horses are wearing a blanket, it is important to remove the blanket daily, and inspect your horse for rub marks, and sores. Adjust the blanket accordingly to reduce any rub marks. Ensure that your horse is dry before putting a blanket on.

Another time when it may become necessary for a horse to wear a winter blanket is when the horse has had its winter coat clipped, when the horse is young or older, and when the horse hasn’t had the opportunity to acclimatize to the cold weather.

You will also need to consider the health and body condition of your horse. It is a good idea to blanket your horse during the cold weather if the body condition score of your horse is 3 or less.COZY


A horse can easily become dehydrated in the cold weather when it does not have access to fresh or unfrozen water. Horses that do not have access to water can quickly start to lose body weight and show symptoms of dehydration. Symptoms may include dry mucous membranes, sunken eyes, slow capillary refill, tucked up appearance and loss of elasticity in skin. The horse will also start reducing feed intake and may ultimately refuse to eat.

A heated water bucket, heater in water troughs, and a heated automatic watered are options to provide unfrozen water. Without heaters, make sure the ice is broken on the horse’s water supply. When you are using a submergible electric water heater in a water trough, you will need to check daily to ensure the heating element is on and there is no stray voltage.

You may find that some horses do not like the water heaters and prefer to have a fresh bucket of water offered to them.


Horses can withstand significant drops in temperature provided they have some protection from the wind and wet (rain/sleet) conditions.  Snow is tolerated much better than rain and sleet with the insulation of a healthy winter coat.  Unfortunately not much helps with keeping your horse comfortable during rainy weather or sleet.  When rain and sleet wets the hair down the insulating capacity of the coat is less effective.  Wind chills coupled with a wet coat can lead to the potential of hypothermia.  

Sheltering a horse during times of rain or sleet is the best option to keep your horse safe.  A full barn is not required to shelter your horse.  You can use for a tree line wind break, a three sided shed or an enclosed barn and stalls that may or may not be heated. 

For enclosed barns, it must be adequately ventilated to prevent respiratory issues.  Proper ventilation will help to prevent the accumulation of ammonia and mold levels.  as well as help  to reduce humidity and moisture levels.  

Considerations when using a  three sided shed with a group of horses:

  • adequate size – 12×20 feet with horses that get along
  • each additional horse needs an additiona 6×10 feet
  • the size of the horse may require less or more space
  • regular cleaning routine

Establishing a regular routine, while using the proper tools when cleaning the stalls will make winter stall maintenance an easier task. Each type of bedding has advantages and disadvantages.  The primary purpose of bedding is to absorb urine and moisture.  Other  considerations include:

  •  space available to shelter your horse
  • dust and allergies
  • waste disposal
  • availability
  • cost and effectivness



The best time to muck out a stall is when it is empty. Use a pitchfork to remove any large piles of manure. Gently shake the pitchfork or toss it to allow the clean shavings to drop back onto the stall floor.  This will help to reduce losing too many shavings that are still good to use. Rake up and push the wet shavings into a pile, making sure that you rake down to the down to the stall floor.  Take extra care to rake the shavings from the sides and corners.   Leaving wet shavings behind can lead to an accumulation of ammonia levels from the urine left behind. Leave the wet floor area uncovered.  Sprinkle with Stall DRY to absorb moisture and odors. .The remaining shavings that are starting to become darker in color can be moved to where the horse’s urine area of choice is so that these shavings can absorb the urine instead of the newer, fresher shavings. Take care to replace any shavings that show signs of mold or are showing significant signs of dust.

Level out the shavings and add a fresh layer on top as is required. Sprinkle an additional layer of the stall absorbent and deodorizer over your layer of fresh bedding.

A sprinkle of Stall DRY will help to reduce the ammonia levels in your bedding waste collection area, which also leads to reducing the accumulation of flies, and nasty odors.


  • pleasing smell of pine or fir
  • kiln-dried better then chip-like shavings
  • purchase in bulk


  • not very absorbent
  • dusty
  • potential fire hazard
  • extra care in keeping dust and cobwebs to a minimum
  • takes more time to clean then shavings or wood pellets


Stalls bedded with wood pellets do not need to be cleaned the same way as with traditional shavings.  Cleaning works best in stalls that use rubber mats.  The best time to muck out a stall is when it is empty. The horses will naturally break down the wood pellets into sawdust.  Use a slotted fork to remove the manure, but take out as little of the bedding as possible. For urine remove the saturated areas and sprinkle the damp area with Stall DRY to absorb moisture and odors. .Remix the damp bedding with dry bedding until it appears dry.   

An sprinkle of Stall DRY will help to reduce the ammonia levels in your collection area, which also leads to reducing the accumulation of flies, and nasty odors..


  • made of kiln-dried wood
  • available in fir, alder or pine, sawdust
  • low in dust
  • highly absorbent
  • composts well
  • easy to clean up manure and urine 
  • cost effective


  • may not absorb moisture as well in cold weather


The best time to muck out a stall is when it is empty. Pick out manure and soiled straw with a metal pitchfork and place it in a pile. Check for additional manure or soiled straw by moving the clean straw to the corners of the stall with a pitchfork or rake.  Allow the ground to dry.  Sprinkle the exposed stall floor with Stall DRY on the wet areas to absorb moisture and odors.  Spread the remaining clean straw over the stall floor and add additional bedding as required.  

For spot cleaning, pick out manure and soiled straw with a metal pitchfork.  Sprinkle wet bedding with an absorbent deodorizer.

The soiled straw and manure can be placed in a collection area that can be later collected and used by mushroom farmers.  

A sprinkle of Stall DRY will help to reduce the ammonia levels in your collection area, which also leads to reducing the accumulation of .flies, and nasty odors.


  • Manure and urine settles to bottom creating a type of barrier
  • low cost option depending on availability
  • composts well


  • requires ample room for storage
  • require around 5 bales per horse per week
  • potential for accumulation mold and ammonia due to low absorbency
  • dusty


  • provides a cushioning effect
  • level surface
  • easily scoop manure and soiled bedding
  • reduce amount of bedding required
  • reduced stall waste
  • less storage space needed for bedding
  • can use in combination with wood pellets or shavings
  • makes stall cleanup easier when using other bedding
  • inital investment is pricey
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Protecting the Harvest

Protecting the Havrvest


Fall is upon us once again. 
For millennia, this season of harvest means it’s time to store the
summer’s abundance for a long dark winter ahead.  People have used granaries for over eleven
thousand years; archaeological excavations in the Jordan Valley near the Dead
Sea have revealed storage structures at least that old.  In today’s world, grain storage can vary
between a few pounds and several thousand tonnes, depending on the facility.  Large or small, grain storage can pose
problems that are minimized by careful planning and preparation.

Structural hygiene is an important first step in good grain
management.  Buildings, structures and
grain bins should be well-maintained and inspected regularly for signs of pest
intrusion and excess moisture problems. Eliminating weeds and shrubbery from
the outside of granaries will reduce pest harborages. Sealing any cracks and
crevices in and around grain bins is crucial to prevent intruders. 

One of the biggest threats to successful grain storage is
excess moisture, according to the University of Kentucky – College of
Agriculture.  Wet or damp grain will rot,
and spoilage can spread quickly throughout a bin. The Grains Research and
Development Corporation of Australia recommends treating stored grains with
diatomaceous earth (DE) as a protective measure. 

Using DE has the dual advantage of controlling both moisture
and insects.   The microscopic porous
structure of DE is sponge-like, absorbing moisture from grains. This absorbent
property is also effective as an insecticide. 
The mode of action is mechanical, not chemical; DE kills the insects by
desiccation, after abrading their waxy exoskeletons.

The use of diatomaceous earth can reduce or eliminate the
need for strong chemical fumigants. 
These insecticidal gases are very useful for grain protection.  However, they are toxic, must be applied by
trained professionals, and can only be used after an infestation has occurred.
DE treatments can help prevent insects, and in turn the need for
fumigation.  In cases like this, an ounce
of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

Interestingly, our long tradition of grain storage has had a
profound side effect for human-animal relationships.  It is widely theorized that wild cats first
became accustomed to humans via rodent-hunting around grain bins. Both species
soon realized the advantages of cooperation: cats provide the pest control and
in return are rewarded with shelter, protection and affection.  The human-feline love affair has continued since.

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The Dangers of Hydrated Lime

Ammonia can be very dangerous to the health of both animals and people. Studies have concluded that even low levels of ammonia can cause stress to an animal’s respiratory system. It is therefore extremely important to control ammonia within confined spaces.

For many years people have used and continue to use hydrated lime to help rid their barns and stables of ammonia and the smell that accompanies it. However, studies have found that hydrated lime may be doing more harm than good. In fact, specialists at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University concluded that hydrated lime increases the alkalinity of litter and, in fact, creates more ammonia by converting ammonium into ammonia gas!

Not only is hydrated lime a very short-term solution (that only works to cover up the smell of ammonia) but it can also be a very dangerous product to use. If high concentrations of hydrated lime dust are inhaled, irritation to the respiratory tract will occur. Dermatitis can result from prolonged exposure and repeated skin contact and a risk of severe and permanent eye damage exists if hydrated lime comes in contact with the eyes. The product can cause burns in the presence of moisture and will cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract when ingested. Personal protective equipment should be worn at all times when using hydrated lime.

Alternatives to hydrated lime, such as Barn Fresh, are all natural and safe solutions that will work to absorb liquids and ammonia. Barn Fresh, for example, contains diatomaceous earth and calcium bentonite, making it safe to use with all types of animals, even if ingested.

Natural products like Barn Fresh are much more effective and safer to use than hydrated lime.

Image by Jamie Skelton

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Could You and Your Animals Be At Risk: The Hazardous Effects of Ammonia in Barns, Stalls and Coops

Ammonia emissions are a common by-product of animal waste. These emissions can negatively impact your animal’s health and production. As well, you yourself can be harmed by high levels of ammonia and even low levels can irritate the eyes and lungs. The environment is another concern, as ammonia emissions affect air quality.

Ammonia is one of the most dangerous gases that is present in the air in barns and stables. It is produced from the decomposition of manure. The protein in an animal’s diet contains nitrogen that is metabolized by their bodies into animal protein such as milk, meat or eggs however any nitrogen that is not metabolized is excreted in the animal’s urine or feces. It is the process of decomposition of the manure that emits ammonia into the air.

Ammonia has a very strong odor and often accumulates inside barns and stables. The ammonia emitted into the air by agricultural operations can have a very harmful effect on air quality and the environment. It has been estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection that animal agriculture can be held accountable for fifty to eight-five percent of all man-made ammonia emissions in the US.

It is important to control ammonia in order to protect your animals, yourself and the environment. Manure management and proper ventilation are two steps that you can take to control these emissions. You can also use stall deodorizers to neutralize ammonia and absorb odors and moisture. This will keep your barn dry and protect you, your animals and the environment from the negative effects of ammonia emissions.

For more information on how to reduce ammonia in your barn and stalls, check out:
Providing a Clean and Safe Environment for Your Animals: The Stall DRY Method

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Parasites in Goats

Parasites continue to be an important concern for goat farmers and producers. These parasites can cause economic and production losses and even serious illness and death in goats. In fact, internal parasites are recognized as a common disease among goats.

An infected goat may show symptoms and become lethargic, have diarrhea, lose weight or barely be able to maintain their weight. However these signs can easily go unnoticed, posing a serious threat to the health and safety of your animal.

Internal parasites infect the gastrointestinal tract, liver, lungs, blood system, lymphatic system, and skin of a goat.

Parasites are present in almost every herd in the United States. The most common parasites that infect these herds are barber pole worms, round worms, stomach worms, Cooper’s worms, wire worms, hookworms, threadworms, whipworms, and nodular worms, lung worms and meningeal or brain worm.

An adult worm lives in the stomach of a goat where it lays a large number of eggs. These eggs are passed in manure. The eggs develop and hatch within 5 days to several months. Warm and wet conditions are most favorable for the development of the eggs.

A goat becomes infected when it consumes these parasites while out on pasture or in a barn. Larvae that hatch out in the pasture are splashed onto blades of grass by the rain where they are then consumed by goats. It is necessary for a goat to ingest the larvae in order for it to complete its life cycle.

Once they have been consumed, the larvae take approximately 2 to 3 weeks to mature and begin to lay eggs in the goat’s stomach. Some larvae may also become dormant after they have been eaten. These larvae wait to develop and are often immune to de-wormers.

Sufficient damage is caused to a goat by these parasites. Larvae in the stomach damage gland cells and parasites such as barber pole worms live on blood, removing considerable amounts from the animal. The parasite may remove blood faster than the animal can replace it, resulting is death.

Brain worms are transferred to goats by deer. The brain worms live in the lining of a deer’s brain and are passed in their feces. While these worms are not dangerous to the deer, they can have very harmful effects on goats. The larvae in the deer’s manure are eaten by snail and slugs which in turn are consumed by goats out on pasture.

Goats are most at risk out in the pasture when the weather has been damp and warm. However, larvae can survive winter conditions, if they are not too harsh, and therefore may be found in pastures in the early spring.

It is important to have a veterinarian check stool samples in order to determine what type of parasites are infecting your goats, the extent of the infection and what you can do to treat them.

A simple check that you can perform yourself involves looking for signs of anemia. This can be done by checking your goats’ gums as well as underneath their eyelids. These areas should be bright pink or red in color. If they are pale pink or grey your goat is showing signs of anemia and this is an indication that they should be de-wormed. Dirty rear ends from diarrhea can also be a sign that your goat may be infected with internal parasites.

In order to prevent parasites it is important that you maintain proper grazing management. This means moving goats to a new pasture once it has been grazed down to a certain level. Orchard grass and fescue should be grazed when the plants are between 3 inches and 10 inches tall and Bluegrass and clover should be grazed when the plants are 2 inches to 5 inches tall.

The best way to protect your animals is to de-worm them a few days before sending them out to pasture in the spring and then again several weeks later. In order to protect them through the winter months it is best to de-worm them when the weather becomes cold and frost begins to show up. This will remove any parasites that they have consumed and protect them throughout the winter.

During the summer many farmers de-worm their entire herd while others only treat goats that show sign of infection. A major concern with de-worming goats is that over time the parasites may become immune to certain de-wormers. It is important to use a variety of de-worming methods and preventative techniques.

Whichever method you prefer, it is important to treat your goats in order to protect them from deadly infections of internal parasites. Be sure to monitor the effectiveness of your de-worming applications and consult a veterinarian for professional advice.

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Providing a Clean and Safe Environment for Your Animals: The Stall DRY Method

Like so many others, you’re sure to love Stall DRY!

Stall DRY is a natural stall deodorizer that has the ability to control flies, decrease ammonia levels, absorb odor and moisture and extend the life of your bedding! Stall DRY can be used with all types of animals, large and small.

By applying Stall DRY using the method below, you are sure to get the results you want and to provide your animals with a clean and healthy environment.

The Stall DRY Method

For application in a stall, cage or kennel (can be applied to dirt, concrete, wood, metal or rubber mats):

  • Apply a thin layer (approximately 5 lbs per 10′ x 10′ area) to clean surface.
  • Place bedding over the top (any type of bedding can be used).
  • Continue to use Stall DRY each time you clean the stall, cage or kennel. Simply sprinkle a generous layer of Stall DRY on top of wet bedding. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes, toss the Stall DRY into the bedding in the area which it was applied (this allows the product to come in contact with the urine and wet bedding in order to absorb the wetness and neutralize the ammonia).

As well, be sure to apply a thin layer of Stall DRY on top of manure piles to help control odor and flies. Stall DRY can reduce fly larva and eggs. By killing just one pair of flies, Stall DRY can eliminate up to 3o million flies every 60 days!

If Stall DRY is being used with rubber mats, be sure to apply a small amount of the product along the edges and seams of the mat in order to catch and absorb any urine that runs off the edges. This will also help to keep the urine from getting under the mats and deteriorating them.

When using Stall DRY in rabbit cages or other pens or cages with a pan that sits under the cage to catch droppings and urine:

  • Place 1-11/2 inch(es) of Stall DRY in the pan.
  • Simply remove the waste each day using a scoop (such as a kitty litter scoop).

If you do not wish to clean the waste pan daily, cleanliness can be prolonged by sprinkling a small amount of Stall DRY on the top of the pan in order to control the odor and wetness.

Please Note: The amount of Stall DRY needed to fully dry up wet bedding will depend on the amount of liquid as well as the type of surface that the product has been applied to. For example, a horse will require more Stall DRY than a smaller animal such as a rabbit or hamster. As well, surfaces such as dirt, that become very wet, may require more Stall DRY to fully absorb the liquid however, with continued use the amount needed will be reduced.

Image by Serge Melki

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Stall DRY for Foaling Mares

Stall DRY is known for its amazing absorptive qualities as well at its ability to naturally reduce odors and ammonia. Composed of diatomaceous earth and calcium rich montmorillonite, Stall DRY is a natural product that is safe to use around all of your animals, even if it is ingested.

Stall DRY can be used in your barn, stalls and coops at all times including during the birth of a foal.

Simply apply a thin layer of Stall DRY (approximately 5 lbs per 10’x10’ area) under your usual stall bedding or sprinkle the product on top. This will help to absorb liquids, keeping the stall as mess free as possible during the birth of a new foal.

When using Stall DRY for the birth of a foal, be sure to clean up the wet product after use.

For more tips on how to use Stall DRY please see: Providing a Clean and Safe Environment for Your Animals: The Stall DRY Method

Image by StuartWebster