In the middle of the Normandy bocage, a stone's throw from Coutances, we discover brand new installations: the stables and the equestrian club of Mathilde Martel. Upon arrival in the stables, one is struck by the cleanliness, the serene atmosphere and the attention given to the well-being of the horses.
Mathilde Martel, why did you choose to use miscanthus litter in your stable from the beginning ?
We have competition horses here, with owners who are very attentive to the performance of their horses, and therefore demanding on good maintenance, cleanliness, feeding, comfort and atmosphere.
We want our stables to be clean at all times, and they have to be easy to clean: we only have girls who work with the horses and do the maintenance.
According to you, what are the main advantages of miscanthus litter?
First of all, what interested me was that we could be autonomous on our litter supply. With miscanthus, we have a high quality litter of which we control the quality and the price.
For the moment, I buy the miscanthus from a farmer near Bayeux (14), until the plots planted here are productive.
Then, on the qualities of miscanthus litter, I would say first of all the fact that it is not palatable, we control precisely the food ration of each horse, and not a single colic!
Another important characteristic for the comfort of the horses, we have a product that is not dusty, and very absorbent, the atmosphere in the boxes is very healthy.
If there was a weak point ?
Miscanthus is slippery if used on concrete floors, it is then necessary to put a thick enough bedding. I chose to install rubber mats in my boxes, we need less miscanthus and we have an additional comfort.
How much miscanthus litter do you use per box?
Depending on the horses, about 3 to 4 bags of 26 kg per week. The boxes are cleaned several times a day and miscanthus is added to compensate each day.
And how do you handle the manure?
For the moment, it is spread in the fields around the club.
Then, there is a methanization project in Coutances, they are interested to recover horse manure.
How is the miscanthus litter perceived by the owners ?
At the beginning, some owners were surprised and destabilized by this thin litter, but they are quickly seduced by this easy to manage litter, without dust and not palatable. They quickly understand that this choice was made for the comfort of their horse.