Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Stall Shavings Co-op

I belong to a co-op of horse owners who order stall shavings directly from the manufacturer to cut out the cost of the middle man or feed store. A friend who lives on several acres of land calls everyone once every few months to take orders, and then when the truck shipment arrives, the trucker just parks the trailer on her land, and picks it up the next time he comes through town.

The rest of us come by with our trucks and horse trailers to collect our stall shavings, and give her a check to cover the cost of our supplies. I usually order 40 or 50 bags, which is a lot of work to pull out of the truck trailer, load into my horse trailer and truck, and then unload once we get home. So, I always take one or two helpers with me.


When the kids were little, I used to purposefully schedule play dates on the days I had to pick up the stall shavings, so that I had several extra sets of hands with me. I think I ticked off my son's friends' mother, because I was always putting her kids to work whenever they came over to play. It builds character, and her kids loved it.

We can pile about 36 bags inside our trailer...


The rest have to be stacked in the bed of the truck, and sometimes we even pile them in the backseat if there's still room for everyone to sit with their seat belts on. I only got 40 bags this time, because I don't use shavings as much in the summer months. The bags just sit around in the sun and rot. Then holes form in the plastic and the wind starts blowing the shavings away.

8 comments:

Once Upon an Equine said...

What a great idea to have a co-op. And it is always nice to have good helpers. Last summer, my 14 year old stepson was enthusiastic about stacking hay because it gave him a chance to flex his manly muscles. I just hope he still has that attitude at 15. Hmmm? I just might have him invite a few friends over for pizza on the day we get hay.

Lulu said...

I sure wish I had such an opportunity for purchasing shavings! I go through about 12 bags a month; that is one bag per stall each week. That sure adds up quickly!!

Katharine Swan said...

NM, what a fantastic arrangement! How much do the bags end up costing you apiece? I wonder how much of a savings it is -- they cost about $6.50 a bag from my favorite local feed store (a small community store, rather than the giant farm and garden store 20 minutes away).

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The prices go up and down based on fuel prices and wood shortages. Right now it's $7.25 per bag and was $5.50 per bag a few years ago. There's also a large difference in shavings. These bags are very compact and heavy compared to what they sell in our local feed store. You get a lot more shavings.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like a great idea, NM. Especially the extra help, even if coerced. hah! You do feed the mandatoried helpers afterwards, right? lol!

~Lisa

Paint Girl said...

What a great idea! Sounds like alot of work! Good thing you have helpers.
We also buy shavings by the bag. It takes 10-12 bags to fill up our horses run in shed. For awhile we could only buy 4 bags at a time, there was a shortage of shavings so they had to put a limit on how many people purchased. The shortage is over, so now we can buy as many as we need!

Katharine Swan said...

Oh, right, I should have mentioned that it was a year and a half ago that I was paying $6.50 per bag. I haven't bought shavings in a while.

Our local feed store seems to buy the compressed bags, because these were quite heavy, and so compressed that one bag nearly did an entire 12 by 12 stall. I've seen other bags that aren't as compressed, and therefore don't hold as much.

In any case, the price of shavings did vary a little -- anywhere from $6 to $6.75 -- so that's probably because the feed store's cost varied too, like you described.

Andrea said...

We used to have trucks like that while at school. We would go into the huge trailers and pick out our shaving and then dump them into the stalls. It was really convenient. It looks like quite the chore to load them and unload them and then put them away once at home. Glad you got some strong helpers!!